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Nets-Cavs Postgame Quotes

Head Coach Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn Nets

On if he felt he needed more of a cushion heading into the fourth quarter:
“Yea, it would have been great to have a bigger lead. I mean, as good as they are and he is (LeBron James) in the fourth quarter – but we never really found a solution to stop him in the fourth. They’re multi-faceted, I think they use LeBron (James) as a roller to the rim and then him handling, so we never figured that puzzle out and I thought we did a decent job the first three quarters. Then 34 points is a lot to give up (in the fourth). That was the difference. That was the spread right there.”

On the Nets’ offensive performance in the second half:
“Listen, they make it tough and they switch everything and somehow I think, we’ve talked about this before, you know I thought we did a decent job against it. But honestly Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) hitting him on the roll trying to exploit that mismatch on a small and then our smalls did a good job driving it, but they force you into iso-ball a little bit and that’s not our cup of tea. That’s not what we’re built on and somehow against all that switching we’ve got to trust, trust the pass, trust playing with the pass. Maybe the ball moves three, four, five times and then they break down and we can get an advantage, but fell into a little bit, wasn’t crazy, but a little bit too much iso-ball, that’s all.”

On Joe Harris’ performance and if he thought he could spark something in the fourth quarter:
“I think he’s good because he cuts off the ball, so against their switches I think that messed with them. He’s a good cutter. Obviously came off some good screens. I thought our bigs set some really good screens for us. He gets out in transition. You know Joe’s had a darn good year. I think he’s struggled a little lately so it was nice to see him break out, have a really good game especially against his former team, so great for Joe, just stinks we couldn’t get the W for him.”

Joe Harris

On his performance tonight:
“I just got in the rhythm early. We were moving the ball well and I was able to get room and rhythm looks right off the get-go, knocked down my first couple. It just felt good after that and I was a little bit more aggressive, hunting into shots. I guess towards the end especially I took a couple more chances on taking contested looks when we needed the three’s. But it started at the beginning of the game just us moving the ball, and me getting room and rhythm looks.”

On the difference in the fourth quarter and how Cleveland tightened things up:
“Well, they got stops and they just made things tough on us defensively. They were able to get out in transition and get some easy buckets where there were open three’s or in the half court they got us making plays, whether it was LeBron getting stuff going to the rim or facilitating with other guys and getting them open looks. It was just difficult matching up after tough, contested shots and we just needed to do a better job in the half court making things tough on them.”

On if they knew they needed to make a run early in the fourth quarter:
“Yeah, no we were fully aware of that. When [LeBron] is on the bench you want to take full advantage of it and that is where you have to try to expand on the lead we already had. They got guys where they were just making plays, whether it was Clarkson or Hood, they were making tough shots in the midrange and then they were making threes at a high clip and then when LeBron comes back in it makes it easier on everyone else.”

D'Angelo Russell

On what adjustments the Cavs made in the fourth quarter to make it difficult offensively:
“I don’t know specifically. I know they switched everything. We missed shots. I don’t think they did anything specifically.”

On what he takes away from playing elite teams such as the Cavs:
“You can always take something from them – just figure out their coverage on the defensive end and try to attack that, but you’re playing against teams competing for playoff spots and playoff rankings. You can always take something from them.”

On the execution in the first three quarters:
“I thought it was solid. We went into the fourth in a good position, and they kind of took off in the fourth, but I thought it was solid.”

On what Joe Harris has brought to the team throughout this season:
“He’s been solid throughout the season. He knows his job. He knows his role. He embraces it. He and a few others, they have that job to shoot the ball and space the floor and they embrace that. He does a great job at that as well.”

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