Trail Blazers vs Nuggets Wednesday, 10/17/12 AT 07:00PM

Post-game Notes And Quotes: Trail Blazers Defeat Nuggets

  1. Written by: sarahhecht

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012    Final Score: Portland 97, Denver 80

    “That was a good defensive effort. That was our priority coming into the game – to improve defensively. We had two poor defensive performances in Phoenix and Sacramento. I thought we were very active, aggressive. We created turnovers in the first half. I was pleased with the defensive effort.

    On Colby Karl playing well in front of his father George Karl:
    “I thought it was terrific regardless of whether his dad was there or not. It was a terrific performance. He was a plus-15 in 10 minutes in the first half. He controlled the offense, made good defensive plays, obviously he made some shots. I was happy for him. He’s a good player. He’s an NBA player and I think he showed that tonight.”

    Do you envision up-and-down stretches this season?
    “It’s hard to base off tonight because we played 14, 15 guys. During the season we’re going to play more of our core players so hopefully there’s not as much of that. When you’re a young team, you’ll have moments – there will be peaks and valleys. The best teams are the ones that sustain a level of consistency and play well for longer stretches of time. That’s what we’re going to strive for.”

    On Claver:
    “I thought he played well. When you make shots, obviously, everybody notices you more. I don’t necessarily want to define a guy’s performance by whether he made shots or not. Every time he’s been in games, he’s played hard, he’s given energy. I was glad his shots went down tonight.... It’s good for a young player to come in and make some shots and get some confidence and get a feel playing out there in the first half. I think playing at home was good for him, having the crowd behind him. I was pleased.”

    Thoughts on game:
     “A good win, a good win. I thought our defense looked good tonight. Offensively we had good ball movement. So I thought it was a good night for us.”

    Happy with the offense at this point in the preseason?
    “I think every game it’s gotten better. Guys are getting more comfortable out there.”

    On defense being better than in two previous games:
    “Just better on pick and rolls. We showed better on pick and rolls. I thought the guards did a better job of controlling the ball. The bigs were there early tonight and not late so that was big.”

    Is team built to surprise teams with many guys who can get hot?
    “I don’t think we’re trying to surprise anybody. We’re just trying to go out and be solid every night and we feel like we have an opportunity to win every night.”

     “We played well. We play off the crowd here at home. We’re going to have to get that energy and that enthusiasm when we go on the road, but it was a good showing for our home fans and for us tonight.”

    On pulling away from Denver:
    “Everything is going to be predicated off our defense. Coach talks about being an offensive team and that kind of stuff but you can’t win without D-ing up. For the most part we did that.”

    On getting out in transition:
    “That’s what we want to do. We’re an up-tempo team. We can shoot the three. We’ve got guys that can slash, can get to the basket. And of course we’ve got LA down inside.”


    - The Trail Blazers have won six straight preseason home openers.
    - The Trail Blazers held the Nuggets to 80 points and 38.0 percent shooting from the floor, after Denver had been averaging 102.3 points per game on 45.3 percent field goal shooting.
    - Portland held the Nuggets to 10.0 percent shooting (2-of-20) from 3-point range, after Denver shot 37.1 percent from distance through its first three preseason games.
    Portland’s 54-39 lead at halftime marked the first time the team had led at halftime this preseason.
    - Portland held Denver to 14 assists. Entering the game, the Nuggets were averaging more than 21 assists per game.
    - Portland also registered a preseason-high 13 3-pointers against Denver.
    - The Trail Blazers registered a preseason-high 27 assists.
    - The Trail Blazers forced a preseason-high 22 turnovers against Denver.
    - Portland finished the first quarter on a 10-0 run. Since the 1:30 mark of the first quarter, Portland outscored Denver 81-57.
    Kenneth Faried finished as the only Nuggets player in double figures. Through three quarters, Denver did not have any players in double-digit scoring.
    - The Trail Blazers had a preseason-high six blocks tonight.
    - Victor Claver’s first attempted – and made – shot at the Rose Garden was a 3-pointer. - - Entering tonight’s game, Claver hadn’t made a shot from distance in two previous attempts this preseason.
    - Claver finished with a preseason-high 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including three makes from beyond the arc.
    - Nolan Smith made his first start of the preseason tonight against the Nuggets. Smith finished with nine points, a game-high eight assists and five rebounds.
    - Smith’s eight assists were the most among any Trail Blazer this preseason.
    - Wesley Matthews scored 14 of his game and preseason-high 19 points in the first half.
    - LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 14 points on 7-12 (58.3%) shooting. Entering tonight, Aldridge was shooting 32.5 percent from the floor in the preseason.
    - Coby Karl played a preseason-high 21 minutes, and finished with 11 points, 5 assists and two steals.
    - Portland finished the game on an 8-0 run.

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