Trail Blazers vs Hawks Monday, 11/12/12 AT 07:00PM

Post-Game Notes And Quotes: Falling To The Hawks

11/12/12
  1. Written by: sarahhecht

    Monday, Nov. 12, 2012    Final Score: Atlanta 95, Portland 87

    HEAD COACH TERRY STOTTS
    “Similar to last game, we get ourselves in a hole and compete and play our butts off and come up short. Obviously the negative is that we didn’t come out of the gate very well and it took all game to get there. The positive is that we buckled down defensively. We had a good defensive half. We held them under 45 percent shooting and our defense put ourselves in a position to win a game, which up to this point, we really hadn’t done. It was a disappointing loss but we’ve got to learn from it and get better and move on and get one tomorrow night.”

    On defense in second half:
    “I thought we protected the rim a lot better. I thought Meyers and JJ and LaMarcus were better at being a deterrent at the basket. We helped each other a little bit more. We played with more urgency, which teams tend to do when they’re down. So those were positives. I thought Ronnie Price did an excellent job when he was in there, defensively disrupting things.”

    On turnovers:
    “They were huge. We had 18 going into the fourth quarter, I thought if we only had 2 or 3 turnovers in the fourth quarter, that we’d win the game. What was disappointing in the first half was that our turnovers led to their transition. Some of the turnovers were careless – lazy passes or not meeting the ball. They fed off of that. I thought our turnovers had a lot to do with their runs.”

    On keeping young team from getting stuck in a rut:
    “I don’t know if we’re in a familiar rut because we are competing. The one thing is every game, we’re in a position to win in the fourth quarter. The one thing that I’ve learned about this team so far is that they compete and they have a will to win. I don’t think that goes away and I don’t think that would be a rut. They played with a lot of pride and sometimes you’d like to win them all, but I don’t anticipate them – I think they have a lot of character.”

    On Hickson’s performance:
    “We wouldn’t have been in the game without him with a line like that – 19 and 18. His energy, but then again, particularly in the second half, he coupled his rebounding and scoring with some defensive plays. We need all that from him. Rebounding is a talent and he’s got it. He’s got timing, he’s got the will to go after the ball and he keeps doing it every night.”

    Was it just an off night for Lillard and Aldridge:
    “Damian made some aggressive drives to the basket that he missed. He had some looks. The ball isn’t going to go in every night. I wouldn’t say it particularly was their defense, other than some of the drives, not being able to finish on some of his drives. That happens. I don’t necessarily think it was their defense or poor offense, it was just one of those nights.”

    DAMIAN LILLARD
    “I got some good looks, probably got too deep on a couple of my drives and put myself in a bad position. Shots just didn’t fall.”

    On slow start:
    “I don’t know the reason for it, but they definitely took advantage of it and we put ourselves in a hole again where we had to fight back. We just weren’t able to come out on top again.”

    Beyond missing shots, were you happy with how you played?
    “No, I mean I could have played better. One thing I’ve learned is there is another game coming. We’ve got a game tomorrow. Tonight I didn’t play like I wanted to, probably took some shots where I got too deep driving to the rim. But I’m going to continue to be aggressive and play how I play like I always say, be myself. Hopefully we get a win tomorrow.”

    On recurring theme of clawing back but losing:
    “Well it feels that way but we’re getting better. A lot of people probably don’t see it, but every game we get a little bit closer. Once we get to the point where we don’t put ourselves in a hole to start with, then that’s when we’ll start winning games.”

    POSTGAME NOTES

    - Atlanta now leads the all-time series against Portland 51-50.
    - JJ Hickson set season highs in both points (19) and rebounds (18). It marks the first time in Hickson’s career that he has scored at least 19 points and 18 rebounds in a game.
    - Hickson’s double-double is his team-leading fourth of the season, and he now has 10 double-doubles in 17 starts with the Trail Blazers, dating back to last season.
    - Hickson has had seven offensive rebounds three times this season.
    - A game after tying his career high in assists, LaMarcus Aldridge set a new career best with eight assists.
    - Aldridge is averaging 5.6 assists per game the last five contests.
    - Nicolas Batum, after recording a steal tonight, has had at least one steal in every game to start this season.
    - With 19 points tonight, Nicolas Batum has scored at least 19 points in three straight games, which has happened only one other time in his career (March 20-25, 2011).
    Wesley Matthews tied a career-high with 10 made free throws. Matthews was 10-of-10 from the charity stripe.
    - Matthews scored eight of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.
    - Meyers Leonard tied a career-high with two blocks.
    - Entering tonight, Atlanta was allowing opponents an average of 11.4 offensive rebounds per game. The Trail Blazers recorded 16 offensive boards, and outrebounded the Hawks 47-41 overall.
    - Coming into tonight’s contest, Portland ranked 10th in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game (12.5). After 16 offensive rebounds tonight, the Trail Blazers’ advantage in offensive boards this season is 91-63.

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