Trail Blazers vs Rockets Friday, 11/16/12 AT 07:00PM

Post-Game Notes And Quotes: Another Overtime Success

11/16/12
  1. Written by: sarahhecht

    Friday, Nov. 16, 2012    Final Score: Portland 119, Houston 117 (OT)

    HEAD COACH TERRY STOTTS

    “It was a hell of a game. We kind of make it interesting, but I think one thing that’s kind of been evident with our team so far this year is that we compete until the end. For a long stretch of the game, it wasn’t the way we wanted it but when it mattered, we played pretty well.”

    On Batum:
    “Nic had a roll going – that stretch where everything was going in and then he came back in and he stayed hot. The shots that he made were not easy but he made it look easy.”

    “When you win a game, you look at all the positives. We had a lot of good effort offensively and defensively. Jared Jeffries comes in and takes two charges and changes the dynamics of the game with his defense just like he did in Sacramento. Meyers Leonard added energy and rim protection. Obviously, all the offensive players did what they did. Wes Matthews took the challenge of guarding Harden – actually the whole team did. We blitzed him and tried to make his pick and rolls difficult on him. So there’s a lot of praise to go around.”

    “Meyers was good. Meyers is a good shooter. People haven’t gotten to see him shoot that much but hes a good free throw shooter, he’s a good mid-range shooter. But he was extremely active on his pick and roll defense. He was showing on multiple pick and rolls on the same possession. He changed some shots around the rim. It was a good performance.”

    On coming back to Aldridge after Lillard taking many of the shots late in fourth:
    “It was by design. When Asik fouled out, we wanted to go to LaMarcus. It’s hard for one guy to carry it. Nic had his spurt and Damian had his spurt and we needed LaMarcus to change it up, rather than have a steady diet of the same thing.”

    Is it a win that a young team can ride a bit?
    “I hope so. But to me, it was very similar to our game down in Houston. The first half, we were out of sorts at both ends of the court in both these games. We came out in the second half with more determination, we trusted the pass more, and again, it went into overtime like it did in Houston. I thought the two games were very similar. That being said, in Houston, I was hoping that would be a defining game for us the way we won it, and this game was very similar.”

    DAMIAN LILLARD
    On getting hot late in the game:
    “I think I just got open looks at the end of the game. Nic got hot and he really carried us and then LA was hot also. He made a lot of shots. I think the defense just ended up having to suck in on them and I started to get looks and I just got going. “

    On Batum’s performance:
    “He was great. It’s not the first time I’ve seen him get hot like that. I’ve seen it in practice but I’ve seen it in games also. I think tonight, we really needed it. It lasted a long time. Usually when people get hot, it will be in a short spurt, but he was hot for a few quarters. We really needed him.”

    On both games w/ Rockets going to OT:
    “Well they’re one of those teams that we’re going to be in the same distance, we’re going to be in the same situation. It’s important for us to win these games. They’re a western conference team and will probably be in the same range we will be toward the end of the season. They understand that, so it’s important for us to not only win those games but to take care of home.”

    MEYERS LEONARD
    On playing minutes down the stretch:
    “We were just kind of on a roll with the lineup he had in. I was playing pretty well. Our defensive scheme was working well with how many ball screens they run and trying to spread the floor. So I think it was just the situation of the game. Every game changes, but I always give my full effort.”

    POSTGAME NOTES

    - Nicolas Batum set two new career highs against Houston: 13 field goals and five blocks. - Batum also tied a career high with 35 points.
    - Batum is the first player to record at least 35 points and five blocks in a game since Dwyane Wade on March 25, 2011.
    - Batum is one of only two NBA players to score at least 33 points twice this season, the other being James Harden.
    - Batum has made at least four 3-pointers in three games this season. He has made at least two shots from distance in five straight games, and in seven of nine games this season.
    - Batum has recorded at least one steal in every game this season.
    - After scoring a career-high 27 points, Damian Lillard is the first NBA player with at least 20 points in six of his first nine career games since Allen Iverson in 1996.
    16 of Lillard’s 27 points came in the last 4:05 of regulation and overtime.
    - Three Trail Blazers scored 27-plus points (Batum, 35; Aldridge, 29; Lillard, 27) for the first time since Nov. 14, 1997 (Rider, 35; Grant, 34; Sabonis, 31). (Elias)
    - LaMarcus Aldridge tied a season high with 29 points.
    - The Trail Blazers are now 2-0 against Houston this season, with both wins coming in overtime. Three of the last five regular season games between Portland and the Rockets have gone to overtime.
    - Portland is the only team this season with two overtime wins, and the Trail Blazers and Rockets are the only NBA teams that have played two overtime games this season.
    - Tonight marked the Trail Blazers’ first win this season when they were trailing heading into the fourth quarter.
    - Meyers Leonard played a career-high 27 minutes, and finished with a career-best eight points along with eight rebounds.
    - Wesley Matthews tied a season high with five assists.
    - Portland’s 119 points scored set a season high. The team also shot a season-best 51.2 percent from the floor, and set a season high with 44 field goals.
    - The Trail Blazers’ starters scored 109 points tonight. Entering this evening’s game, Portland’s starting five led the league in scoring, averaging 85.1 points per game.

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