Trail Blazers vs Timberwolves Friday, 11/23/12 AT 07:00PM

Post-Game Notes And Quotes: Bounce-Back Win At Home

11/23/12
  1. Written by: sarahhecht

    Friday, Nov. 23, 2012    Final Score: Portland 103, Minnesota 95

    HEAD COACH TERRY STOTTS

    “Needless to say, it was a good bounce-back win for us after our game in phoenix. We really emphasized defense and the fact that they shot 35% after the first quarter, our guys really buckled down. We had a lot of good efforts off the bench. A lot of guys took their responsibilities and did a lot of good things. Obviously, scoring-wise, Damian and Wes had it going, but I was really proud of our defense. That was an area we needed to improve on and tonight we did.

    On what you liked about defense specifically:
    “Our activity level, our alertness, our physical nature in the paint, not giving up as many easy baskets – I thought I saw just an intensity in the guys’ face about how important it was.”

    On losing rebounding and free throw categories, but winning the game:
    “I’ve been saying this a long time – if you look at our stat sheets, we don’t’ win a lot of categories a lot of times. We beat Chicago when they outscored us by 20 in the paint. Tonight they shoot almost 20 more free throws. There’s no one way – there’s not a definitive way to win a game. I think it’s important for us that how we play is important. Sometimes it’s not going to be defined by a box score or winning a certain category, it’s just playing with a rhythm on the offensive end and with a certain amount of intensity and grit on the defensive end.”

    On backcourt play:
    “I thought the bench minutes that Ronnie and Jared and Sasha gave us in the second half were invaluable. The backcourt, Damian’s scoring, his pick and roll decisions and scoring kept us afloat. I thought he and Ronnie played well together, defensively as well. Their guards, Ridnour scored in the first half, I don’t know what he had in the second half but I thought the defense that our guards played out front was really important.”

    WESLEY MATTHEWS

    Thoughts on game:
    “It was good. They shot 41 percent for the game. They had something outrageous like 17 offensive rebounds or something like that. That’s what kept the game close, but I’m proud of the way we played. We bounced back, we were down 5 at half and we just kept fighting. Our whole emphasis was low [defensive] field goal percentage and that’s what we did tonight.”

    On hot hand along with Lillard:
    “We were just taking what the defense gave us. Our screens were great and our teammates were finding us. We put the ball in the basket tonight.”

    Did you feel “in the zone”?
    “Yeah, I felt good. I had a good warm-up. I felt like I need a game like this. There hasn’t been too many games where I really felt good, but I was more happy with the defensive performance on my behalf and on the team’s behalf.”

    LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE
    On guard play tonight:
    “They played great. I thought Wes and Dame definitely picked up the slack tonight. They came out ready to go, made shots and that’s big for us.”

    On upcoming 7-game road trip:
    “Just have to take it game by game. It’s a long road trip, a lot of games. Some are decent teams so we have to be ready to go.”

    POSTGAME NOTES

    - The Trail Blazers have now defeated the Timberwolves in 13 of the last 14 meetings at the Rose Garden.
    - Damian Lillard set new career highs with 28 points and 11 field goals. Lillard also recorded his fifth game of the season with at least six assists.
    - Lillard is the first rookie to record at least 28 points and eight assists without a turnover since Stephen Curry on March 15, 2010.
    - Lillard’s 28 points are tied for the most by an NBA rookie this season.
    - Lillard has scored 20-plus points eight times this season. All other NBA rookies have a combined 11 20-point games.
    - Wesley Matthews scored a season-high 30 points, the seventh time in his career that he has hit the 30-point barrier. Matthews also set a season high with five 3-pointers, on six attempts.
    - Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard have made at least one 3-pointer in every game this season. Entering tonight, Lillard ranked tied for ninth in the NBA in shots from distance, and Matthews ranked tied for 18th in the league in 3-pointers.
    - Matthews and Lillard combined to score 58 of Portland’s points tonight, shooting 23-of-34 from the field and 9-of-14 from 3-point land.
    - JJ Hickson recorded his sixth double-double of the season, which leads the Trail Blazers. It was also Hickson’s eighth double-digit rebounding effort of the season. Before tonight’s contest, Hickson ranked eighth in the league in rebounds per game, averaging 10.6 boards per contest.
    - The Trail Blazers shot a season-best 53.8 percent (42-78) from the floor.
    - Portland shot 2-of-7 from beyond the arc in the first quarter, and 9-of-18 the rest of the game.
    - The Timberwolves’ 17 fourth quarter points is the least points scored in the final period by a Portland opponent this season.
    - The Trail Blazers held Minnesota to one assist in the fourth quarter.
    - The 15 assists by the Timberwolves is a season low by a Portland opponent this season.

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