Trail Blazers vs Pelicans Sunday, 12/16/12 AT 06:00PM

Postgame Notes And Quotes: 'Big Time' Shots

  1. Written by: sarahhecht

    Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012    Final Score: Portland 95, New Orleans 94


    “It was a hell of a game. We played a good game. We won each of the first three quarters. Their rebounding and three point shooting obviously kept them in the game and got them in a position to win the game, but we bent but didn’t break. I was pleased with that. I thought we got the lead to about 14 or 16 and had some loose positions where we got loose with the transition, didn’t come up with a loose ball – we could have pushed our lead a bit more and I think that kind of bit us as we went forward.”

    “It would have been certainly disappointing to lose because I thought we played a good game. From start to finish, we were pretty much in control of the game. They got hot, but winning the game is ultimately the most important thing. We had some injuries. Wes went down, Sasha went down and LA went down, so it was a good one to get.”

    On Batum playing a facilitating roll:
    “That’s something I told him after the game – one of my hopes for him was to expand his role as a facilitator, as a playmaker,  not just as a scorer and not just as a catch and shoot guy. I think he relishes that versatility. And on top of that, he was pretty good in every defensive assignment he had tonight. He was guarding Rivers, he was guarding Anderson – he’s kind of doing a little bit of everything which is the direction I’d like him to go.”

    On Hickson’s game and team passing well:
    “On a night were we struggled rebounding the ball, he was really important. They had 16 offensive rebounds, we had 22 defensive and JJ had most of them. His offense was terrific. JJ was fantastic offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding, p[assing the ball. The other thing I do want to say is that I thought this was our best passing game of the year. We had a lot of assists but we even had a lot of just the ball movement for the first three and a half quarters was the best we’ve had all year. It was fun to watch.”

    On talking through end sequence:
     “There was 11 seconds left and we were just going to run flat and I was going to take the last shot. But we knew they had a foul to give. I tried to get the shot off when he went to foul me with 4 seconds left. At the end it was a play like we did in Cleveland. If Nic wasn’t open, I would throw it to Luke, get the handback and try to get a shot off. Luke did a good job of coming to the ball, he handed it back to me and I got a good look.”

    On emotion of making the shot:
    “I was excited to win the game. We had a big lead, we let them fight back and tie the game up and we were looking at overtime, so I was kind of relieved and excited at the same time.”

    On thoughts at end of game:
     “I did not want to go to overtime, but if we did go to overtime I had confidence because we’re undefeated in overtime so far. So overtime wouldn’t have been bad, but for the sake of us getting our rest, I would like for the game to have ended, which it did. Dame hit a big shot and the game was over.”

    On game winning shot:
    “Heck of a shot. I would have liked for the game to be over, but they had 0.3 to get it in. We let them get the tip and we won it.

    On own performance:
    “I just try to come in and play hard and be consistent. That’s something that I’ve been working on my whole career is being consistent night in and night out. I’m starting to show people this is what you’re going to get on a daily basis and I’m trying to get extra possessions for our team and do what a 5-man does.”

    On Lillard’s game winning shot:
     “Big time. It should never have got to that point, but we’ll credit New Orleans a little bit. They were shooting the ball very well. They made like 10, 11, 12 threes or something like that at a 50-something percent clip. That’s credit to them and also bad on our part allowing a team we know shoots the three ball as well as they do, do that. But hey, we faught, we dug out of it and Damian hit a big time shot.”


    - The Trail Blazers have now defeated the Hornets five consecutive meetings, and four straight times at the Rose Garden.
    - Nicolas Batum is the first ever Trail Blazer to record at least 10 assists, five steals and five blocks in a game (Elias).
    - Batum is the first NBA player with at least 10 assists, five steals and five blocks in a game since Jamaal Tinsley on Nov. 16, 2001.
    - A game after setting a career high with eight assists, Batum set a new career best with 10 assists tonight. Batum also tied his career high with five blocks.
    - Batum recorded his 11th career double-double, his first with points and assists.
    - JJ Hickson scored a season-high 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting (71.4 percent) and grabbed 16 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season. Hickson ranks tied for seventh in the NBA in double-doubles.
    - Tonight marked the first time in Hickson’s career that he recorded at least 24 points and 16 rebounds in a game.
    - Over his past five games, Hickson is shooting 67.8 percent (36-of-53) from the field.
    - Entering tonight, Hickson was eighth in the NBA in field goal percentage, shooting 55.5 percent from the floor.
    - Hickson has recorded five straight double-doubles, his longest streak as a Trail Blazer.
    - Hickson set a season best with 10 field goals tonight.
    - LaMarcus Aldridge, with 20 points tonight, has scored 20-plus points in three straight games.
    - Luke Babbitt scored in double-digits (10 points) for the second consecutive game.
    - Babbitt, with two made 3-pointers tonight, has made at least two shots from beyond the arc in seven straight games.
    - Portland’s 25 assists are the most in regulation this season for the Trail Blazers.

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This photo: Hickson Rebounding In Traffic / put this photo on your page

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