Trail Blazers vs Sixers Saturday, 12/29/12 AT 07:00PM

Postgame Notes And Quotes: Final Contest Of 2012

  1. Written by: sarahhecht

    Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012    Final Score: Portland 89, Philadelphia 85



     “It was good to bounce back after last night and play better. It’s good to be home. We, for the most part, played a solid game without too many let-ups. I thought Nicolas Batum – he’s hard to take out of the game. He takes on, when it’s the fourth quarter, he takes the toughest perimeter defensive assignment, he’s facilitating, he’s getting rebounds, he’s just really, especially with Wes out, he’s really been able to hold things together.”

    On Holiday’s success and choice to put Batum on him later in the game:
    “Well I thought he made some tough shots. He hit a 3 that I thought was well contested and hit a baseline shot with 1 on the shot clock. I thought he made some tough shots. The reason to put Nic on him is he’s our best perimeter defender. Like we’ve done in the past, when there’s a player going, Nic usually ends up on him. Nic with his athleticism and length, makes it difficult. Some of those shots he made, he may not make with Nic on him. Nic has the ability to control penetration, contest shots, and stay with guys. I thought he did a terrific job on Holiday.”

    Did you talk to Batum about shooting more?/On Batum’s offense:
    “In the beginning of the season, it seemed like he was trying to score a lot. Now, when he has 8 assists, it used to be a career high and now nobody thinks anything of it. Now it’s blending them both and doing what the game dictates. Again, I think he’s doing what the team needs, whether it’s facilitating or scoring or rebounding.”

    On slow pace of game:
    “Philly does a nice job of dictating their tempo. It’s hard to get out and run. We tried to with our rebounding and transition, but we can only dictate half the possessions of the game. What we have to do is, when a team is slowing down their side, we can’t let that affect what we do offensively. We have to stay solid defensively, but we can’t get the ball and hold it and walk it up. You spend a lot of energy defensively against a team that plays slow possessions, so the tendency is to take a breather, but we can’t afford to do that.”

    Did team take advantage of December 29, 2012
    “I would think so – I mean, we’re 11 and 4 at home. The four – other than the Sacramento loss – we couldn’t have done much better I don’t think. It was 1 loss at home in December? So yeah, I’d say we took advantage of it.”

    “The road is a challenge – the road is a challenge for everybody in the NBA. We’ve got a very good home record, top ten in the league. I think we’re about 20th with our road record. There are teams that struggle. We’ve got our challenge – we play four good teams, four games in five nights on the road. So we need to bring it every night and come back here. I don’t want to say how many wins – we’d love to win all of them, but we’ll see how it goes.”

    On Price’s defense, especially late in the game:
    “Ronnie was good. He was very active and he came up with some loose balls. He covered some ground on rotations and came up with the ball. Defensively, he took his individual challenge. I don’t think he necessarily got scored on, we did some switching, but I thought his activity and alertness and aggressiveness, toughness really made an impact on the game in the fourth quarter.”

    On bouncing back after tough loss to Lakers last night:
    “Yeah, not just individually but as a team, we wanted to bounce back and have better performances from each one of us. We wanted to protect home court and I think we did a good job of that tonight.”

    On defense, playing slow pace:
    “We knew going in to the game that they are top 5 in possessions per game, so we knew that every possession or every opportunity that we had to score or get a stop was crucial. We knew that before the game and that’s something that coach emphasized. We executed the game plan.”

    Was offensive rebounding a key?
    “That really wasn’t the key, a big key was defensive rebounds. I don’t know how many rebounds we had defensively, or how many offensive rebounds we gave up, but I felt like we did a good job with that tonight. When it was time to lock down and get stops, we did that.”

    On taking advantage of home games:
    “It’s definitely important. We know that we can win at home. We have the crowd behind us, they’re definitely our sixth man. But we have to learn to be winners on the road. The good teams in this league win on the road and they get stops on the road and they grind games out on the road. So we’re looking forward to this four game road trip and hopefully it will be better than the last long road trip we had.”


    - Portland has now defeated Philadelphia three consecutive times for the first time since winning three straight against the 76ers from Jan. 10, 2001-Feb. 25, 2002.
    - The Trail Blazers have won seven straight home games for the first time since March 5-April 3, 2011, when the team won eight consecutive games at the Rose Garden.
    - JJ Hickson recorded his 18th double-double of the season, finishing with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Hickson is tied with Dwight Howard for the third most double-doubles in the NBA this season (Z. Randolph, 21; D. Lee, 19).
    - Nicolas Batum finished tonight with 22 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. Batum now has at least eight assists in six of the past eight games after entering the season with a career high of seven.
    - Batum’s six games with at least eight assists are the second most by a non-guard in the NBA this season (LeBron James, 10).
    - Damian Lillard recorded his 15th game of at least 20 points tonight, finishing with 20 points vs. the 76ers.
    - Victor Claver finished with a career-high eight points, shooting 3-of-4 from the field. - The Trail Blazers improved to 4-2 when Claver is in the starting lineup this season.
    - Ronnie Price recorded a season-high three steals tonight. Price has tallied at least two steals in each of the past four games, and at least one takeaway in the previous seven contests. Over those seven games, Price is averaging 1.71 steals per game.
    - Nicolas Batum had made 33 straight free throws between Dec. 1 at Cleveland and tonight’s game.
    - JJ Hickson tied his season high of two steals in the first quarter alone.
    - The Trail Blazers have now held their last seven opponents at the Rose Garden under 94 points.

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