Trail Blazers vs Timberwolves Saturday, 01/05/13 AT 05:00PM

Postgame Notes And Quotes: Big Win In Minny

  1. Written by: sarahhecht

    January 5, 2013    Trail Blazers 102, Timberwolves 97



    "Thrilled to have a 3-1 road trip. Tonight we pulled it through. It was a learning experience giving up the lead but I'm glad we were able to learn and still get the win."

    On what he learned about his team his week on this trip...
    "I don't know how much I have learned. We talked about improving and winning on the road. Going into this road trip we talked about what it would take to win on the road from an individual and team standpoint. We are pretty determined and we went into some places that are pretty difficult to play and came up with the win. The Toronto loss was disappointing, so we can't get too full of ourselves. But certainly going 3-1 on this road trip was a positive step. What I have learned from the team I don't know it's everyday. I don't know that it's any one thing that has stood out."

    On their shooting standing out tonight...
    "Yeah we had it rolling. The three-point line was rolling tonight. Some of them were tough, some were wide open, good execution, good passing but if you shoot the three that well you should win by more than five."

    On Minnesota coming back in the fourth...
    "I give a lot of credit to Minnesota the way they played in the fourth quarter. They were the more aggressive team. We dialed it back. We made some mental mistakes. Because we were making the three we may have got a little too happy and loosened up defensively and we had breakdowns. Minnesota kept playing. They are athletic. They made shots. They were aggressive defensively. They did a lot of good things. They deserved to get back into the game the way they were playing." 

    "They've already had a game where they came back from 20 something down and we just didn't want that to be us. They are a tough team, they play hard every minute and we were able to withstand that.

    The team went to Aldridge late
    "Of course, that's our All-Star. He makes big plays and has been doing that for a long time and he came up huge for us on that possession."

    The team had energy 2nd night of back-to-back
    "No, we're supposed too.  Regardless of back-to-back games or four games in five nights on the road, we've got to play and that's what we did. We still came out a little sluggish but we said we're not going to let that happen again like it did in Toronto. We put a stop to it and were able to string some stuff to build a comfortable lead."

    The team had 3-point success
    "We got hot, we were taking good ones and shots were falling for us. The team was finding us and the ball was moving and we were able to knock them down."

    You started hot, were you feeling it?
    "Yeah, I got one shot, two shot, three shots. On the first 10 points I made, it wasn't a crazy thing, I just played basketball like I used to do."

    Were you hot during warm-ups?
    "I was tired during warm-ups. I wanted to play this game and get out of here. I was tired."

    The team is improving on the road
    "We're getting better on the road. The last couple of games I've said we've started to gain confidence and started to believe a little more and I think it showed on this trip with some of the wins we came up with.

    The team didn't panic in the 4th
    They finally made their big run. We've done it before and been on the other side, so we knew it was important for us to stay calm and weather the storm and we were able to do that.

    "Wes Matthews performance tonight was big"
    He did, the last two games he's been playing really well. I think it was just a matter of time before he got his rhythm back from being out for a little while and getting his legs back under him. That's what we need from him. Not just making big shots like he has, but he's our best defender and does a great job on both ends and that's the best thing about him. He plays hard on both ends every possession. If we can get that out of him all of the time we'll be on the up and up.


    - Portland connected on a franchise-record-tying 16 three-pointers tonight, including five each from Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum. The 16 three-pointers are the most given up by the Wolves this season. Portland came into tonight just 26th in the league in three-point percentage at 33.4%.
    - Tonight's win is Portland's 10th in its last 13 games. The Blazers came into tonight 7th in the Western Conference, a few percentage points ahead of Denver and 1/2 game ahead of Minnesota.
    - Portland went on a 21-4 run bridging the first and second quarters to take a 35-21 lead.
    Nicolas Batum scored the first seven points of the game for the Blazers en route to 26 (9-of-11 FG) tonight. He made five three-pointers tonight for his 7th game of the season with 5+ three-point makes.
    - Wesley Mathews scored 26 points on 8-of-15 shooting, 5-of-7 from long distance. He came into tonight averaging 21.5 ppg, on 51.7% shooting, over his last eight games. He has now registered six 20-pt games in his last nine contests.

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