Trail Blazers vs Cavaliers Wednesday, 01/16/13 AT 07:00PM

Postgame Notes And Quotes: Comeback Not Enough

  1. Written by: sarahhecht

    Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013    Final Score: Cleveland 93, Portland 88



     “It was a very good effort the second half from us. We got down 17 at half, I thought Cleveland obviously, the first half played harder and played better than we did. But we fought. It was unfortunate – we’ve lost four close ones in a row. Before that, we won four close ones. We’ve got to get back on track as far as making plays in the last two minutes of the game. I’m pretty sure that will happen. These have been pretty tightly contested, emotional games. Obviously last night in Denver – so we just got to recoup, take tomorrow off and be ready for Saturday.”

    On emotional toll of losing several close games in a row:
    “Probably more so afterwords. When you get in the heat of a contest, in the fourth quarter, I think all that’s out the window. I think the effects afterwards is when you feel it. I don’t think anybody’s thinking about that in the fourth quarter. We’re competing and we’re trying to win a game.”

    On Cleveland defending Lillard:
    “They put a big body on him. They didn’t put Irving on him, which to be honest, that’s a compliment to Damian and how important he is to our team. They put a bigger body on him and picked him up early. Like a lot of teams who try and do that, it’s difficult to do that an entire game. They did it in the first half and they wore out, I don’t think they did it as much in the second half. They still had Gee on him. They made him a priority. But I thought Damian, especially the second half, the way he came out in the second half, he was very patient. He made three great passes to LA. LA made two shots and swung the ball to Wes for a third one. Those three shots, which got us right back in the game, were a direct result of Damian being patient and making a pass out of the double team. Cleveland, like I said, teams are making Damian a priority just like LA is a priority when teams try and double him. He’s patient enough to know his opportunity with the ball is going to come back. He’s just got to make plays and we’ll make them pay on the weak side.”

    On late offensive possessions:
    “The quick two to LA, I was very happy with that. There was plenty of time on the clock. The second time, we had a pick and roll. You want to create something. He made a decision, and JJ – if it’s an and-one, it’s a great decision. As it turned out, it wasn’t, he missed the free throws. It seems like every game you want me to comment on their decision making and they’re out there and they’re making plays. Damian came off the ball screen, they doubled him, he passed it to JJ, JJ went up strong, got fouled and that’s it. There was still a lot of time when JJ took the free throws and we still had a timeout. If he makes both free throws, then we go for a three the next time.”

    On difference tonight:
    “Turnovers. Turnovers gave them too many second chance points. They played harder than us. It’s hard to beat any team jumping out to a 17 point deficit, but we fought back. We just didn’t finish it.

    Was fatigue a factor?
    “Naw, there’s no excuses. They played better than us for a half and we couldn’t get out of the hole.”

    On going 4-4 in last 8 games, all close games:
    “Most of our games have been four-point games the last eight and they can go any way. We’ll take being four and four, we’re not happy with it. We feel like we could have won every single one of those and probably should have. It’s how the ball bounces sometimes. We’ve just got to learn from it. This is the way we were kind of losing earlier in the season and we turned that around, so we’ll turn it back around.

    On giving Cleveland credit:
    “They played hard. They just outplayed us. They played hard, they looked like a fresher team. They came in our building with a game plan and once we slowed down and took our time and started making some shots, we took the lead.”


    - Series history … Cleveland’s win tonight snapped a four-game winning streak for Portland in the series …The Trail Blazers now lead the all-time series with the Cavaliers 62-49, including 38-18 at home.

    - Down to the wire … Eight straight Trail Blazers games have been decided by six points or fewer since Jan. 11-25, 1979 (Elias).

    - Double-double city … LaMarcus Aldridge (15 points, 10 rebounds), Nicolas Batum (23 points, 12 rebounds) and JJ Hickson (13 points, 11 rebounds) all recorded double-doubles tonight …Tonight marked the third 20-point, 10 rebound game of Batum’s career.

    - Among league leaders … JJ Hickson recorded his 22nd double-double tonight, which is tied with Dwight Howard for the third most in the NBA this season.

    - Downtown living … Nicolas Batum has made multiple 3-pointers in eight straight games, the longest such streak of his career.

    - Elite company … LaMarcus Aldridge is one of eight NBA players this season to record multiple games of at least 15 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

    - Turning it over … Nicolas Batum finished with a career-high nine turnovers … Batum’s seven first half turnovers tied a franchise record for most turnovers in a half (6 times; last C. Drexler, 1/22/91 vs. Phoenix).

    - Just shy … Nicolas Batum’s 12 rebounds is one off a season high (13, Dec. 3 at Charlotte).

    - Boxing out … The Trail Blazers grabbed a season-high 54 rebounds tonight (53, twice; last vs. Sacramento, Dec. 26).

    - Career high … Tristan Thompson tied a season high with 19 points tonight (Jan. 4 at Charlotte).

My Starting 5

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This photo: Batum Flushes It Home Against The Cavs / put this photo on your page

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