Trail Blazers vs Nuggets Wednesday, 02/27/13 AT 07:30PM

Postgame Notes And Quotes: Close Loss To Denver

02/27/13
  1. Written by: sarahhecht

    Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013    Final Score: Denver 111, Portland 109

    POSTGAME QUOTES

    HEAD COACH TERRY STOTTS

    “It was our third good game in a row, we’ve just come up short on two out of three. I liked the way that we competed in the second half. They’re a talented team and they caused a lot of problems on the defensive end by what they do, but we stayed with it. We put ourselves in a position to win or go to overtime. It’s a tough loss, but Denver has been playing well.

    On going to Aldridge on last play of the game:
    “I liked the matchup. I knew they had Chandler on him. I knew he’d get a good look and he did, he just missed it.”
    “He got a great look – better than the look he got against Dallas.”

    On playing a faster tempo:
    “We scored, they scored. We needed to take better care of the ball, but we got back in the game because we got some transition and we ran out. To beat a team like Denver, you’ve got to score and you’ve got to get it out. They have a lot of length, they switch a lot of things. Every time we made a run, it was because we got some stops and were able to get it out and run.”

    On Lillard and Lawson matchup:
    “It was good. I thought the charge that Damian took on him in the first half was a big play, especially having two fouls. Lawson is playing at a high level. I thought Damian held  his own against him.”

    On Iguodala’s performance
    “He made two threes which you don’t expect him to do, but they’re putting him a position where he’s able to make a lot of plays either as a passer, driver, shooter. It’s probably the best game he’s had against us in the three games. He had struggled up in Denver, but he’s a talented player.”

    DAMIAN LILLARD
    On tough loss:
    “It was tough. We needed to win this game. We came up short. I thought we played hard as a team and to come up short at the end, we probably made a few mistakes that we could have prevented. It sucked to come up short at the end of a game that you really needed to win.”

    On matchup against Lawson:
    ‘It was what I thought it was going to be. I knew he was going to be in attack mode the whole game and I attacked him back. He’s probably the fastest point guard in the league and he used the screen and rolls really well. I wanted to guard him and he guarded me. A few times, he lined me up and took me. He used the screen and roll really well. He played a good game and their team played a good game.”

    On going to Aldridge on last possessions: “I always put my money on LA. If we had to do it all over again, I’d probably do the same thing. That’s our All Star, best player, and that’s his shot. I thought it was going in. I’m sure that next time it will go in.”

    On playoff chances:
    “I think we still have got a chance. Until it says we can’t catch any team for eighth, then that’s when we’ll be out. We can string wins together at any point. As long as there’s a window open, we’ve got a chance.”

    On quiet locker room after the loss:
    “We know what time it is. That’s what comes with it. Guys putting everything out there at this time of the season because we know we’ve got a chance, and when you come up short on your home floor when you play hard like that, this is the type of feeling you have.”

    POSTGAME NOTES


    - Series history … Denver’s win tonight is the first time in the last 13 meetings between the Trail Blazers and Nuggets that the road team won … The last time Denver won at the Rose Garden was on Oct. 29, 2009, a 97-94 win.

    - Doing it all … Nicolas Batum finished with 10 points, six rebounds, nine assists, five steals and three blocks … Batum is the only player this season to have a game of at least 10 points, nine assists, five steals and three blocks, and he has now done it twice this season (Dec. 16 vs. New Orleans).

    - Double-double machine … JJ Hickson recorded his 31st double-double of the season, finishing with 18 points and 14 rebounds … Hickson has recorded a double-double in all three games against Denver this season, and is averaging 18.3 points and 15.0 rebounds per contest against the Nuggets in 2012-13.

    - Consistency … Hickson has now shot 50.0 percent or better from the field in 20 straight games, extending his franchise-long streak for consecutive games of at least 50.0 percent field goal shooting.

    - Birthday present … On his 21st birthday, Meyers Leonard set a new career high with 13 points (12, twice) … Leonard also tied a career best with five made free throws.

    - Amongst league leaders … LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 22 points, making 11 field goals … Aldridge is third in the NBA with 19 games of at least 11 made field goals (LeBron James, 25 games; Kobe Bryant, 23).

    - Moving on up … With 11 field goals tonight, Aldridge passed Rasheed Wallace for eighth on Portland’s all-time field goals made list, and now sits at 3,640 made field goals in his career.

    - From downtown … Wesley Matthews has now made at least four 3-pointers in three straight games, tying his career long streak for consecutive games of at least four made shots from 3-point range … Matthews has achieved the feat four other times, and twice this season.

    - Close call … Tonight marked just the second loss this season for Portland in games decided by two points or fewer … The Trail Blazers are now 8-2 in the category.

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