Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Magic
(On the second half): “They missed a few shots. I thought pretty much all game long, we tried to pressure them and do some good things defensively. The Magic do a great job of executing their offense. They hit some big shots. Their bigs were killing us tonight. They were hitting shots, getting offensive rebounds and in the first half, they just kind of dominated our guys. In the second half, we got a little more aggressive and physical...Basically, it just came down to getting a few stops and then we started making some shots in the third and fourth quarter. Our second unit, again, did a good job of igniting everything in the second half, especially going into the fourth quarter. Overall, it’s still a good win. I still would like to get that defensive field goal percentage a little bit lower than what it was tonight. Fifty-two percent against us tonight and we can’t have that, especially tomorrow night against Denver.”
(On their recent wins): “I think our guys are just starting to trust each other. I feel they bought in to what we’ve been trying to do from day one. Buying into trusting each other is a whole different story. Right now, they’re just trusting each other out there on the floor. It’s all about trying to get a victory…Guys are playing team basketball and that’s the reason I think we’ve been successful the last couple of weeks and it’s something that we have to continue to do.”
(On team expectations): “My expectations of us as a team are a little bit higher than 11-11 in the last 22 games…We’re definitely making steps in the right direction. My expectations of putting pressure on our guys to be even better is what I want to do and I want them to understand that. This is good. We’re playing good basketball right now but we can play better. I think when we get to the point where I’m not challenging them like that, then we have a problem…I want to win every night. Even with our last couple of wins, you can still pick out some negative things that we haven’t done well and we have to make sure we address those things to get better. That’s the only way we’ll grow. So tonight, we won a game, but we have to do a better job defensively.”
(On if he has fun watching the bench produce): “It makes my job a lot easier. Just to come out there and play my game and then finishing the game with some of our bench players who are good as well. Wayne (Ellington) hit a big three and the bench did a hell of a job keeping the lead.”
(On if the team is starting to trust each other more): “Absolutely. We’re trying to build a family here and we have a great group of guys who are willing to give a piece of themselves for the team. They know their role and our second unit outweighs the experience of our starters by a lot, I can tell you that.”
(On keeping the team turnovers down): “That’s our job every night. We want to keep them under 12 every night. We’re still trying to make plays for each other and we’re just trusting each other like Coach Scott says to. It’s helping us get wins.”
(On if he finds the bench’s chemistry surprising): “I’m a little bit surprised but at the same time, it’s our effort. We’re not doing anything too special. We’re not doing anything out of the ordinary. We’re just playing our game and are helping each other on the defensive end. We’re giving 100 percent effort.”
(On facing Denver tomorrow night): “They’ve got a great team and they get out in transition a lot. They’ve got guys who make shots; they’ve got high-flyers. It’ll be a big-time challenge for us with it being a back-to-back. This one right here doesn’t mean much unless we come out tomorrow and play the same way.”
Magic Head Coach Jacque Vaughn
(On the game): “We started off early with too many turnovers. Transition turnovers hurt us early and then (in the) second half, fouling hurt us.”
(On the Cavaliers “bigs” performance): “You have to give credit to their bigs for being relentless at going after the boards and causing the referees to make the foul call. Our bigs can take note of that and do that on the other end.”
(On Alonzo Gee guarding Jameer Nelson): “It might have slowed our offense down a little bit because we had to come back to the basketball on outlets a little bit. Alonzo is a good defender and put size on Jameer. I think early it did hurt us a little bit.”
(On the Magic’s fouling issues): “That’s just too many easy points. Also we gave them a lot of second chance opportunities. We have to foul a lot less. I think we did a solid job defensively but we gave them a lot of free throws.”
(On his performance): “I had an aggressive mentality tonight. I just wanted to go out and basically compete. Coach says when we compete, we give ourselves a chance every game and I think we’ve been doing a relatively good job of that.”
(On how the Magic is handling their current losing streak): “We’re still together. We still talk. We’re always together as one unit so whether we win or lose we are still collectively together.”
• The Cavaliers have now won three straight games and six of their last seven at The Q. Cleveland has won six of their last eight contests and are 6-1 against their last seven Eastern Conference opponents. The Cavs have scored at least 115 points in their last three contests and are averaging 108.3 points over their last seven games at The Q. The last time the Cavs scored at least 115 points in three straight games happened between January 15-20, 1993.
• Cleveland had 23 assists and a season-low tying six turnovers tonight. Over their last seven home games, the Cavaliers are averaging 27.1 assists to just 10.9 turnovers
• The Cavs shot 34-41 (.829) from the foul line tonight and are shooting .811 (382-471) from the charity stripe since December 28th. Cleveland also had a season-high 34 free throws made.
• The Cavs reserves outscored the Magic’s bench 51-15 tonight. Cleveland’s bench is averaging 49.3 points over the last four games. The Cavaliers have had at least two players score in double figures off the bench in seven straight games.
• Kyrie Irving finished with a team-high 24 points on 9-17 (.529) shooting, a season-high tying six rebounds, eight assists, one steal and one block in 35 minutes. Over his last 17 games since January 4th, Irving is averaging 25.5 points, including shooting .486 from the three-point line and .901 from the foul line, 3.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.3 steals in 35.1 minutes per game.
• Marreese Speights recorded 18 points, including a perfect 12-12 from the foul line, and five rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. The last time a Cavs bench player went 12-12 from the free throw line was Ramon Sessions on January 5, 2011 vs. the Raptors. Speights has scored in double figures in each of his seven games as a Cavalier and is averaging 15.1 points and 7.0 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per game during that span.
• Tristan Thompson tallied 16 points on 7-11 (.636) shooting from the field, five rebounds, two steals and one block in 27 minutes. Over his last 24 games, Thompson is averaging 14.7 points on .535 shooting and 10.9 rebounds in 34.0 minutes per game.
• Dion Waiters poured in 15 points on 6-10 (.600) shooting, two rebounds, two assists and two steals in 27 minutes and is averaging 20.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals in two career contests against Orlando.
• Wayne Ellington added 14 points, including connecting on 3-5 (.600) three-pointers, in 25 minutes off the bench. Ellington has scored in double figures in four of seven contests as a Cavalier and is averaging 9.0 points, including shooting 13-31 (.419) from behind the arc, in 19.7 minutes per game.