Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Rockets
(On the game tonight):
“I thought we competed. (Houston) is a good basketball team. They do a good job of spreading the floor, moving the ball and they have a guy that can close games out in James Harden.”
(On the fourth quarter):
“Fourth-quarter wise, we had some costly turnovers. They got some transition baskets. The one thing about (Houston) is that even though it’s the fourth quarter, they don’t slow down. They keep pushing. They keep attacking. Then towards the end, they just put the ball in James’ hands and let him make plays. We missed some shots, we had some (turnovers) that kind of cost us and they had a couple of transition baskets.”
(On Rockets guard James Harden’s play in the second half):
“He got to the free throw line a lot. Then he got his rhythm and made some jumpers. He’s one of those guys that once he gets his rhythm, he’s hard to guard…I thought that in the first half, he got into some early foul trouble and got taken out of the game. Sometimes, that throws your rhythm off as a player. When he came out in the third quarter, we knew he was going to start shooting the ball and being more aggressive, and he was. That’s what great players do.”
(On Kyrie Irving’s play tonight):
“I thought he tried to press at times and take the load. Again, that’s what great players do as well. They want to put it all on their backs at times. A couple of times, he might have tried to go to far, tried to get into the lane and got it stripped a few times. But again, it was just one of those nights for him as far as the turnovers are concerned…He’s still young as well. Everyone keeps forgetting that this is only his second year as well. He’s going to make some mistakes. He’s a 20-year-old, second-year player, but I think he understands how important it is for him to make sure we keep the ball as much as possible in his hands, and also for him to make good decisions. So it’s a growing process for him as well.”
(On if he is pressing too much):
“I’m just trying to be aggressive; looking to find my guys in transition a lot more and just trying to pick up the pace. Over the last couple of games, I’ve been trying to do that, get rebounds, get in there with our bigs and trying to start the break.”
(On his turnovers tonight):
“I was just really loose with the ball in terms of my handling tonight. Different plays weren’t made and resulted in costly turnovers; turnovers that I usually don’t make that cost us the game tonight.”
(On James Harden’s fourth quarter):
“He started making shots, that’s what great players do. He got his shots up and got to the free throw line as usual and made good plays.”
(On where he thought the game got away from the team):
“Just the fourth quarter. We had defensive breakdowns and just couldn’t get stops. (Carlos) Delfino hit a crucial three, but it’s just part of the game. Sometimes they make shots and you’ve just got to keep playing.”
(On James Harden’s fourth quarter):
“He’s an All-Star, first and foremost, so he’s going to make plays down the stretch. He’s their go to guy and he’s going to find a way to get in the paint and compliment other guys. We just needed to tighten up on defense, but he made shots and made plays.”
Rockets Head Coach Kevin McHale
(On the game):
“It was a tough game. It was a game where we had a tough time getting stops. We found a way to win and sometimes when you’re on the road you have to do that.”
(On James Harden’s play):
“He sure had a couple of big shots. There’s no question about that. He had a couple of threes where he bobbled one around and made that one, then he hit a cold-blooded three. Having James helps quite a bit. He made some great plays but as a team, we found ways to get it done.”
(On the Jeremy Lin and Kyrie Irving matchup):
“Kyrie might have had 30 (points) but I think Jeremy did a good job on him.”
(On closing out the fourth quarter):
“We just tried to pack the paint defensively and contest every jumper. We put an emphasis on defensive rebounds. Offensively, we spread the floor. We’re a little more mature in our development so we really understand that late in the fourth we have to trust and depend on each other a little more and tonight was a good example of that.”
(On James Harden’s play):
“He caught fire at the right time for us. He had a slower night earlier then he just took us offensively all the way in the fourth quarter which was real nice.”
(On Houston’s 14-2 record versus the Eastern Conference):
“I have no idea why that is. I wish that was our Western Conference record. Maybe we should consider switching conferences.”
(On defending Kyrie Irving):
“He’s a heckuva player. I tried to make it difficult for him, but he’s one heckuva player and he’s tough to stop.”
- The Cavs collected 17 offensive rebounds, which led to a 20-15 advantage in second chance points.
- Cleveland shot 25-28 (.893) from the charity stripe tonight and 60-66 (.909) from the foul line in their last three games at The Q.
- Kyrie Irving finished with a game-high 30 points, four rebounds, six assists and a career-high tying four steals in 41 minutes. Irving has now notched back-to-back 30-point games for the first time in his career and is averaging 31.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 4.0 steals in 39.5 minutes in those two games.
- Alonzo Gee recorded 18 points on 6-12 (.500) shooting from the field and six rebounds in 32 minutes. Gee has scored in double figures in nine of his last 10 games and is averaging 11.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in 33.7 minutes during that span.
- Tristan Thompson tallied his seventh double-double in nine games with 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds (eight offensive) in 37 minutes. Over that stretch, Thompson is averaging 13.2 points on 44-88 (.500) shooting and 12.9 rebounds in 36.4 minutes per game.
- In his ninth career start, Tyler Zeller tallied 12 points, five rebounds, a career-high five assists and a career-high three steals in 37 minutes.
- Dion Waiters finished with 13 points and five rebounds in 29 minutes off the bench, and is averaging 14.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 31.0 minutes per game this season.