Postgame quotes and notes: Jazz 118, Blazers 105
Official postgame notes and quotes following the Portland Trail Blazers’ 118-105 defeat to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night at Energy Solutions Arena.
Nate McMillan – Head Coach (29-22 this season)
On the game
“We weren’t even close to stopping these guys. I mean they averaged right around 30 points a quarter
and every time we’ve given up 30 points in a quarter we’ve lost those games. Tonight they had two 30-
point quarters, 28, 29 in the first and second, third and we never established that we could stop this
On his team’s defense tonight
“It was poor defense all around. We didn’t control the ball which allowed them to get into the paint and
then drop it for easy baskets. The ball pressure as well as the second line of defense was not there. I
mean 62 points in the paint again with a team that didn’t really post up much, most of the points were
coming off of penetration and weak side movement. We were caught ball watching and guys just
cutting in behind us.”
On what makes the Jazz such a tough team
“The first thing is they’re a physical team. They’re physical not only on the defensive end of the floor
but also the offensive end. They set a ton of screens on offense and if you’re not willing to work and
battle to get through those screens they’ll carve you up. Their bigs, their guards, all of them can set
screens, they move and make you work to defend them.”
Andre Miller – Guard [9 points, 4 assists]
On the Jazz’s explosive offense
“They beat us basically on freethrows and paint points. They were definitely in rhythm. When you have
a team like that shooting layups over half the game it’s tough to beat a team like that. That’s what has
been our problem defending them. Getting a lot of paint points. This is the best executed team in the
league. They’ve been running this offense for years. You have a great point guard over there. Guys
move without the ball well and play well off of him. It’s tough to defend that team. They play the whole
shot clock. You play defense for 19, 20 seconds and then they get you on the cut to the basket. That
kind of breaks you down a little bit.”
On being in eighth place in the conference
“It’s a long season to go. We talked about being able to protect our home court. This has been a tough
stretch for us. With the injuries we still have opportunities to put ourselves in the position for a good
playoff spot. We will just see how that plays out.”
Additional quotes on back…
LaMarcus Aldridge – Forward (27 Points, 12 rebounds)
On playing against Utah
“They do a lot of back cutting. It’s tough because you’re trying to load up and help out your
teammates then they back cut you and end up with easy baskets. I put them right up at the
top with the best teams (in the league). As far as execution and their assists they do a great
On being in the eighth seed for the playoffs
“We think about it every day. We know that every game is important and are trying to fight and
get back up in the standings. We had things going early (in the season) and now are just
trying to fight back.”
Notes: The Blazers have now lost the last three games against the Jazz, and the last five in Utah.
They are now 1-9 in their last 10 games in Salt Lake City …
LaMarcus Aldridge also had his 16th double-double of the season with 27 points and 12 rebounds …
This is the most points allowed by Portland this season (last 112 at Dallas on 1/30/10) …
Portland is 4-6 in their last 10 games against Utah.
Notes: Jazz are now 84-68 all-time versus Portland and 62-14 in Salt Lake City . . .
Mehmet Okur scored eight of his season-high 28 points in the first quarter . . .
Utah shot 59% in the first quarter and finished the game shooting 62.7% (a season-high) . . .
Utah is first in the NBA in field goal percentage at 49% . . .
Deron Williams recorded his 20th double-double of the season and tonight’s game marked
the 22nd time he has tallied double figures in assists this season . . .
Andrei Kirilenko’s eight assists are a season-high . . .
The Jazz entered the game first in the NBA in assists averaging 26 a game, totaled 32 tonight . . .
Utah is now 25-1 when leading after the third quarter and 17-0 at home . . .
C.J.Miles scored in double figures for the third straight time.
Utah Jazz 118, Portland Trail Blazers 105
Jerry Sloan – Head Coach (30-18)
On the team passing the ball
“We passed the ball real well tonight. For the most part we passed it to guys that were open and we got some easy baskets. We shot an amazing 63 percent and had 32 assists. Deron (Williams) was terrific. He was terrific with the ball and he found people as did other people, Andrei (Kirilenko) had some great passes as well.”
On the performance of Mehmet Okur
“Their two big centers are out of the lineup and that makes a big difference. He was guarding Aldridge, which is a very tough matchup for us, but I thought (Memo) played a really good game. He had a couple shots where he was able to shoot outside, but right off the bat tonight he took the ball inside. If teams know he’s going to do that then when he does step back outside they will be a little reluctant running at him because he can put the ball on the floor and get around people.”
Mehmet Okur – Center (28 Points, 8 rebounds)
On the game
“You know AK and Paul got three fouls. I just wanted to stay active. I was able to mix up my game, got to the freethrow line. I had a couple dimes. It felt good.”
On putting the ball on the floor
“That is how I got to play every night. I didn’t want to settle on my jumper and I took what they gave me. And it felt good.”
“I was able to mix up my game. I didn’t want to settle on my jumpers. I just wanted to beactive. My teammates did a great job of creating open shots for me. Right time, right position…it felt good. I was really active at the beginning, got my confidence a little bit, and it worked out for me. I really tried to take what they gave me out there, and they gave me open layups, and dunks and I was able to finish those and it felt good.”
Andrei Kirilenko – Forward (22 Points, 8 assists)
On playing well
“I mean definitely lately we are playing almost perfect games. We start from defense and bring
execution on offense. We had 32 assists on 42 makes. It’s great basketball. Lets keep staying
on pace. Next game against Denver is going to be tough, again they are big rivalry. So it’s
going to be tough game.”
On the team effort
“I am trying to concentrate a little bit going in and it pays off. I got eight for nine tonight, almost
everything got dunks. So when I am active and go inside, I talk a lot with Jeff Hornacek about
it, I can’t really be concentrating if I am shooting the ball from the distance, but kind of get in,
get out it really works.”
Deron Williams – Guard (13 Points, 13 assists)
On playing well
“We are (feeling confident). I don’t think our defense was as good as it could have been for
the full game. But we still took care of business at home, still got the stops down the stretch
when we needed them, still made plays. Guys are just out there having fun. We’re sharing the
basketball, and having fun. That’s the most important thing.”
“We’re finding ways to finish games off. When we’re up, and we have a lead, we’re finding
ways to get stops at the end of the game, we’re finding ways to score, to execute and stay
within our offense. And now we’ve been successful for a while now.”
“We’re having guys come in and on different nights, step up. I think the way that AK is playing
right now has definitely helped our case. We have always said he’s the x-factor. Right now he
is just playing with so much confidence, not just shooting the ball. Offensively, defensively,
he’s making great passes. He’s getting a lot of deflections and helping us win games.”