Postgame quotes and notes: Lakers 99, Blazers 82

Official postgame quotes and notes following the Portland Trail Blazers’ 99-82 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday evening at the Rose Garden.


Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010 – Final Score: L.A. Lakers 99, Portland 82


“I thought they just had matchups and they came in with a plan to slow this tempo and pound the ball inside. With Odom and Gasol and Artest, they did that, just pounded it inside and forced us to double team. If we didn’t do that, they were able to score. Their defense was good. They limited us to only one shot. They totally controlled the boards. They’re world champs for a reason – it’s a good team. Tonight they executed in the half court, sharing the ball and if we don’t get fastbreak points or second opportunities, it’s going to be hard to beat this team.”

On offensive struggles in second half:
“They’re a good defense. You’ve got length with Odom and Gasol and Artest. We couldn’t get to the paint and our shots didn’t fall. If you’re shots aren’t falling and you’re not getting anything easy, no second opportunities, it’s going to be a tough night.”

“This is a loss… this is a big loss in the sense that… it’s a good team and you have to give them credit. Every loss hurts but the Lakers played great basketball tonight. We couldn’t get anything easy and when we did get open looks, we didn’t knock down our shots.

Worried about a letdown with Kobe out:
“I talked to our guys about that before the game and as I told them, we’re not playing Kobe. We’re playing the Lakers. I felt that that could have been done on purpose , you know, I think Phil challenged them last night and thought that they had a letdown without Carmelo playing. Sometimes coaches do things like that where you challenge your team to see if you can play without a star. We’ve been in that situation all season long playing without guys and guys have stepped up and played. Odom – 22 rebounds and 10 points… they were solid.”

On Artest’s 3’s late in first half:
“They were big. They were big where we didn’t get close – we didn’t guard him on that last one but I think the three right before that, we had a misread. We were on Artest and rotated to Lamar and that should have been a bluff. You make Lamar shoot the ball and we gave Artest an open look.”

“I thought we did a good job of getting good looks. We just didn’t make them and then they capitalized on our misses and ran out and got easy baskets.”

Was there a letdown with Kobe out?
“No, we came to play. The first quarter, we were right there. Second quarter, down 8 or so, but we had good looks. They just didn’t fall for us tonight. It was just one of those nights where we couldn’t find it.”

“We’re kind of used to it. Guys are used to it. We’re used to losing guys, we’re used to facing adversity. We lost both centers, Brandon’s been out for a while so I think we’re kind of used to it. Guys just have to step up.”

On finishing strong going into all star break:
“That’s our goal – to try and get these next two. Just try to carry some momentum into the all star break strong and try to fight for position. The west is pretty close right now.”

“Gasol was all over the place tonight. He played a great game, just making his presence felt down there in the low post. Tonight we just didn’t have an answer for him but we’ll make up for it.”

“They played great defense. We had open looks, just didn’t knock them down…. As far as our gameplan was attacking inside and going outside, we did that. We just couldn’t get the ball in the hoop. They played great defense, but like I said we had opportunities at the basket, we just didn’t convert. They played great defense tonight.”


Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010 – Final Score: L.A. Lakers 99, Portland 82

“I thought that Andrew couldn’t run, he was struggling to run out there and this is a team that pushes the ball pretty quick so we needed a quick team out there on the floor…We had to rely on our young guys to come through for us…The third quarter we just got no traction, we had some turnovers. I was getting after it a little bit for not taking advantage of some things. I thought the Trail Blazers were giving us out there opportunities that we could take advantage of and we finally got that little spurt to get us back up to nine points and gave us some room for the second unit to come out and do the things they do, which is really aggressively try and attack the basket. The real reason they had no second-chance points and the rebound differential was big effort for us on the boards.”

“Kobe followed me in the coaches room and said ‘I’m thinking about not playing’ and I said ‘it’s OK if you don’t.’” I went back in and saw him 10 minutes later because it was almost six o’clock and time to put in the roster, and he said ‘yeah I think I should take it off’ and so we did and went from there…I would say it (Kobe’s injury status) is day-to-day, we have an opportunity here with two games before the All-Star break and there is some time there if he does need to take a longer time, we’re trying to give him the liberty to do that.”

“It was a great win, there’s no other way to put it. It was a great effort, great teamwork and great outcome. Obviously we don’t like to see Kobe sitting out and he’s been banged up, and then Andrew going down, we’ll see what happens with them, but we reacted well, we just played hard and played together and the result was good, we won in a place that we haven’t been able to play at all, or be successful at all.”

“We have a great player like Kobe, and he doesn’t know what the opponent is going to bring, every night they’re gunning for Lakers and want to play well against him, it was only right. The young guys are coming up, we’re on our way out, the young guys are coming up. On this team there are a lot of young hungry guys.

“He’s unbelievable on the boards. As soft as we are right now, we still have pretty good rebounders: LO, Pau, and ‘Drew, they rebound the ball really well, they are all averaging a bunch of rebounds. As soft as we are in the interior we are getting tougher, that’s the scary thing: we’re getting tougher.”


L.A. Lakers 99, Portland 82
February 6, 2010

— Tonight marked the 99th consecutive Trail Blazers sellout at the Rose Garden (including playoffs), dating back to Dec. 21, 2007.

— The Trail Blazers had won nine straight games against the Lakers in Portland, which marks L.A.’s longest road losing streak against any team since a 10-game skid in Seattle from 1991-94 … The Lakers had last won in Portland on April 23, 2005 …

— The 17-point margin marks L.A.’s biggest win in at the Rose Garden and the biggest in Portland since a 98-81 victory on Jan. 3, 1988 … The home team had won each of the last 10 meetings in the series before tonight.

— The Trail Blazers brought down a franchise-low two offensive rebounds (previous low three, five times, last vs. Golden State on April 15, 2006) … The Trail Blazers did not record an offensive rebound until the 5:42 mark of the third quarter (Juwan Howard) … Los Angeles held a 15-0 advantage in second-chance scoring.

— LaMarcus Aldridge has now scored 16-plus points in 12 straight games, including eight games of 20-plus points … He has led the team in scoring in each of the last four games … Aldridge was the only player in double figures after one quarter (12 points, 5-7 FG).

— Juwan Howard scored in double figures for the second game in a row and 11th time this season … He got all 10 of his points by the 8:10 mark of the second quarter … Howard made all five of his first-half field goal attempts after finishing 5-for-5 from the field in Portland’s last game, Feb. 4 vs. San Antonio.

— Portland’s starting frontcourt of Juwan Howard (eight) and LaMarcus Aldridge (four) scored the team’s first 12 points in the game.

— Jerryd Bayless scored in double digits for the ninth time in his past 10 appearances.

— Portland’s 19-12 mark against the West this season is tied for fourth-best in the conference … The Trail Blazers are now 13-10 against the other 10 teams in the West currently above .500.

— Portland’s 82 points tonight are its second-fewest of the season, only besting the 80 it tallied in an 80-74 win vs. Charlotte on Nov. 14.

— Portland’s 34 second-half points were one shy of a season low (33 vs. Warriors, Jan. 2).

— After Portland took its biggest lead of the game, 39-30, with 8:10 remaining in the second quarter, Los Angeles went on a 24-9 run to close out the first half.

— Before tonight’s game, Kobe Bryant had played in 235 consecutive games, the NBA’s fifth-longest active streak … Andre Miller appeared in his 583rd straight game tonight, the league’s longest current run.

— Lamar Odom matched a career high with 22 rebounds, including a new career-best 19 defensive rebounds … Odom recorded 14 rebounds in the second half alone.

— Los Angeles outscored Portland in the paint by at least six points in every quarter, accumulating a 48-22 advantage in the category on the night.

— Ron Artest made all three of his treys in the final 1:07 of the first half, including a 30-foot halftime buzzer beater.

— Both teams turned the ball over 10 times, but Los Angeles held a 17-4 advantage in points off turnovers.

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