Postgame quotes: Thunder 89, Blazers 77
Official postgame quotes and notes following the Portland Trail Blazers’ 89-77 defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday evening at the Rose Garden.
BLAZERS POST GAME QUOTES
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010 – Final Score: Oklahoma City 89, Portland 77
COACH NATE McMILLAN
Worn down heading into All Star break?
“It’s hard to say after this game tonight. We were just flat. We weren’t sharp at all, mentally it didn’t seem like we were here. 24 turnovers – we couldn’t feed the post, we couldn’t do anything tonight. Offensively, we had a number of guys who had open looks who couldn’t make a shot. It just wasn’t sharp at all.”
Did it seem like no one wanted to step up?
“You can’t lose confidence. You’ve got to be aggressive and when you have your shot, you’ve got to take the shot. Tonight, they just packed it in on LaMarcus, fronted him and zoned him from behind. The more shots we missed, the tighter they got and forced guys to make shots. When you turn the ball over like that – 24 turnovers for 30 points – and you’re not making shots, it’s going to make for a long night.”
“He played within the flow of the game, he didn’t force anything, and he had 33 points. The plan was to deny him as much as possible. He made plays, they forced some switches a couple times, and he shot over the defense. He was good.”
“24 turnovers- your mind is not here. It wasn’t one guy. We really could not feed the post tonight and we fumbled the ball. We had some open looks that we normally knock down those shots…. It was bad, it was a bad effort tonight.”
On getting the ball to Aldridge:
“We wanted to play high-low. They fronted the ball. We had a lot of turnovers trying to force the issue a little bit.”
“We lost as a team. We talked about turnovers. We played solid defense off and on throughout the game and that’s not good.”
On going into All Star break:
“We talked about trying to build some momentum going into the break. To let this one go is tough. That was a division team where we needed this win and this is definitely going to be tough to go into Phoenix and try to get a win because they’re playing good basketball at home.”
Coach said team seemed flat:
“We were. I think a little bit flat, a little bit indecisive on passed that we wanted to make and shots that we wanted to take, including myself. It was just a long night. We played defense well going into the second and we kind of held them off. We never really found a good rhythm on offense and that kind of showed and they pulled away late on us.”
On looking to take momentum into break:
“It’s very tough. We definitely wanted to win these last two, try to move up in the standings. Tonight was a tough night for us, as far as offensively and they found their rhythm late. They got easy baskets and that was just a real long night for us.”
On Thunder defense:
“They did a great job of never letting me get clean looks at the basket. If I caught it, they double teamed me, tried to front and come baseline so we just tried to figure it out during the game but I never really got something going. It was tough. They forced us to go to somebody else tonight and they won the game.”
THUNDER POST GAME QUOTES
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010 – Final Score: Oklahoma City 89, Portland 77
COACH SCOTT BROOKS
“It was a hard-fought game, very physical, I thought we did a great job of defending and making all there touches very difficult, they are short-handed and obviously when you are missing your All-Star player it puts a lot of pressure on them to score. I give Nate and his staff a lot of credit, they battled and hung tight through a lot of injuries but I thought tonight we just did a good job of defending and making their shots tough.”
“It’s all started from the summer when guys are committed to coming back and playing with defensive mentality. Our guys do a great job, for the first half of the season they’re really buying in on the defensive end, knowing our guys aren’t going to change, that’s who they are and what they believe in and they’ve done a great job. Kevin is obviously one of our better players and the fact that he is defending and challenging himself every night to come up with big defensive stops is huge for our team and it makes my job a lot easier.”
“Offensively it was a big boost (first quarter run). Then we came in with great energy in the second half and we pulled away…We have a lot of players that can step up…it was a team effort…
“We’re playing much better defense, better team defense, and we’re holding our opponents under 100 points.”
“They are still a great team. They didn’t have their best in Brandon Roy, it was a good one for us, it keeps us going into the All-Star break and hopefully we come out with the same energy going into the second half.
“It’s a great builder for us. We’ve been playing well these passed 10 games, I think we’ve been playing well the whole season and the All-Star break is something that is going to give us some rest, but as soon as it’s over we got to come back and get a to work…a lot of teams are really close in the race for a playoff spot. We can’t come back and go on a losing streak because then things will be bad. We need to come out play Thunder basketball.”
ON PLAYING WELL IN PORTLAND
“It feels the same as any other game. I’m sure they’ve past it and I have too. I’m happy I’m here and it was a good win for us in a hostile environment.”
“It gives us confidence, and we’re feeling good going into the break. The most important thing is that we come back ready to play after the All-Star break. We need to enjoy this break but come back with that mindset ready to come back to fight through these last 30 games.”
Oklahoma City 89, Portland 77
February 9, 2010
— Tonight marked the 100th consecutive Trail Blazers sellout at the Rose Garden (including playoffs), dating back to Dec. 21, 2007.
— LaMarcus Aldridge recorded a season-high tying 15 rebounds, career-high tying 12 defensive rebounds and a career-tying four steals … He also notched his 18th double-double of the season, one more than the rest of the Trail Blazers combined … Aldridge has now scored 16-plus points in 13 straight games, including (eight) games of 20-plus points.
— Dante Cunningham netted a new career-high 14 points, equaling his previous career mark of 10, Feb. 1 vs. Charlotte, by the end of the first half.
— Portland had won four straight games in the series with Oklahoma City before tonight … The Trail Blazers had also won five straight meetings at the Rose Garden … The Thunder last won in Portland on March 18, 2007.
— Before tonight’s game, the Trail Blazers had won 44 straight games when allowing their opponents 90 points or fewer, including a 17-0 record this year … Oklahoma City is the first team to defeat Portland without scoring at least 90 points since New Orleans did so, 87-82, on Nov. 14, 2008.
— Portland’s 54 games played so far and 55 by the All-Star break both mark NBA highs … Portland’s 55 first-half games are its most since equaling that mark in 1979-80, while its 29 home games before the break are the most since 1976-77, when the Trail Blazers won the NBA Championship.
— Portland’s 19-13 mark against the West this season is still three games better than its conference mark on this date last season (14-14) … The Trail Blazers are now 13-11 against the other 10 teams in the West currently above .500.
— Portland took its first lead of the game, 53-51, at the 5:10 mark of the third quarter on an Andre Miller lay-up … The Trail Blazers never led by more than two points.
— The Trail Blazers scored a season-low 77 points tonight, including a season-low tying 16 points in the fourth quarter.
— Portland’s 24 turnovers were two shy of a season-high 26, set in a season-opening win vs. Houston on Oct. 27 … The Thunder held a 30-10 advantage in points off turnovers.
— The Thunder opened up a 15-2 lead to begin the game, but Portland used a 15-4 run to narrow the gap to 19-17 with 1:00 remaining in the first period … The Trail Blazers evened the game for the first time at halftime, 41-41.
— Nicolas Batum led all Trail Blazers in the first half with 12 points.
— The Trail Blazers shot 28-for-57 (49.1%) from two-point range but just 3-for-20 (15.0%) from beyond the arc.
— Kevin Durant extended his franchise record by scoring 25-plus points for the 25th consecutive game … Allen Iverson was the last player to accomplish the feat, doing so in 27 straight games from Jan. 12-March 9, 2001 … Durant is also the first player under the age of 22 to put together such a run in NBA history.
— Kevin Durant’s 16th point tonight was his 1,500th on the season … Durant is the second-youngest player in NBA history to score 1,500 points through the first 51 games of the season (LeBron James, 49 games).
— Kevin Durant and Jeff Green combined for 56.2% (50 of 89) of Oklahoma City’s points in the game.
— Oklahoma City won its season-high sixth game in a row tonight.
— The Thunder’s 17 steals were the most by either team in a Trail Blazers game this season.