Postgame quotes and notes: Nuggets 118, Blazers 106
Official postgame quotes and notes following the Portland Trail Blazers’ 118-106 defeat to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday evening at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo.
Nate McMillan – Trail Blazers Head Coach
“It wasn’t just missed free-throws, it was a number of things. Of course, second half when we were able to make a run it seemed that we shot ourselves in the foot by turning the ball over or missing free-throws. I think we got within nine and again every time we would get it under 10 we would turn the ball over, missed some free-throws or did something to allowed them to get their momentum back. (Different starting lineups) There is nothing you can do about it. When you have injuries you have to rotate and due to Marcus being out with an ankle injury, you got to go with it. That is the kind of season we have been handed in the sense of the injuries and rotating guys in. (Brandon) He didn’t really get a rhythm. They jumped on us so quickly, I thought that it kind of shocked our guys and we just started taking everything to the offensive end of the floor. We didn’t get stops defensively, so we started to walk the ball up the floor. You got to change possessions. If they score you still want to push the ball, if you miss a shot you got to go down and defend. I felt like because we couldn’t get an offensive rhythm that kind of stuck with us throughout the game on both ends of the floor.”
Brandon Roy – Trail Blazers Guard
“(On getting close, but not winning) I thought we didn’t establish an offensive rhythm for the entire game. Even myself, I couldn’t get in to the flow. It seems like every time we got close we would have a TO or we wouldn’t execute offensively and they just shot the ball well. We would get within seven and they would hit two threes and stretch it back out. We didn’t play well defensively and offensively we didn’t establish a rhythm. (Nuggets’ first half shooting) Our biggest thing was trying to weather that run early because in this building they play fast early and it took us a minute to get our legs underneath us. We have to do a much better job in the first quarter to holding them to lesser points. We gave up two 30-point quarters. (Not finding shooting rhythm) Tonight I didn’t do a good job of it, but the good thing about it is we get another game Tuesday. It is another important game back at home. My thing is, let’s try and play on this game and focus in on the Kings. Next time in this situation we have to do a better job of being aggressive and getting to the rim and foul line.”
Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers
March 7, 2010
George Karl – Nugget Head Coach
“I thought we were so efficient offensively that we weren’t going to get beat by our size problem and they were going to their shooting lineup as well. I thought Nene made some good plays in the fourth quarter defensively. Birdman was really good as was the bench with JR and AC; they got 13 assists between the two of them. So much of an efficiency comes from when we pass the ball. We had 18 assists at half and the second half was more of a foul fest and basically to have an 8, 10 point lead for most of the night is a great win for us without Kenyon. When we pass the ball and display with intensity defensively we are a damn good basketball team. (Afflalo D) He is big and he is committed and I think he is a student of the game, so he wants to take tendencies. He is taking the challenges to another level and when we first talked to him about being a defensive stopper he was like ‘Hmm I am an offensive player too’. He is turning into something that I think he is very comfortable with. In my mind, Dahntay was a very good defensive player, but I think Arron is going to better than Dahntay.”
Carmelo Anthony – Nuggets Forward
“I feel good now. My energy level is back. My mind is clear and I am getting healthy. I think that is the key to what I am doing right now. On a night like tonight when guys had it going early I didn’t really have to try too hard and exert so much energy. I would play all the games like that. Anytime where I can sit out a full quarter to get rest, I will take that. (Having 30 assists as team) I don’t think anyone can beat us when we have 30 assists. I do what I do, JR came off the bench, Johan stepped up and took a big role with K-Mart out. Everybody stepped up. I think we just know the situation. We dropped some games that we shouldn’t have dropped on the road, but that is the NBA. We just wanted to bounce back and our home-stand couldn’t have come at a better time. (Afflalo’s D) He just filled in where Dahntay left off at. On the defensive end he gives us something extra. On the offensive end he spreads the court out and knocks down shots. Teams still seem to leave him in that corner and he will keep firing. I think it is contagious, passing the ball. I think we are playing close together as a team. It is that time of the year where I have to start taking over. Not so much just scoring the basketball, but making guys better like I did tonight.”
Arron Afflalo – Nuggets Guard
“Johan did great. He played smart, made jumpers when we needed them. When K-Mart goes down, those guys, they have to be ready to play. They have done a good job all year. I think just being at home helps. We definitely feed off the crowd and tend to shoot better here. Obviously, when we go back on the road we have to take care of business. We love playing at home and it was good to take advantage of these three games. Jus taking it one game at a time, we have to understand how important each game is. (Brandon Roy) Sometimes guys are off, but the guys that did guard him did a good job. AC, Chauncey, it was a good team effort tonight.”
MAR. 7, 2010
CARMELO ANTHONY – Totaled 30 points (11-19 FG, 8-12 FT) and five assists tonight … This marks his 26th 30-point performance of the season, including his third-straight (had 30 vs. Oklahoma City on 3/3 and 34 vs. Indiana on 3/5) … This is the first time Anthony has had three-consecutive 30-point performances since doing so in five-straight games from 12/8-12/16.
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS – Scored 21 points to go along with five assists and four rebounds tonight … He has now scored 20+ points on 29 occasions this season, with the Nuggets going 24-5 in those games … This is the 18th time in his last 27 appearances that he has scored 20 or more points, while averaging 22.8 ppg in those 27 games.
J.R. SMITH – Finished with 22 points (8-14 FG, 4-8 3FG), seven assists and two steals in the win … This is the 13th time this season that he has scored 20+ points (all as a reserve), while it is the 43rd time as a Nugget he has topped the 20-point mark in a non-starting role … With the win, Denver improves to 6-1 on the season when Smith dishes out five or more assists.
JOHAN PETRO – Notched six points to go along with a season-high 10 rebounds (previous six vs. Golden State on 12/1) and his first two assists of the season … This marks the 17th time in his career that he has collected 10+ boards, while it is his second time doing so as a Nugget (also had 10 vs. Boston on 2/23/09).
JERRYD BAYLESS – Led the Blazers with 24 points (6-10 FG, 3-3 3FG, 9-11 FT) and five assists off the bench … This is the third time this season that he has scored 20+ points and his fourth time doing so in his career (third time doing so as a reserve) … Additionally, tonight is his third time this year leading the Blazers in scoring and his sixth time leading the team in assists (tied for the lead tonight) – this is only the second time that he has led Portland in both points and assists during the same game (other at San Antonio on 12/23 – 31 points and seven assists).
JUWAN HOWARD – Tied a season-high with four assists in tonight’s loss (also had four at Dallas on 12/22).
With tonight’s win, the Nuggets are now 28-5 at the Pepsi Center this season, which remains the third-best home record in the NBA (behind Cleveland at 27-4 and the L.A. Lakers at 29-5). Denver has now won five-straight games at the Pepsi Center, while this is the fourth time this season that the Nuggets have managed five or more consecutive wins at home.
Denver scored 118 points tonight, remaining a perfect 26-0 when scoring 110+ points. Additionally, the Nuggets are 27-2 at home this season when scoring 100+ points. Portland, on the other hand, falls to 1-4 this season when allowing the opposition to score 110+ points – all five of those games coming on the road, and four of the five coming in the last 17 games.
The Nuggets won tonight after leading 89-75 entering the fourth quarter. The Nuggets are 33-4 this season when leading after three periods of play, including a perfect 25-0 at home. Denver actually owns a streak of 43-straight home wins when holding a lead entering the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets outshot the Blazers .589 (43-73) to .427 (35-82) from the field tonight. With the win, Denver is 30-2 this year when outshooting the opposition, including 17-1 when shooting .500+ FG as a team. With the loss Portland drops to 1-16 when allowing the opposition to shoot .500 or better from the field.
Denver dished out 31 assists tonight, which is their eighth time recording 30+ this season. This is only the third time Denver has managed 30 or more assists as a team in the last 45 games. The Nuggets are 21-1 this season when tallying 25+ assists as a team (35-5 with 20 or more). This is the sixth time this that Denver has had four separate players record 4+ assists in the same game.