Postgame quotes and notes: Blazers 109, Raptors 98
Official postgame quotes and notes following the Portland Trail Blazers’ 109-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday evening at the Rose Garden.
BLAZERS POST GAME QUOTES
Sunday, March 14, 2010 – Final Score: Portland 109, Toronto 98
COACH NATE McMILLAN
“Now we’re starting to build some chemistry and learn how to play with each other. We’ve adjusted some of our sets as far as where Brandon and LaMarcus and Miller are getting the ball. The continuity of these guys being together for the last few games, that’s important. I think it’s all of the above. They’re pretty much connected or starting to get connected both offensively and defensively and learning to play off of each other.”
“He got back to focusing on the defensive end of the floor and the offense, he allowed the offense to come to him. I felt like in the last week or so, he’s pressing to match that performance in Minnesota. He allowed the game to just come to him. He’s going to get open shots just because who he’s on the floor with. It’s just a matter of knocking those shots down. Tonight, he knocked those threes down and he can continue to do that. We think he can – it’s certainly going to help us.”
On being front-runners in the last two games:
“Playing a 48 minute game is what we talk about every night. Building that rhythm and executing both ends of the floor has been the challenge pretty much all season. Then putting team away –we have the opportunity to put teams away doing that. It’s nice to go into Sacramento on a back to back knowing that that team is waiting for you and have a solid effort on both ends of the floor, then come home against a team that desperately needs to win. You know they’re going to come out and fight, a team that can score. You pretty much controlled this game. I like the rhythm, like the feel with the guys right now. These next four days, you can lose your rhythm. You kind of hate that you aren’t playing, but it’s an opportunity for us to give our guys a rest, a much needed rest, and get ready for Washington.”
Playing best ball of the season?
“I think we’re playing good. What we’re seeing now is this team is starting to get a feel. I’m starting to get a feel for them as far as our sets and plays that we can run and things we can do on the floor. Hopefully we get better – we should get better as we finish the season.”
On playing more consistently lately:
“I think we’re just finding our rhythm. We’ve had the same guys in the lineup for a few games. Now we’re getting used to having guys in the lineup. We’re getting used to guys on defense. Marcus , we know when he’s going to go and block shots and things like that. We’re starting to find our rhythm.”
Success scoring early:
“Offensive rebounds – I think half of my shots tonight were off of offensive rebounds. I felt like they were trying to key in on Brandon so much tonight because he had killed them up there, so every time they shot it, I was just trying to go to the boards. Most of the time I was just open so I just tried to finish.”
On 6 guys in double figures
“It makes it easier. It’s easier in transition because teams can’t key in on Brandon and myself. They have to guard Nic making the three; they’ve got to guard ‘Dre going to the basket and making shots. That makes it easier on the whole team and the flow of our offensive.”
Key to putting away the game:
“Just getting back sharp, trying to execute, going to the basket and getting fouls. That gave us our rhythm back and guys made some big shots.”
RAPTORS POST GAME QUOTES
Sunday, March 14, 2010 – Final Score: Portland 109, Toronto 98
COACH JAY TRIANO
“I thought we competed pretty hard. At halftime we talked to our guys about doing a good job. The shots that they (Blazers) were making, we had hands in their face and they were still making shots and we knew they couldn’t continue to shoot like that, so if we just stayed up and stayed with what we were doing we’d have a chance in the game and we did, we got it to two, and unfortunately we couldn’t close the door.”
“The boards were the difference in the game. When we shoot 55% and they shoot 46%, there’s got to be a discrepancy somewhere and it’s in the number of shots we take compared to them. They get extra looks because of their offensive rebounding. That’s two games in a row where we do a decent job of forcing them to miss shots and they we stand around watching instead of securing the ball and finishing the possession.”
“I think they feel pretty good about the way they played tonight. When you hold a team like this to 45%, they knew that they made tough shots, we battled, and we got our two best guys playing better than they had been, we think if play like this we are going to win a lot more basketball games.”
“They did a good job of creating second-chance opportunities and took advantage of it…Obviously we didn’t play as well as we would’ve liked on the road. We’ll be glad to go home, get some work in and try to get a ‘W.’”
ON LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE
“He took a lot of offensive rebounds in the first half. He got a good position.”
“We still lost, but for sure nobody is feeling good right now. But if you want something good, we didn’t give up like the two games before this but it’s a very small consolation.”
Portland 109, Toronto 98
March 14, 2010
— Tonight marked the 106th consecutive Trail Blazers sellout at the Rose Garden (including playoffs), dating back to Dec. 21, 2007.
— Portland’s 12 three-pointers mark a new season high, while its 60.0% (12-20) shooting from long distance is also a season best … Tonight is the 10th game this season that Portland has made double digits in threes … Portland made nine three-pointers (of 12) in the first half for the first time since Jan. 14, 2005, when it made 12 in the first half, a franchise best for any half.
— Nicolas Batum’s five three-pointers tie a career high, also achieved Feb. 27 at Minnesota … His 22 points are his second-highest career total (31, Feb. 27 at Minnesota).
— Portland has won seven of its last eight games and nine of the past 11 to become a season-high 13 games above .500 (41-28) … That 69-game mark is just two games behind the Trail Blazers’ pace from 2008-09 (43-26) … After going a franchise-best (by percentage) 22-8 after the All-Star break last season, Portland is off to a 10-4 start after the break this year.
— Portland has now won four straight games in the series with Toronto, the longest streak by either team in the 28-game history of the series … The Trail Blazers now have active winning streaks of four games or more against eight NBA opponents.
— Portland improved to 8-1 with its starting lineup of Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Brandon Roy and Andre Miller, including seven straight wins … The only loss came in overtime, Feb, 26 at Chicago.
— The Trail Blazers have collected more steals than their opponents in 14 of the past 15 games, gaining a 130-73 edge in the category in that span (168-251 turnover margin).
— The Trail Blazers are now 8-4 when their opponents are playing in the second game of a back-to-back … Portland is a league-best 13-3 in its own second games of back-to-backs, including 11-2 on the road.
— Portland is now 12-1 when scoring 30 points or more in the first quarter, including 11 straight wins dating back to Nov. 20 at Golden State.
— The Trail Blazers have now made 203 more free throws than their opponents this season, good for a 2.9-point advantage per game.
— Portland limited an opponent to fewer than 100 points for the 48th time this year (36-12), tied for the most by any team in the league (Cleveland).
— Portland’s 69 games played so far this season mark an NBA high … Portland’s 55 first-half games were its most since equaling that mark in 1979-80, while its 29 home games before the break were the most since 1976-77, when the Trail Blazers won the NBA Championship.
— LaMarcus Aldridge recorded his team-high 20th double-double … Aldridge’s eight offensive rebounds (all in the first half) were one off a season high and two shy of a career mark … He led all players in the first quarter with 12 points and seven rebounds, including six boards on the offensive end … Aldridge scored 10 of Portland’s first 15 points in the game and grabbed seven of the team’s first eight rebounds.
— Rudy Fernandez has now made at least one three-pointer in 12 straight games, hitting three or more in six of those games, including each of the last three.
— With his first three-pointer tonight, Brandon Roy took sole possession of ninth place in three-pointers made by a Trail Blazer, all-time (now has 278).
— The Trail Blazers are now 22-4 at home when shooting at least 42.5% from the field … Portland is 0-9 at the Rose Garden when failing to reach that mark.
— Portland had more offensive rebounds (13) than Toronto had defensive rebounds (12) in the first half.
— The Raptors shot 73.7% (14-19) from the field in the first quarter and 61.8% in the first half (21-34).