Postgame quotes and notes: Warriors 122, Blazers 116

Official postgame quotes and notes following the Portland Trail Blazers’ 122-116 defeat to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night at the Rose Garden.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010 – Final Score:

On chances going into playoffs:
“We’ve got a good chance. We’ve got a chance – they’re a very good team. We know that we’ve had success against them but they’ve probably been one of the hottest teams, if not the hottest team, the last part of the season. So we certainly know what they’re capable of doing and the style of basketball they want to play. It’s going to be a battle of the tempos. They want to run and gun and attack. Nash is arguably one of the MVP candidates this year. LeBron James has done some great things and you certainly have to look at him, but after that, you could look at Nash’s season and say he’s had a great year. Amare is playing great basketball. It’s a very talented team that, yeah, we do feel we have a chance.”

On opponent for playoffs:
“It really didn’t make a difference. Once we found out that we were the sixth seed, it didn’t make a difference because all of these teams were going to be tough and we would have to be ready for all of them whether it was Utah, Phoenix, Dallas, or Denver…. We’re going to need to be ready. We’ve been playing good basketball. Our focus now is get out guys back and try and get them healthy as possible and we have a shot.”

On season/50 wins/playoffs:
“They’ve had a very good regular season. For us, it was about seeing how far we could advance as far as what seed we could get. For this team to finish sixth in the West with everything they’ve gone through, they’ve had a good year. We’ve had to overcome a lot of things. I think a lot of people are writing us off already and I think a lot of that is due to the fact that Brandon – people don’t know whether Brandon is going to play so they’re not giving us a chance. We’ve been faced with that all season long so here we go again.”

On tonight’s rotation:
“Once I found out we had that spot, we were going to sit our guys and not risk anyone or those main guys in rotation getting injured.”

Tonight’s game
“It was fun. Guys were giving me the ball. They were kinda little so all I had to do was jump up toward the rim and bring it down.”

“Just have fun… I haven’t played in a while so I just went out there and had fun. I’m not too worried about playing in the playoffs, it’ll be fun to be there and do what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks and get my team going.”

On playing Phoenix:
“I think we’ll match up against them well. Going into that series – almost any series – we’re going in as underdogs. I think that plays to our favor. We’ve been that the whole season so it’s really nothing new for us.”

Heading to playoffs:
“It’s like a new season, a new level of basketball right here. The sense of urgency is crazy and the atmosphere is going to be crazy. Officiating is going to be tight – they’re going to go out there and let you play so you’ve got to be strong and aggressive the whole game. Then, defensively – that’s what it’s going to come down to in that series.”

On playing Phoenix, potentially without Roy:
“This is going to be an exciting matchup… We’re still going to go out there and play our game. It’s going to be high flying. But it’s going to come down to the first team that plays defense – try to make them take contested jump shots, try to eliminate their easy baskets, try to contain Steve Nash and not let Amare get off – that’s going to be the goal. It’s going to be hard. It’s not going to be a cake walk. We just have to all be there together.”


Thursday, April 14, 2010 – Final Score: Golden State 122, Portland 116

“What a bizarre game huh? Tell you one thing: If Stephen Curry isn’t Rookie of the Year there’s something wrong. What a performance, Co-Rookie of the Year would be beautiful, but that guy is pretty special and his performance tonight…what a ball game when I really only had five guys, 48 minutes and all of those guys had great stamina to get through a game like that and found a way to hang in there and win it. I’m very proud of them; it was a pretty special game for us.”

“It was pre-determined in warm-up that two of my players couldn’t play. To force those guys on the court, is a legal issue I think. That’s not right. I’ve got another player injured, in the game, he was not going to return and that was clear. I told the referees he couldn’t return. I said ‘I only have five left,’ the rule reads, ‘if you only have five players, and a player fouls, it’s a technical foul and the two free throws.’ And I understood that, it wasn’t a problem for me, that wasn’t what I was arguing, he made me put an injured player back into the game. That’s not right. I begged him: read the rules, call the league, do something. That’s not the rule. You cannot be forced to put an injured player in the game, and they told me to just work with them and get through this, and they told me what I had to do: put a guy in for a few seconds and then say ‘he was injured.’ He was injured before! I said, ‘he’s already injured! What do I have to do that for? Why don’t I just tell you he’s injured? That’s what I’m doing.’ Anyway, I did it there way. It wasn’t the right way. There are already rules for that. I know the rules because I’ve been playing injured all year, so anyway, bottom line is we played a spectacular game and had a great performance with only five guys were able to play.”

“The guys said they want the video tape of the game, they just think it was the greatest game they ever played in, to do something like that. And you know what? They might be right.”

“We’ve been staying strong, throughout the injuries and the ups and downs of the season. We didn’t stray away and start pointing fingers, we just kept fighting.”

“It was a lot of fun to go out there and get a win considering the circumstances, and a great way to finish it out.”

“It’s the last game of the year of my Rookie season. Considering everything that’s happened this year, for us to finish it out the way we did, and for it to be such a crazy game, definitely going to be one I remember, I’ll get the game tape, clip, or a video or DVD, and make sure I keep this one on file…I just tried to take what the defense was giving me early in the game and didn’t want to force anything…The whole confusion (with the fouls) gave me and my teammates a little time to rest and get that going.”

“I didn’t have much expectations coming in, I just wanted to come in with a hard work ethic and use the opportunity I was going to have to be productive. I didn’t really know how productive I was going to be, but as the season went on I got a lot more confident, a lot more experience, and significant minutes and I think I progressed quicker than expected, so towards the end of the year I felt really confident out there.”


Golden State 122, Portland 116
April 14, 2010

— Tonight marked the 112th straight Trail Blazers sellout at the Rose Garden (including playoffs), dating back to Dec. 21, 2007.

— With San Antonio’s loss tonight at Dallas, Portland clinched the sixth seed in the Western Conference for the 2010 NBA Playoffs … The Trail Blazers have never won a playoff series when seeded sixth or lower, including an 0-7 mark as the sixth seed … Portland has twice won a series despite not having homecourt advantage, both as five seeds (1983, 1985).

— In the first round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs, the Trail Blazers will face the Phoenix Suns, who earned the third seed in the West with a win tonight at Utah … After taking this season’s series over Phoenix, 2-1, Portland has won four of the past five regular season matchups between the teams, including three straight wins at the Rose Garden.

— The Trail Blazers are Suns have met in the playoffs six times (four in the first round), with each team winning three series … The teams last met in the postseason in the First Round of the 1999 NBA Playoffs, where Portland earned a 3-0 sweep … The Trail Blazers hold a 14-11 advantage in playoff meetings, all-time.

— The Trail Blazers shot 79.0% from the foul line this season, the best mark in franchise history.

— Portland missed 311 games due to injury/illness this regular season, more than 100 more than last season’s total (205) and the most by any playoff team this year … Thirteen different Trail Blazers missed at least one game, including 17 games or more missed by eight different players.

— Portland used its 16th different starting five of the season tonight, winning at least one game with 12 of them … 14 different Trail Blazers started at least one game this season.

— The Trail Blazers finish with a 19-8 record after the All-Star break, one win shy of a franchise best (by percentage), a mark set last season (22-8).

— Despite the loss, Portland won 13 of its last 17 games and 16 of the last 21 in the regular season.

— The Trail Blazers dropped to 16-2 this season when scoring 30 points or more in the first quarter, with both losses coming against Golden State.

— Nicolas Batum grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds and notched his first career double-double.

— Rudy Fernandez and Jerryd Bayless both tallied career highs of nine assists.

— Dante Cunningham notched his first career double-double tonight in his second career start and first start since Dec. 1 vs. Miami … His 11 rebounds marked a career best.

— Jeff Pendergraph (23) and Patrick Mills (11) both notched career highs in scoring.

— The Warriors’ 122 points (118) are the most allowed by the Trail Blazers in a game this season … Golden State’s 37 points in the fourth quarter are tied for the most allowed by Portland in the final period this season (Jan .13 vs. Milwaukee).

— The Trail Blazers outrebounded the Warriors, 16-4, in the first quarter.

— Portland held a 14-0 advantage in second-chance scoring in the first half.

— Golden State snapped Portland’s four-game winning streak in the series at the Rose Garden … The Warriors have now won 14 of the past 20 games between the teams overall.

— Before tonight, Portland had won 14 consecutive games against teams with record below .500.

— The Trail Blazers had allowed fewer than 100 points to 15 straight opponents at home before tonight’s contest.

— Stephen Curry’s 42 points and 12 free throws made both marked career highs.

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