Postgame quotes and notes: Suns 99, Blazers 90

Official postgame quotes and notes following the Portland Trail Blazers’ 99-90 defeat to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night at the Rose Garden.


Thursday, April 29, 2010 – Final Score: Phoenix 99, Portland 90


“First, congratulations to Phoenix. Alvin and those guys, I think they are a tough team to guard and they were on top of their game. Just posed a huge challenge to us. Seemed like every time we were able to get close we’d make a mistake. Whether it was a turnover or a bad possession and they make you pay. Nash has had that MVP type season, Richardson was big this series, Amare came with his A game tonight. Those guys, Hill and the supporting cast, hate to call them that but they’re good. If you double team or leave them they’ll make you pay.

On Brandon Roy’s Game Tonight
He struggled to get his rhythm and he wasn’t able to move like he normally does. Richardson did a good job of crowding him and getting into the ball. I think Alvin had a good game plan. I think he had about two rips tonight by just crowding him. He was trying to get a rhythm and he just couldn’t get that rhythm.

They were double-teaming. Double-teaming both LaMarcus and Brandon, mainly LaMarcus. Martell, Rudy and Bayless, that group got us back in the game both halves and we decided to go with Brandon at the point. Every time we got close we just needed to settle down.

Message to team
I’m proud of the guys and I think we fought all year long. With everything they had to go through, all the injuries, we aren’t making excuses. But they had to fight through a lot and we had guys step up and play and be productive. We were able to win 50 games, which I think is a benchmark for a team having a really good year. With all the adversity and injuries that we had this year. But that’s not just our goal. We are putting this team together and signing guys and drafting players to win a championship one day. Were putting this team together to win a championship.

Thursday, April 29, 2010 – Final Score: Phoenix 99, Portland 90


Martell Webster
“This was a very emotional season. This team had to go through a lot of adversity, a lot of big injuries, through that, this team stayed connected, stayed together, a lot of guys stepped up, exceeded their own comfort zones to help this team be a 50-win team. I definitely tip my hat to my teammates because we did a great job staying together this year.”

“That just shows you something about Brandon’s determination and also this training staff’s determination, to get him back they worked hard, Brandon did too in his physical therapy. It was great, it was a relief to have him back, but it just wasn’t enough to get it done.”

“It’s kind of tough to be positive right now because we just got knocked out, but I’m proud of my team. All season long we just kept saying ‘if we can get healthy we can be pretty good.’ I wasn’t able to play this entire series, but I’m just proud of these guys with really stepping up and not making any excuses, not even when I got hurt before the Playoffs, we still thought we had a good chance of playing well and I’m just proud of these guys, they did an unbelievable job at battling adversity.”

“A lot of people questioned it, but I never did, not once. I wanted to finish the season in uniform and playing and I couldn’t imagine being in a suit, seeing these guys getting knocked out of the Playoffs, I just really wanted to be out there with them. I’m happy I was able to play. I wasn’t able to play as well as I liked, I didn’t have quite the bounce that I needed to but at least I can go into the summertime knowing that I’m healthy and I finished the season out with my guys.”


Thursday, April 29, 2010 – Final Score: Phoenix 99, Portland 90


On Steve Nash, putting him back after early struggles:
“He was struggling but there was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to put him back in the game. It ‘s been tough for him, physically this series has been a real tough series. They’d really gotten into him and beaten him up a little bit. But at the end of the day, we were either going to win or lose with Steve in the game – that was not even an option.”

On Portland rallying in fourth:
“What they did was that they put Rudy in the game, had Webster in the game – a couple of three point shooters – and we had a little bit of trouble getting back to them. Then we made the adjustment and we stopped double teaming LaMarcus, because basically what they were doing was baiting us into a double team and making the rotations so long. Then what they did which was pretty good is that they screened our rotator… they did a good job, it was a good adjustment for them. But I Thought our defense was phenomenal though. They made some three point shots to get them back in but when we really needed to, I thought we stepped up and came up with some good stops.”

On success withstanding late runs in the fourth:
“…We have a calmness about us. Our bench has the ability to do things for us to keep us in games. I thought that Goran and those guys, LB… They kept us to the point where we didn’t want to play Steve and those guys for the last ten minutes. That’s a real struggle for them so the bench did a good job of keeping us just within striking distance. Then I thought we did a great job the last 10, 12 possessions – we couldn’t have played them any better. I think you have to give them credit. Webster jumped up and made a couple of three point shots. Rudy came in and made one. But on the ones that they miss, we end up rebounding it. At the end of the night, they shoot 38 percent and to me, that’s a credit to our defense. Nobody really talks about it, but we like it. In the locker room, we pat each other on the back.”

On Suns’ defense:
“I think once you get in the playoffs, you’ve got to be able to guard people. We’re not a great defensive team, but we play with a lot of effort. The intensity level, we pick up. At the start of the game, we did a good job of establishing what we were going to be from a defensive standpoint. As I’ve said, they’re never going to write about us as one of the all-time great defensive teams, and that’s ok. But we give a lot of effort and we simplify things and guys know exactly what their roles are.”

On playing San Antonio:
“It’s great, it’s an honor. I told our guys we don’t really look at past history – this team has never played San Antonio in a playoff series – that’s the way I look at it. So it will be our first playoff series against San Antonio. Every one knows that it will be physical, it’ll be great. In my opinion, they have the best coach in the NBA. I think Pop does an unbelievable job and they have four banners hanging in there to prove that. They’re playing at a real high level right now and it’ll be a challenge, but we’re looking forward to it.”

On Brandon Roy:
“Him being out there made a difference… We spent 20 minutes at our shootaround going over how we would try to defend him. Every one knows he’s not 100 percent, but to me, the fact that he was out there and gave that kind of effort shows me the fiber that he’s made of. He didn’t play as well as he’s capable of playing and everyone knows that, but I guarantee you if ask any guy in that locker room over there, they’ll tell you that having him out there meant a lot to them.”


Thursday, April 29, 2010 – Final Score: Phoenix 99, Portland 90


On his performance in the fourth quarter:
“You just try to hang in there for your team. I was really hurting tonight, but I didn’t want to make my physical problems set limitations. I just tried to be there for my team if I could at some point. I felt my teammates played well, and we had a little lead to work with, so I just wanted to keep the rhythm and the energy that our team had going and I was lucky enough to make a couple of plays for us. ”

On Jason Richardson’s play in the series:
“He’s great. They made the decision to use their length and zone up, take the paint away and he made a lot of jump shots for us. He made a lot of threes, made some big threes tonight, and he obviously had some other big games in the series.”

On the team advancing after not being picked to make the playoffs:
“We had a great training camp, our team really came together as a unit. We’ve got a lot of depth. We’re not the most talented team, but our chemistry and our ability to sacrifice for one another has been paramount to our success.”

On Amare Stoudemire:
“He’s been a tremendous player for the last five or six plus seasons, but in the last two or three months he’s evolved. He has a feel for the game, the ability to take the ball into the basket, not allow teams to zone him up, his passing’s improving, but mostly just his feel and his ability to read defenses has a come a long way.”

On how the Suns were able to win in Portland:
“Down the stretch, defensively, we were able to get stops, rebound, and take control of the game offensively. It was a very, very impressive fourth quarter for us.”

On the next round:
“It’s going to be a big series for us. There’s great history between us and the Spurs in the past five or six years, so this is going to be a great match-up. It’s going to be another great challenge for us. The Spurs play well in the post-season, so we just have to make sure we study the game of basketball, study their team’s offense and defense and see what we an do.”

On having home-court advantage:
“That’s what we play for. This season we played great trying to get home-court advantage, and it’s finally paying off for us. Being able to have home-court advantage against the Spurs is big for us. We have to make sure we protect home court.”


Phoenix 99, Portland 90
First Round – Game 6 – Suns win series, 4-2
April 29, 2010

— Tonight marked the 115th straight Trail Blazers sellout at the Rose Garden (including playoffs), dating back to Dec. 21, 2007.

— Portland never led after scoring the opening basket and leading 2-0, but did tie the game, 76-76, with 8:07 left in the fourth quarter … Phoenix led by as many as 16 points, 66-50, with 3:43 left in the third quarter.

— The Trail Blazers have now lost in the First Round in five consecutive postseason appearances, last advancing in 2000 … The last two series have each gone six games.

— Portland lost a series for just the second time in franchise history when winning the first game (15-2).

— The Trail Blazers had never lost in a Game 6 at home before tonight’s outcome (5-0) … Portland last ended the season with a home playoff loss in 2001 (vs. L.A. Lakers).

— The Suns have now won four of the seven playoff meetings between the teams, all-time, but Portland holds a 16-15 overall advantage in terms of games.

— Portland’s reserves outscored Phoenix’s bench, 49-34, with the Trail Blazers’ bench points accounting for 54.4% of its total output.

— Martell Webster scored a playoff career-high 19 points … He hit his first three 3-point tries, all between the 58.9 second mark of the third quarter and the 11:41 mark of the fourth quarter.

— Rudy Fernandez’s five 3-pointers matched his playoff career best (4/24/09 at Houston).

— LaMarcus Aldridge’s five blocks tied a career high for any game, matching a record he also set in a playoff game (4/24/09 at Houston) … Aldridge had all of Portland’s blocks tonight.

— Brandon Roy started for the first time since suffering a partial tear of the meniscus in his right knee on April 11 at L.A. Lakers … He underwent surgery to repair the injury on April 16 … Roy came off the bench to play in Games 4 and 5 of the series … His 14 points were his most in a game this series.

— The team’s combined to commit 15 turnovers in the first quarter alone (Portland 7, Phoenix 8), more than half of the total turnovers in the game (27) … Steve Nash accounted for six of Phoenix’s turnovers in the first quarter … Entering the game, Portland ranked second (11.2) and Phoenix third (11.8) among playoff teams in turnovers per game during the postseason.

— The Suns grabbed a 5-0 advantage in offensive rebounds in the opening quarter but only pulled in two offensive boards the rest of the game … Phoenix outrebounded Portland, 15-8, in the first quarter overall.

— Jason Richardson led all players in scoring for the third time in the series … Richardson notched a game-high 14 points (5-8 FG, 3-3 3-PT) and four rebounds in the first quarter … He made the first three 3-pointers of the game and connected on each of his four attempts in the first half.

— Portland’s 11 three-pointers were one shy of a season high (12, March 14 vs. Toronto) … Phoenix made 60 3-pointers in the series, compared to 38 makes by Portland.

— Portland attempted 19 more foul shots in the series than Phoenix … The Trail Blazers earned 163 more free throws and made 212 more than their opponents during the regular season.

— The team leading at halftime won every game in the series.

— The team that scored more fastbreak points won every game in the series.

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