The stats and game night crews do a bang-up job of putting together interesting tidbits and quotes after games, so I thought I'd start posting those in the blog. Enjoy!
Portland now 6-0 in games decided by 3 points or less . . . Blazers trailed by 19 points with 10:58 remaining in the third quarter and were still down by 14 with 9:23 left in the game . . . Portland was outscored 52-37 in the first half then turned it around, outscoring the Hawks, 57-41 in the second half . . . The Blazers bench outscored the Hawks reserves, 45-19 . . . In the last three meetings, the Blazers have outscored the Hawks by five points in winning three straight games---102-100 in overtime, 111-109 in OT, and 94-93 tonight.
Coach Nate McMillan:
“In some ways this was our biggest win. It was similar to the game we gave away in Philly in that they had what seemed an insurmountable lead and we just never quit. We didn’t have any life at all in the first half and I told the team at halftime that everybody had to contribute something to get us back in.
“What can you say about Brandon Roy? We have a special guy here. We just hope he can stay healthy. He has the will and the heart to be a special player in this league and we’re still seeing him getting better and better. People wouldn’t know it but he might not have played today. He was running a fever, his eyes were watery and (trainer) Jay Jensen had to give him liquids during the game. The defensive hold he had on Joe Johnson (in the last minute) was a thing of beauty. He kept him in front of him and Joe just couldn’t go either way and had to settle for a desperation shot.
“We also did that fourth quarter rally with a different kind of lineup we’ve never used before with Sergio, Frye, James (Jones), Travis and Brandon. We also worked on a different play off the pick and role by telling Travis and Channing to slip away to open spots and rather than drive around a screen, Brandon just passed to them for some open shots. But everybody contributed. Travis made two huge threes. As I said, we need everybody for coming from 19 points down like this. At the end for me, it was just shock and relief in saying ‘how did we do it?’ The answer to that: ‘By not giving in.’”
About missing the front end of the two-shot foul with 2.3 seconds remaining: “I was really upset because I knew they only needed a two-pointer to beat us. I told the guys to make it up for me, try to make a stop, and they did a great job. Travis did a great job on defending Joe on that last shot. We were able to pull out a gutsy win.
“(In the second half) I wanted to be more aggressive. I saw how some of the guys were down and tired. I said, ‘look you guys, just follow my lead. I’m going to step up. Channing stepped up, and a lot guys came in and showed a lot of heart tonight. I just wanted to be aggressive and get to the lane and I was able to make some tough shots. We needed this win really bad. We’ve got Cleveland coming in here. Its tough to beat a team twice in one week. We did a good job of outlasting them down the stretch.”
“It’s a long season and its hard to always come out with energy. It was a gutsy win. They tried to take away Brandon Roy but he was able to create plays. We were able to settle down in the second half. Sergio. Travis and James Jones did a great job.”
Coach Mike Woodson:
“It was just a matter of time before they started to make shots. We tried to switch up our coverages somewhat but they got a few threes that put them back where they needed to be. We just didn’t make plays down the stretch and we just didn’t finish the game. I saw that coming somewhat in the Seattle game. We had a good game and had a big lead up there but we got sloppy at the end. It cost us tonight big time.”
(On end of game and last shot)
“We only had 2.3 to get it off. He was just trying to get a shot, that’s what it was all about. We just made too many mistakes down the stretch. We had a foul to give and we didn’t give that up. Roy made the play and he got fouled and he makes one of two. It should have never come to that particular play. We just didn’t handle our business tonight down the stretch.”
(On Brandon Roy)
“He’s been great for them all year. He’s done all the necessary things on both ends of the floor. I thought he made a great defensive stop as well on Joe Johnson. He was able to get a 24 second violation and they got the ball back. He’s been fabulous for their team. He has a legitimate shot at making the all star team if he continues to play that way.”
“Sure, we are stunned. This is a game we thought we controlled until the last 3 or 4 minutes of the game. We had these kind of slippages in the Seattle game. We just have to go back to practice and try to regroup. As well as we played defense tonight and rebounded the ball, there’s no excuse why we don’t come out with a win.”
“It’s more than just the guy on the ball, it’s the rest of us not coming up to help. With that being said, we left the guys out there guarding Brandon Roy on an island. In this league when guys are being aggressive, with the defensive rules, it makes it tough to defend. At the same time, you just can’t afford to give up layup after layup after layup as a team defensively.”
“The only thing you’re going to do with a team that has the man power to score is to slow them down, but eventually they’re going to go on a streak and make some shots. They did it late….I wish they had done that early.”
(On Brandon Roy)
“He’s not one-dimensional at all. He does it all. He can run the point guard position if needed, passing the ball around, but he can put the ball in the hole when they need him. That was a big layup to tie the game.”
(On Brandon Roy)
“The thing about Brandon that I’ve always known is that he does what he wants to do when he wants to do it. He’s never in a hurry, he’s always patient. He seems like he’s always waiting for someone else to mess up and he just takes advantage of it right there and that’s why he is so effective. He’s tough to guard and he’s going to be tough to guard for a long time.”
“It’s frustrating, we know we are better than that. That’s a very good Portland team, I’ll tell you that. Very well coached and very good players. But we were up 15-20 pretty much the whole game and we didn’t take advantage of it and they capitalized.”