Official postgame quotes and notes following the Jazz's 101-90 road victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
(On production from Raja Bell and C.J. Miles): “Raja came back and shot the ball really well. He’s struggled a little bit with his shooting, but he had some good looks at the basket and he knocked them down and that makes a big difference with our team. C.J. also made some shots out there.”
(On keys to efficiency of Jazz offense): “As long as we pass the ball and take decent shots, it helps us on the other end as well. It helps us get to have some court balance to be able to get back. Now, they (Cavs) got back and beat us a few times, but generally speaking, that’s what we always hope to have. Then, you have to make some. If you don’t make them, it doesn’t make any difference what you run.”
(On Jazz making better effort at rebounding): “Yeah, I think we’ve done a little bit better. When we get a little more familiar with the offense and where shots come from, there’s places for you to go offensive rebound. Defensively, we tried to stay between our man and the basket. If you do that, you’re in pretty good position to rebound.”
(On Deron Williams): “He (Williams) is a terrific player. To get over screens is something the way he does defensively always amazes me. He’s really good at getting over the top of stuff, underneath, whatever the case may be, to try to defend and that’s not easy with some of the small people you have to play. But, we need to have that out of everybody. Everybody needs to be better defensively, day in and day night.”
(On tying Pat Riley for most coaching wins): “I don’t have any. That’s not how I ever played and that’s not how I’ve coached. Obviously, I like to win. I couldn’t win without the coaches I’ve had with me. That’s the main thing. When you talk about coach of the year and that sort of thing, I’ve always felt it should be staff rather than a coach.”
(On winning in Cleveland after six straight losses): “Well, they’re a different team. I wonder why. In all fairness to them, they had a great player here and he left, and this organization had some struggle before that. But, they’ll fight through it again, I’m sure.”
(On Raja Bell’s performance): “He’s going through some injuries and they’ve been tough on him. It’s hard to get into a rhythm when you play a couple of games, then you’re out a couple of games. I thought he did a great job coming out and setting the tone for us. He shot the ball well, which opens everything up for us. He played a great game tonight.”
(On team balance tonight): “That’s what good teams do. We’ve got a lot of weapons and it’s a matter of time before they all start clicking at the same time. This was one of those games where nobody played off the charts. It was a good, solid win for us.”
(On keys to Jazz offensive efficiency): “I think it’s our defense. I thought our defense, after that first little start, kind of clamped down, especially in some spots. When we’re active on defense, we’re getting stops, the offense is able to flow a little better. When we’re unselfish and we make the extra passes, our offense is a lot better.”
(On Jerry Sloan tying Pat Riley for most coaches wins): “I mean, the man is in the Hall of Fame already. What more is there to say.”
(On keys to his performance): “I’m taking my time and being aggressive. I shot threes tonight, but not so much just catching and shooting. I got a little space and I was taking my time, I put it on the floor a couple of times. I was making cuts to the basket, using the curls, using those big guys. Also, I was looking to make the play, not looking to shoot every time. Stuff opens up better that way when you’re mind’s not made up. Defensively, I was just active rebounding, which allowed us to get out and run. I was just trying to be involved in the game.”
(On keys to efficiency of offense): “Screening, moving with a purpose and us playing defense allows us to get up and down the floor and get our bodies going. We get easy baskets and everybody is real alert. When everybody is scoring, everybody is going, you never get tired. It’s great, we’re talking to each other defensively and getting out and running.”
The Cavs had at least five players score in double figures for the 15th time this season: Daniel Gibson (29), Mo Williams (16), Antawn Jamison (13), Anthony Parker (11), and J.J. Hickson (10).
The Cavs set a season-high in three-pointers made, connecting on 12-28 (.429) shots from long distance. The team has now had back-to-back games with at least 10 three-pointers made for the first time this season. The last time they had consecutive games with at least 10 three-pointers made was Feb. 25-26, 2010 against Boston (10) and Toronto (11).
The Cavs had only nine turnovers, which was just one shy of their season-low. Tonight was the team’s sixth game with less than 10 turnovers this season.
Daniel Gibson had a strong performance, finishing with a career-high 29 points on 8-15 (.533) shooting, four rebounds, four assists and two steals in 36 minutes. Gibson also connected on a career-high seven three-pointers on eight attempts (.875). He is the first Cavs player to make at least seven triples in a game since Mo Williams shot a perfect 7-7 from long distance against Dallas on Nov. 28, 2009. Tonight was the fifth game this season Gibson has made at least four three-pointers in a game, as well as the fifth time he has notched at least 20 points. On the season, Gibson is shooting a team-best 55-124 (.444) from long distance, while averaging 13.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 29.0 minutes per game.
Mo Williams notched his third consecutive double-double (sixth this season and 38th of career) with 16 points and a game-high tying 10 assists, while also grabbing a season-high tying six rebounds in 38 minutes. His three straight double-doubles is the longest stretch of his career and over that span, he is averaging 20.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 11.7 assists in 40.3 minutes per game.
Antawn Jamison tallied 13 points, six rebounds and a season-high three steals in 42 minutes.
Anthony Parker had 11 points, three rebounds and two steals in 38 minutes. He has now scored in double figures in five straight games and is averaging 13.6 points, including shooting 10-24 (.417) from three-point range in 34.4 minutes per game during that span.
J.J. Hickson had a near double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds in 22 minutes.
Cleveland had a 14-9 advantage in fast break points. Over the last three games, the Cavs have outscored their opponents 52-22 in fast break points.
C.J. Miles finished with a team-high 22 points on 8-16 (.500) shooting, including 4-10 (.400) from long range, four rebounds and five assists in 26 minutes.
Deron Williams recorded his 15th double-double of the season with 17 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in 39 minutes.
Al Jefferson also notched a double-double (11th this season) as he finished with 16 points on 7-13 (.538) shooting and 13 rebounds in 38 minutes.
Raja Bell and Paul Millsap each scored 19 points for the Jazz. Bell shot 5-6 (.833) from beyond the arc in 36 minutes, while Millsap added seven rebounds and shot 9-13 (.692) from the field in 33 minutes.
Head Coach Jerry Sloan recorded his 1,210th career win, which ties Pat Riley for third place in NBA history.
(On the game tonight): “I think this morning I talked about how great Coach Sloan teams are as far as offensive execution. I thought tonight, every little mistake we made, we paid for; either a wide open three or a lay up or a dunk. We were going into this game (knowing) that we had to be totally focused in on that end of the floor to beat this team. I thought our guys were focused. I thought we played hard, but it was still just too many mistakes, defensively, and they took advantage of pretty much every one of them.”
(On the Cavs taking 28 three-point attempts): “The way they played, they pretty much plugged the paint up. They want you to shoot jump shots. We took what the defense gave us. I thought at times we still could have maybe made the extra pass or taken one more dribble to the paint to force them in a little more, but it wasn’t offense. It was just the fact that they did a pretty good job of clogging us up on the defensive end and it’s a part of our game that we have to continue to work on.”
(On the decision to put Gibson on Deron Williams): “We talked about before the game that if Mo got a quick foul, we would make the change anyway, just to keep those two guys on the floor. Towards the end, Boobie is a much more aggressive, stronger defender than Mo is and Mo had three fouls at the time and I know when Boobie came back in, he had four so we just figured we needed someone a little bit bigger and stronger to guard Deron and I thought Boobie did a real good job.”
(On what it will take to get the Cavs to play the way they did against New York on a nightly basis): “I think we still had the same effort, we just didn’t get the same results. Defensively, we didn’t do as well as we did the other night against New York. This is a team that is always in the top three or four in the league as far as scoring, field goal percentage, so they do execute on the offensive end extremely well. Not just against us, against everybody. We made some mistakes and they made us pay for them. We’re going to continue to work on it, not get discouraged by the way we played tonight because, effort-wise it was still good. That’s something we’re going to continue to press amongst the guys - that we need to continue to play that hard. We still have to cut down on the little mistakes that we’re making. Some of the physical and mental mistakes and, again, communication is the key.”
(On if losing tonight is frustrating): “For me, and hopefully for the guys in that lockerroom, losing is always frustrating. I don’t like it. I don’t enjoy it. I can deal with it because we are going to continue to get better. I know the guys in that lockerroom will continue to give me that same effort. Nobody in that lockerroom is happy with losing 10 out of our last 11 games, but we’re going to continue to work.”
(On getting hurt by three-pointers tonight): “It wasn’t just the three-ball. I think we could have done a better job on the defensive boards. They had seven first half offensive boards, but like I said, we have got to do a better job of boxing out; not only the big men, but our guards have to do a better job of boxing out also.”
(On how they can start winning consecutive games): “We have got to believe in each other. Coach has been saying it all year. We have got to believe in each other and just play hard. When we play hard, we have some games where we have been in it in the end and couldn’t get stops. As the season goes on, I think we will learn how to get those stops and put together a string of wins.”
(On how nice it was for him to get into a flow offensively early in the game after going 4-20 shooting against New York): “I watched some tape from the last game and I just tried to do some things different and find different spots. That’s just how basketball goes: one night you have it and one night you don’t. If I could go 4-20 and we win, I would have preferred to go 4-20 again tonight.”
(On having a regular season career high in points tonight): “I’m not real big on personal things. If it results in a win, then I’m excited about it. If we are not winning, then for me, I just want to figure out what we need to do in order to win our next game.”
(On how they were able to defend Deron Williams well tonight): “We know that Deron is one of the top guards in the league and he likes to penetrate. We just wanted to keep different bodies on him, keep bodies in front of him all night and give him different looks. The way they run that offense, he is going to find ways to get shots and make plays, but we just wanted to make it as tough as we could on him.”
— Brian T. Smith