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Jefferson says Jazz trying to win every game during second half of season

Published March 6, 2012 4:09 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Cleveland — Official postgame quotes and notes following the Jazz's 109-100 win against the Cavaliers on Monday.

HEAD COACH TYRONE CORBIN (On the win): "They fought (back) and started making some shots on us. For us to give up 31 (points) in the third quarter was not pleasing for me. We gave up 28 (points) in the fourth (quarter), but I thought we pretty much controlled the tempo of the game at that point and we had some guys step up and make some big shots for us. It was a great team win for us." (On Gordon Hayward and the play of Utah's big men): "He did a great job. We put Gordon in some pick and rolls with the ball in his hands and he made some great plays. The bigs did a great job of stepping in. Derrick (Favors) made the one baseline move, which was huge for us. It was a good team effort." PAUL MILLSAP (On playing with Al Jefferson): "We open up everything for everybody else. When we get a few touches (in the paint), someone steps over trying to help and we can (pass) it out to the open guy…We set the tone down low. When we get things clicking, we're one of the best tandems in the league. We have to be consistent. We'll continue to share the basketball like we did tonight and continue to get other guys involved. We don't want to hold the ball so much so that it's just us two. When we get everyone involved, that's when we're at our best."AL JEFFERSON (On the win tonight and winning on the road): "We just have to take it one game at a time and just play like we did tonight. We slacked off a little bit toward the end, but we got the win. That's all that matters. We played great defense, moved the ball and got our shots within the offense. This is a game that we know we had to win. Every game from here on out we have to win. We're trying to stay in the playoff race. We just have to do it. We talk about it all the time, but we just have to get it done." (On his seven assists): "Guys were hitting shots for me. They were coming over (to) me on the double-team really fast and I know if I continue to pass the ball and get guys open shots, it'll open up for me (as well). Fortunately for me, they kept double-teaming me all night and I just kept passing it out and got guys shots."JAZZ NOTES:· Al Jefferson tallied a game-high 25 points on 9-16 (.563) shooting, grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, and recorded a career-high seven assists in 39 minutes.· Gordon Hayward scored a season-high tying 23 points on 8-11 (.727) shooting, to go along with four rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes of action off the bench.· In 35 minutes, Paul Millsap pulled down nine rebounds, to go along with 13 points on 5-12 (.417) shooting.

HEAD COACH BYRON SCOTT (On tonight's game): "We played really hard for about six to seven minutes. I thought the beginning of the game, we were just so-so. The second quarter was even worse. The third quarter was okay. I thought the last five to six minutes of the game, we played with what I call a sense of urgency, which I talked to them about at halftime, but that's not good enough." (On why it takes getting down to play hard): "You have to ask the guys in the locker room. I don't know. The one thing we knew that had to do against these guys was play just as hard or harder than them. We had to play with that sense of urgency, just come out and compete. We got killed on the boards. We talked about our transition against this team. They've been running the ball a lot better, getting up and down the floor (and) they had 13 points at halftime in transition and we had zero. We just weren't aggressive on both ends of the floor and I think we paid for it." (On Gordon Hayward): "Hayward came off the bench and played extremely well for them. He got going early and made some shots. He's a very good player. I liked him at Butler. They have a good team. I didn't think we really competed for the 48 minutes as we had been doing except the last couple of games. Tonight was one of those games that you're hoping that sooner or later someone in the locker room starts getting pissed off besides me. That's what it boils down to. Somebody needs to start looking at this and taking it a little more seriously and understanding that we can't keep playing this way. You have to be a little bit more aggressive and physical and play with that sense of urgency to get this thing over with. Until we do that or make up our mind to do that, we're going to continue to struggle." (On Utah's offensive rebounds): "I thought a lot of it was just their physicality. They were just banging us and pushing us under the rim, getting tip balls and things like that. It wasn't just Millsap or Jefferson, it was one through five. They were just much more physical and aggressive than we were. It just shows how much we miss Andy as well." (On if he will play Irving and Sessions together more): "I don't know. Sessions stayed out there tonight because he was the only guy that was really pressuring the crap out of the ball. He was really up and being aggressive and being physical. That's why I kept him out there, because he was just doing such a good job. It just really depends on the situation."KYRIE IRVING (On the team's lack of aggression tonight): "There's no true answer for that. I think we all came out lackadaisical in the beginning and I'm not surprised that we lost the game. We came out lackadaisical and in the last five minutes we started to fight, but that's not going to get it done." (On his second half performance): "I just started to hit shots. The defense started to open up a little bit more. Once I missed the first layup when Alonzo (Gee) passed it to me, it was lingering on me a little bit. In the second half, I picked it up a little bit. (On the team's frustration at this point): "I think everybody has a little attitude in here, but I think that's good. Going on to the next game, I think we're all pissed off and it has to show out there on the court. There is some optimism and we've just got to get a win. It just boils down to us playing hard for 48 minutes." TRISTAN THOMPSON (On being outrebounded tonight): "It's tough whenever you get outrebounded in a game. Al (Jefferson), Paul (Milsap), (Derrick) Favors, even Gordon Hayward got into it and outrebounded us today. As bigs, we have to take responsibility for that." (On the level of effort put forth by the team tonight): "They just had the will. They outworked us, definitely. We've got to take more pride in that because outrebounding dictates the game a lot. It's tough whenever you get outrebounded, so we've got to come back." (On the team's aggression tonight): "We came out going through the motions. To win a basketball game, you've got to come out for 48 minutes and play hard. We didn't really turn it on until the last eight minutes when we were down and tried to get back in the game, but too little, too late. We've got to come out from the get-go strong and wanting to win." CAVALIERS NOTES: • As a team, the Cavaliers dished out 20 assists to only 10 turnovers, for a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. It marks the fourth time the Cavs have had a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio or better this season. • The Cavs connected on 9-23 (.391) three-point field goals. It marks the ninth time this season the Cavs have made at least nine three-pointers in a game. • Antawn Jamison notched a team-high tying 22 points on 8-18 (.444) shooting from the floor, to go along with four rebounds and a season-high six assists in 34 minutes. In his last eight games, Jamison is averaging 22.4 points and 8.1 rebounds in 36.5 minutes per contest. • Kyrie Irving finished with a team-high tying 22 points, including 21 in the second half, four assists and four rebounds in 32 minutes. It marks the 18th time Irving has scored at least 20 points in a game this season. • In the second halves of his last four games, Irving is averaging 17.0 points per game, which ranks fourth in the league during that stretch (February 28-March 5). He is also shooting .600 from the floor and .636 from behind the three-point line in 17.0 minutes per game in the second halves of those games. • In his fifth start of the season, Alonzo Gee scored 15 points on shooting 5-11 (.455) from the field, while also pulling down four rebounds and recording three assists in 35 minutes of action. • As a starter this season, Gee is averaging 12.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 35.2 minutes per game. Gee is also shooting .412 on three's as a starter. • Ramon Sessions came off the bench to score 14 points on 5-12 (.417) shooting, to go along with one assist and two rebounds in 22 minutes. Sessions also made 1-2 (.500) shots from three-point range. • Sessions has now shot .500 or better from three-point range in 10 of his last 12 games in which he has attempted at least one three-pointer. On the season, Sessions is now shooting .429 from long range. • Sessions has now scored in double-figures in 11 of his last 13 games, having come off the bench in nine of those contests. The Salt Lake Tribune

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