Cavaliers lose to Bulls – Quotes from the Game

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Chicago Bulls 101-98 Thursday night at Quickens Loan Arena.  The Cavaliers were up 17 points late but simply let the Bulls back into the game.  LeBron led the team with 33 points, Z added 23 and Wally 10 points on 4-7 shooting.  It is good to see Wally getting his stroke back but he missed a shot near the end of the game and Ben missed a dunk that could have helped.  Larry Hughes probably had his best game since the trade, scoring 25 points on 11-17 shooting.  For quotes of the game see below:

HEAD COACH MIKE BROWN
(On the game as a whole):
“Got to give that team credit. That team did a heck of a job in the fourth quarter defensively against us. You’ve got to give Ben Gordon credit and Larry Hughes. I thought Larry Hughes came in here and had a huge fourth quarter for them. We had a lot of guys guard him at different times because we know when he gets hot, he’s a tough cover. He got hot tonight and carried the load for them.”
(On the final play):
“We knew that Boobie (Daniel Gibson) would set a screen on LeBron. I just told him to pop out just in case LeBron got doubled, and he did. LeBron got doubled and he found him (Gibson), and he had a great look.”
(On the game being frustrating):
“It’s frustrating for me. We were up 17 points late and we had plenty of opportunities to put the game away. Chicago is a hard-playing team and they’re not going to give up whether it’s at home or on the road.”

WALLY SZCZERBIAK
(On what the Bulls did in the second half):
“Their bench came and really pushed the tempo and got some stops on us and put us back on our heels. Our transition defense against them hasn’t really been good all year and that’s where they got to us. They got a lot of transition buckets and Larry (Hughes) got hot and played very well in the second half. You have got to give them a lot of credit.”
(On what happened offensively for the Cavaliers in the fourth quarter):
“I don’t know. I think we had some pretty good looks. I missed a shot at the end and Ben (Wallace) missed a dunk. I think we executed pretty well, we got some pretty good shots. We have just got to continue to work and hopefully make the plays down the stretch in order to win the game.”
(On the frustration in losing this game):
“Well yeah, every game is frustrating to lose at home. Especially as good as we are at home, we don’t expect to lose at all. I think that was very evident with how quiet the locker room was after the game. But at the same time we have got to learn from it, we have got to go back and watch the tape and see how we can not allow them to make up a 17-point lead on our home floor. There were a lot of mistakes that put us in the position to have the game come down to one possession at the end. Hopefully we can get it taken care of and figure it out.”
(On if his play the past two game is the best since he has been here):
“Definitely. I’m kicking myself for not making that shot at the end. I stroked it and it went in and out and it just wasn’t meant to be. LeBron made a great play and hit me wide open. Unfortunately that one just didn’t go down but I’ll be ready for the next one.”

LEBRON JAMES
(On whether he was fouled on his late drive to the basket):
“I got hit on the elbow and left [the shot] short. But that wasn’t the reason why we lost the game.”
(On why the team lost the game):
“Defensively we weren’t in tune like we should have. We allowed them to penetrate and penetrate and let them get into a comfort level. They’re very hard to guard because their guard play is very good… We allowed them to get into a comfort zone in the second half.”
(On the final play):
“The play was [designed] to get me open and take the shot. But without hesitation I saw a [Bulls defender] leaving Boobie and he was wide open so it was the best shot we could have got. It was a great look.”
(On whether or not to be concerned with the team’s performance):
“We played well tonight at times. We’ve been playing well our last few games so I’m not concerned.”
(On when the back spasms started):
“I don’t remember what play it was. It just started [to spasm]. If you ask anybody how bad that is for me, being the explosive type of player I am, it’s tough to do some of the things I wanted to do, especially in the fourth quarter… Hopefully I can try and get it better and get it ready for Saturday.”
(On the Bulls’ momentum following the 17-point lead):
“They started to make shots. At times, we allowed them to make shots without us pressuring them defensively and you can’t let a team like that hang around because they can make big shots.”
(On getting better defensively):
“We only have a few games left. Hopefully we can get in tune and prepare ourselves to go into the playoffs with the right mindset. We all know that we can win in the postseason if we defend.”
(On the loss):
“You want to win every game. Being up 17 or being up one, you still have to execute… It’s a little frustrating but at the same time you have to learn from it.”

HEAD COACH JIM BOYLAN
(On tonight’s game):
“You see a game like that with a team that’s in our situation, mathematically we’re not out of the playoff race but we have a steep hill to climb and you get down 17 on the road against a team the caliber of Cleveland, who was in The Finals last year, and to be able to fight your way back and get the win, I think that says a lot about our guys. I was really proud of the way we fought. We got contributions from a lot of different people. It was not just one particular guy, everybody seemed to be able to give us something…we’ve been trying to talk to the guys about playing it (the season) all the way out. The whole season, we’re pros. Let’s act like pros and conduct ourselves in that manner, and I thought tonight we really showed that.”
(On Thabo Sefolosha’s defense on LeBron James in the fourth quarter):
“Great job. Thabo is a very good defender and he gets better and better. It’s only his second year and when he’s on his game defensively, he’s a handful.”
(On whether he thought of putting the bench in during the third quarter):
“That never crossed my mind. I thought we played well throughout the entire game. They had some runs, we had some turnovers that cost us a little bit, but I thought our offensive execution was good. I thought our defense, for the most part, was solid the whole game. At the timeouts, that’s what we talked about. Let’s work our way back in.”
(On Larry Hughes’ play today):
“Larry can do a lot of things out there. This was probably the best game he’s had since he’s been with us. He showed his versatility. He showed his ability to defend, his ability to distribute the ball, shoot the ball and he attacked the basket. I really liked the way he played. Hopefully, that will continue for the rest of the season.”

THABO SEFOLOSHA
(On his defense on LeBron and what he tried to do):
“Just stay in front of him and make him drive because he was hitting big shots…I think I did OK. We ended up winning so that’s a good thing.”
(On what spurred the comeback):
“I don’t know if it was one thing. Larry Hughes had a great game. We never gave up, we were right there. We wanted to win this game so we gave it all. Everybody played together.”

LARRY HUGHES
(On how the Bulls made their comeback):
“Playing hard. They made a run and got up double digits but we stayed with it, moved the basketball around and got some open looks. Definitely played solid defensively. We were able to rebound and get out.”
(On feeling his shot get going in the third quarter):
“I did. I’ve been working hard at night. Just trying to finish out strong. Making some shots, knowing where I’ll get my shots and how I’ll get my shots. Just trying to be patient and not try to do so much. Definitely staying off that three-point line, getting in and shooting more two’s.”
(On whether it felt good to win):
“Of course. It definitely feels good to win. We felt like we had a good chance the first time we played here and we let it get away in the fourth. We want to win the series. Coming over to a new team, seeing these guys four times, we want to come out on top. If nothing else, just for bragging rights when we see the guys in the summer time.”