RAPTORS 133, CAVS 113 QUOTES FROM BOTH TEAMS: “The same story again we’ve had the last few games playing a really, really good team that has a great plan, has incredible shooters, length, quickness, got it all. I saw it firsthand now with (Pascal) Siakam, who last year certainly was a second fiddle to Kawhi (Leonard), and that was quite a performance.” — JOHN BEILEIN.

(6-21) CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, 113 VS. (18-8) TORONTO RAPTORS, 133 SCOTIABANK ARENA MONDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2019

TORONTO RAPTORS QUOTES

NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH)

On the offence carrying the defence tonight … Yeah, I think there wasn’t a ton of defence going on, I think either way, and that’s okay. I thought again, you look at the numbers, we shot the ball well, 31 assists, so a lot of guys with some pretty good nights there. We will take a W, that’s for sure.

On what Norm Powell is doing differently… We talked about this already, I think the only thing is, that in open floor he is being decisive and putting the jets on and going to the rim and he is finishing. I think a few games ago he was looking around and trying to figure out where to go and who to throw it to and wasn’t making the right decision all the time. What I like is his speed when he sees the open floor and goes to it. Reminiscent of a few years ago.

On Powell’s finishing at the rim … It’s the decisions of ‘I am going for it,’ and now you’re not hesitating at anything or looking out of the corner of your eye, you are just really going. But I think more than anything it is just the speed, he just is accelerating by people and getting a little clearer shot maybe on most of them. He had a couple tonight where he had to move it around somebody or directly over somebody, but most of those when he gets an extra burst he gets clear and clean and he’s making them.

On Patrick McCaw… Again, they have some fast guards out there, so we needed some speed. He’s always an impactful player defensively and even though he is maybe not the greatest offensive player in the world, he is still a smart offensive player. He will cut, he’s a good passer, nice to see him knock down a couple tonight because he really, really put in a lot of work this summer on his shooting, and with the in and out with the injuries, he hasn’t had a real chance to get into some rhythm. So it was nice to see him knock them down. I just like his overall IQ, his athleticism and his defensive prowess.

NORMAN POWELL (26 points, six rebounds, five rebounds, four steals)

Does it feel like the offence is coming around the past few games? I think more so, we are getting into a groove defensively. That being tied together, being locked back in on that side of the ball, and then feeling the offence, just being able to get steals. Talking, communicating, playing with high energy, everybody focused on that end and just carrying over.

Are you more comfortable finishing at the rim now? I think I’m really comfortable, just being able to read what the defence is doing, how they are playing, where their bigs are at, whether it’s a finish or kick out or a drop off to the bigs. I’m just taking what the defence is giving me and being aggressive and thinking to try and go up there and dunk the ball. Even if I’m not dunking it, but that mindset gets me there aggressively and being able to finish whatever it is, left, right. I’m just reading the defence and just playing my game.

On having zero turnovers tonight… I thought I did a good job of taking what they gave me, making the right reads and not (being) overly anxious to make the pass if the bigs were staying with me. Just take my time when I got into the paint and was able to make the right plays.

KYLE LOWRY (20 points, 11 assists)

Do you feel like the offence is getting back into the groove? It’s going to take time, we made shots tonight and we played with good energy and I think that’s the biggest thing. I think Pascal said last game that we have to continue to play with energy, play good defence and our defence creates good offence.

On the play of Powell… He’s in a great stretch right now, he’s shooting the ball confidently, pushing in transition and I think he’s understanding how to play in transition a lot better now and what we need from him.

On how you and Serge Ibaka are playing right now… It takes time, I missed four weeks and Serge missed three weeks and I mean it takes time and when you are only eight games in and both get hurt and you miss some time early in the year, when you are kind of getting into your groove and you are feeling good early, then you get knocked out, it takes a little bit of time to get back going.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS QUOTES

JOHN BEILEIN (HEAD COACH)

On tonight’s game… The same story again we’ve had the last few games playing a really, really good team that has a great plan, has incredible shooters, length, quickness, got it all. I saw it firsthand now with (Pascal) Siakam, who last year certainly was a second fiddle to Kawhi (Leonard), and that was quite a performance. We’re just having trouble matching up with some of these type of players, and as a team we’ve got to find a way to do that. They are just a really good team, and were certainly a better team than us tonight.

On the transition defence… Some guys don’t have trouble, some do. It’s sort of an individual thing right now, and then what else happens is you can get back and then the words that aren’t spoken when you get back leads to confusion. We have some really good people on the team that aren’t necessarily the most talkative so they assume with each other, and they (opponents) get things. Again, if the other team is faster than you and longer than you, that’s really hard to stay in front of them too.

What were you seeing from your second unit? They just are playing well together right now. I think we had 30 assists overall. The first half was about our turnovers, led to fast break points and then the second half we stopped doing that. I think they had over 20 fast break points in the first half and the second half we didn’t turn it over as much. That’s been an issue. I don’t think the second team in the first half had a turnover; they went in and really played well. So we have a lot of things obviously we’re shoring up and it’s hard to do with a team like this.

COLLIN SEXTON (25 points, five rebounds, four assists)

What do you need to do to improve the transition defense? We have to get back into transition. We have to continue to work on that. A few of us can’t score and then run all the way back; it should be a collective effort. We have to talk more and communicate whenever the transition is happening.

Do you want to see more physicality from you and the group? Oh yeah, absolutely. We have to pretty much play harder and get more stops. We have to continue to grow, continue to get better and we just have to try to put a win together.

Can you take any positives from this game? There are some positives, but there are also negatives that we have to correct. There are a lot of things we have to get better at. So we’ll watch it tomorrow and look to get better.

Is communication missing on the defensive end? Absolutely, it’s communication. No matter what, we have to communicate, we have to get back. We have to point out which player we should go to because whenever we’re scoring two of us are maybe under the basket and everybody else is looking out so we have to talk more and communicate.

DARIUS GARLAND (20 points, five assists)

How is your game different over the last few games compared to the beginning of the season? It’s just being more aggressive. My teammates trust me more, coaches do too. They’re giving me the ball when I’m open. It’s a credit to them.

How has that been different for the offence that you’ve seen the last few games? The ball is moving, so everybody is getting a touch. Everybody is getting a couple of shots. We just didn’t knock them down tonight. The ball is moving and bodies are moving.

What is working with the second unit over the past few games? Like I said, the ball is moving. Everybody is touching the ball so everybody is pretty happy about that. When we get open shots, that’s all we can ask for.

What did you see on the defensive side tonight? Miscommunication, really. They’re a really fast-paced team. Siakam is coming out really fast. You’ve got to stop him, get in front and match up on him somewhat.

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