TRAIL BLAZERS 101, RAPTORS 99 — WHAT THEY SAID: “It’s something that I will always embrace, embrace those moments and love those moments. Whenever you get a chance to have a moment like that, you have to take advantage of it. Throughout my career I’ve always been the guy that would take those shots and made a ton of them and missed a lot of them as well, but you just have to be willing and step up to take them.” — CARMELO ANTHONY.

(16-22) PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS, 101 VS. (24-13) TORONTO RAPTORS, 99 SCOTIABANK ARENA TUESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2020 

TORONTO RAPTORS QUOTES 

NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH) 

On Portland making some tough shots that were well defended … They made some deep ones and (Damian) Lillard is going to do that. I would say there was one (where) clearly I thought we made a mistake and didn’t press up on them enough. We were there, kind of, and he likes to lull you to sleep and we had done a good job … most of the night. There was one that was just clearly an offensive foul on (Hassan) Whiteside that wiped us out to tie the game and then (Carmelo Anthony) Melo hit a couple pretty good ones. We had a good chance to contest a couple of those a little harder in the corner, kind of two guys going at him and they both slowed because they almost were going to run into each other. Our own guys could have been a little better contesting and then the last shot he made a great move, he really did. He played on the catch and he got by OG (Anunoby) right away on that, so he was trailing from behind on that. But yeah, they made some good ones. Our guys played their guts out, they really played well. 

On the Patrick McCaw turnover in the corner being forced … I think he went between, he threw it down I think a little too low. I think Kyle (Lowry) was there, but I don’t think he was going to have a shot, but he was there on the air pass. I just think that he threw it too hard and too low. I didn’t see that one yet on tape, but live it looked like Kyle was going to come off and catch it. 

On considering going offence – defence in last few possessions … I did consider it, but I just felt like again what we would do is probably is leave Oshae (Brissett) for the perimeter shooting and take Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) out, but we thought maybe Rondae would get an offensive rebound or something like that, a hustle play. It is six of one or the other or something, I don’t know and we wanted him out there for the defensive possessions. I think he is the one that got wiped out on that illegal screen. 

RONDAE HOLLIS-JEFFERSON (eight points, six rebounds) 

How did things get away at the end of the game? We kind of let their guys get hot, let them hit some shots, not being up on a couple screens, just was a step too late. 

Offensively what does the team have to do down the stretch to execute better? We have to make sure that we get the best shot possible at the end of the day. Make sure we run the set that we want to do, make sure we set screens, get people open and just get the best shot possible. 

OSHAE BRISSETT (12 points, six rebounds) 

On getting more time on the court with starters… Those guys make the game really easy. They draw so much attention from the defence and they know when to kick it and when to drive. Any decision that they make is just what I have to live with, so it doesn’t matter how, really how they play, I just have to feed off how they are going. 

KYLE LOWRY (24 points, 10 assists) 

On what went wrong down the stretch… Lack of concentration, they made some big threes. They made six threes in the fourth quarter. We missed some shots, they made big shots and I think we just let them get a little too loose in the fourth quarter. 

What is your view on what led to the Damian Lillard three that tied the game? A great screen and he shot it from really far. Serge (Ibaka) was trying to get up, but he didn’t get up there in time, but that’s what Dame does, he shoots the ball from far and they did a good job of executing. They stuck with their game plan and it worked out for them long term. 

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS QUOTES 

TERRY STOTTS (HEAD COACH) 

On tonight’s game… I was really proud the way our team competed tonight, particularly in the fourth quarter. We’ve had our struggles defensively in the fourth quarter throughout the season but tonight to hold them to 21 points and only give up one offensive rebound in the fourth quarter, and the way we competed being down 12 in the quarter, I was really proud the way we played. 

On the last play… The play was to get the ball to Dame (Damian Lillard) but they doubled Dame on the inbounds. CJ (McCollum) broke open, made a good read to Melo (Carmelo Anthony), and that was just playing basketball. But the inbounds play to get the ball to Dame but they took him out. 

On Damian Lillard’s fourth quarter… They did a good job with Dame, he only got three shots off in the first half. He kept moving back, he made some deep threes. Thankfully, he has the ability to make those threes, which opens up his drives and opens up some other things. I said it pregame about Dame, he’s competitive, and he has a strong desire to find a way to win games. 

CARMELO ANTHONY (28 points, seven rebounds, two steals) 

How big is this kind of road win for your team this season? As far as the season goes, I can only hope and pray that we could use this as a stepping stone, but as far as this road trip goes, it was very important for us to come back the way that we did on the road. The way that we just kind of buckled down in that second half, particularly that fourth quarter, the way we were able to make stops and get stops, and also make shots. So at the end of the day, this is a big confidence booster for us (and) big morale boost for us, especially going into the last game on this road trip where we have the opportunity to come out on the winning side. 

Do you still crave opportunities to get those shots? Yeah, of course. It’s something that I will always embrace, embrace those moments and love those moments. Whenever you get a chance to have a moment like that, you have to take advantage of it. Throughout my career I’ve always been the guy that would take those shots and made a ton of them and missed a lot of them as well, but you just have to be willing and step up to take them. 

Is there something special about hitting this shot? No, I don’t think it’s anything special. What’s special is that we came back and won this game. I think that’s the moment. That’s the special moment and that’s what I’ll take from this. 

DAMIAN LILLARD (20 points, nine assists, four rebounds,) 

How big is this road win for this team? It could be huge, especially against a really good team on the road. I think the way we did it, you know, we gave up 22 in the third, 31 in the fourth, we defended, we started to limit their second chances. I think they had one offensive rebound down the stretch. I think the way we did it is the style that we need to be able to win more games, so I think this could be one of those games that officially gets us going in the right direction. Hopefully it is.

 What do you talk about at halftime to get it going in the second half? We just talked about those things. We talked about how they were just outworking us on the offensive glass getting so many second and third opportunities, so we had to put bodies on guys, on the defensive end just get a little bit more aggressive so we didn’t have to play against a set half court. Defence, all game. In the second half we did a better job of that. I thought was obvious.

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