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Quotes From The Q: Worst Loss Yet, Cavs Give Away 98-97 Loss To T-Wolves


(On the game tonight): "This one stings a little bit more than almost, probably, any one this season. That one stung. We had it with three minutes left in the game. We really had the game won. Defensively, we allowed them to step into some threes. (We) just gave them too many easy shots and it ended up biting us in the butt at the end." 

(On why he put Jamison on Beasley at the end): "It just kind of worked out that way. That's why we brought Jamario in to guard Ridnour. Just in case anything that they did, as far as pick and rolls, we were just going to switch them. We had everybody pretty much about the same size. They didn't run a pick and roll. They just brought him right up to the elbow...The one thing with him is you want him to go to his right, but he was able to get to his right a little bit quicker and get to the basket. You have to give him a lot of credit. He made a great shot." 

(On if this loss stings more than most): "The last three minutes, we really had the game. Defensively, we kind of stopped playing. Offensively, the ball was kind of sticking, but when it was passed around, we let the shot clock get to seven or eight seconds and then it was like nobody really wanted to shoot it. (We) were almost scared to win the game. When you want to win the game, you have to go and take it. That's the bottom line. I thought we were kind of passive on both ends of the floor the last three minutes of the game and it cost us." 

(On why they struggled at the end): "I really couldn't tell you. I don't know. If I knew the problem, I would try to solve that. Just like we've been saying everyday, we're just going to keep working our butts off so we can make sure we get it right. Tonight was an opportunity; we really felt this was a team that we could beat and we should have. We really should have. We played 45 pretty good minutes of basketball."


(On the loss tonight): "This one probably hurt the most out of all of the losses this year. We were up 10-12 points with three minutes to go. You want to take control of the game and come out with the win. Obviously, they hit some tough shots, some threes. They're shots (that couldn't be guarded) and they made them, but we have to move forward. We have got Orlando coming to town and we have got to look forward to that." 

(On if they played the clock late in the game): "That's the truth, but at the same time, you don't want to shoot too quickly. You want to control the game, you want to get a good shot, but we got in what we call ‘butter' situations, and we didn't execute out of those butter situations. We ended up not getting a good shot, turned the ball over or whatever the case might be. I don't think down the stretch we handled the game like we are supposed to."


(On if he thought there was contact on the last shot that he took): "I'm biased, so I thought there was contact. When the opponent says they fouled you, it's difficult. That's how the game goes: sometimes things are going to get called and sometimes things are not. There was a little contact, but I should have done a better job as far as drawing more contact or really getting to the basket." 

(On forcing hurried shots late in the game): "We have just got to do a better job as far as getting into our sets, making sure that we are creating shots for our teammates and giving our teammates the best chance to score the ball as well."


(On keys to Minnesota comeback in 4th quarter): "We just got engaged in the ballgame. We just weren't involved and they (Cavs) went on their little run. We just weren't doing the right things offensively and defensively. We called a timeout and we told the guys they had to do what we were talking about at both ends of the floor. We got engaged and activated again, particularly at the defensive end. Offensively, we were struggling to find something to work. Everybody just kind of rallied around each other. It wasn't a good ballgame for us. I don't think we played particularly well. We just played well enough in certain spots to get ourselves a win." 

(On winning a close game at the end): "It feels great. It gives the guys a lot of confidence. It's a continual learning process for us. In the last sequence, we talked about driving to the open side and that's where he (Michael Beasley) was able to score, get to the basket and make his right-handed layup. Those are things he has to learn and grow with. I didn't think Kevin (Love) got off to a very good start, but I thought he rallied himself, particularly in the second half and in the fourth quarter. I thought he played great." 

(On Beasley game-winning basket): "You have to figure that most teams are going to try and take away the left hand, so that opens up that side which, when you put a shooter in that corner, it makes it very difficult for people to help off of him, but he still has to make plays out of it. Guys you call ‘go-to-guys' have got to make plays."


(On winning a close game): "It seems like we've had a lot of 10-point leads going into the fourth quarter and we just haven't found a way to close it out. To come back from that deficit and actually close out a game and find a way to win for our team feels good for our team." 

(On his performances of late): "I've just been able to get some good looks. We run a lot of pick and rolls, which has helped everyone kind of get involved. Ultimately, guys made plays and shots and we got stops. That was the biggest thing for us."


(On winning a close game): "Especially on the road, it feels very nice. It felt great; we desperately needed one and now we're going to make our after-Christmas push." 

(On his performance): "I should only get paid for the fourth (quarter), but if we get paid on a per-minute, like the fourth, I would take that contract. It was a slow game for me. I don't know if it was Christmas, the food I had yesterday, but I was sucking wind out there. I was a little slow those first three quarters. Wayne Ellington talked to me, I had (assistant coach) Bill Laimbeer talking to me and they said, ‘hey, man, the only way we're going to win this game is if we all collectively step up and out of all the people, you're the weakest link right now.' That kind of hit close to home on that comment, so I had to bring it in the fourth quarter and I felt like I stepped up and did a good job. I never hear that. I'm that way from the get-go, but I was off a little tonight and wasn't all there, so to speak, but I woke up. Kurt kept jawing at me, so that helped me out as well."


(On his game-winning field goal): "It was nice (scoring with right hand). Coach had been telling me all game, ‘go right' because they opened up the right side for me. I just decided to listen. I love to go's extra sweet to do it on the defensive end. It might not have been great defense ( last play on Jamison), but I forced him into a bad shot and we got the win."