Cavaliers-Knicks postgame quotes

Mike Brown: “Obviously, Kyrie (Irving) had a heck of a game for us. He shot the ball well. He found his teammates with 11 assists and one turnover. I thought he had a fantastic night for us, especially on the offensive end of the floor. Jarrett Jack came off the bench and gave us a big lift with 17 points. I thought we got a lot of different point contributions from different guys on our bench. Between Dion (Waiters), Andy (Varejao) and Earl (Clark), that’s another 17 (points). Then we had another five (points), so that’s 39 points coming from your bench. That’s a pretty good night from our bench.”

Brown on Anderson Varejao:
“I thought Anderson played an overall terrific game. He impacted the game a lot of ways defensively. Five assists for a big with zero turnovers is a terrific night. You talk about a guy like Alonzo Gee whose minutes have been sporadic. We kept him on the floor for big minutes to guard Luol Deng. We also kept him on the floor because Carmelo (Anthony) is a great player. He had 29 points on 12-of-19 from the field but we felt that Zo for most of the night did a nice job making him work.”

Brown on difference in second half: “The difference in the second half for us was we had five turnovers for five points. That was huge for us in the second half. We felt that if we didn’t turn the ball over, move (the ball) and space it very well, we’ll get some good looks, especially the way Kyrie had it going tonight. We felt we could get a good look with him playing pick and roll. We felt we could get a good look for any of our guys by moving the basketball anytime as long as we took care of it. We addressed it at halftime and we thought our guys came out and did a nice job in the second half.”

Brown on what Cavs must do on road: “The biggest thing is we have to be physically and mentally tougher than what we are at home because anybody that plays in their building gets an extra boost of energy from the crowd. Not only that, there’s a comfort level playing at home. Your routine is a good one because you’re used to doing it all the time. For us to go to some of these courts and win a game, our mental and physical toughness from the beginning of the game until the end of the game has to be there. We have to compete at a higher level than we compete at home knowing that on the road there’s a good chance our shots are not going to fall. If it doesn’t fall, we can’t get discouraged. We have to understand that we can win a game by getting stops. We can win a game ugly. Sometimes that’s what you have to do on the road until you get a few (wins) under your belt. Then you’ll start believing.”

Kyrie Irving on playing Knicks: “For me, it’s just another game. No matter the opponent, I’m going to come out aggressive and get my team going early.”

Irving on shooting well: “It feels good. I have the confidence of the coaching staff and my teammates and I was making plays within our offense. I was trying to stay aggressive; that’s all I can do and just try to lead (the team).”

Irving on surrendering, then re-building, lead: “It was really important. Obviously, we knew that (the Knicks) were going to continue to fight and we just wanted to come out and be aggressive on both ends of the floor and that’s what we did. Our bigs were playing well; we kept throwing it into (Andrew Bynum. We got a couple of offensive rebounds and a couple of baskets went our way in the third quarter.”

Tristan Thompson on if he was frustrated before putback dunk: “No, that’s how the game goes sometimes. You’ll have ups and downs in a game and you’ll have times when you’re rolling or things aren’t going your way. You just have to stay the course and I did take (my frustration) out on the rim.”

Thompson on if the dunk provided a lift: “Yeah, whenever you can get big-time plays like my dunk and Kyrie (Irving) making all of those threes, it definitely gets us going again. It gets the crowd back into it and kind of gives us some extra life and we needed it in the second half.”

Thompson on building rebuilding lead: “Do what we did in the first quarter, which was move the ball, pass, cut, take open shots. Defensively, be aggressive and physical; getting the Knick out of their offense and make it tough for (Carmelo Anthony) and all of their other guys.”

Knicks coach Mike Woodson: “We were down and didn’t get anything going again. We fought back and I think we cut it to one, if not tied it, and then ended up down three at the half. The third quarter caught us again tonight. We’re playing back in spurts and that’s not good enough. There was a big difference in free throws tonight where we basically lived on the jump shot and they were making their way to the free throw line and I thought that was the big difference.”

Woodson on the third quarter:
“We’re basing everything on making shots. We had a lot of good looks tonight — (Andrea) Bargnani had a hell of a lot of good looks and just didn’t make shots. But again, we’re not getting the stops on the other end. We’re either fouling or their scoring and that’s a bad combination.”

Woodson on defending Kyrie:
“He’s tough. One-on-one he’s tough and he’s tough when you’re keeping the ball in the middle of the floor. He causes havoc on anybody and tonight he was making shots all over the place.”

Knicks G J.R. Smith on what needs to change: “You just have to have to play the way we’ve been playing the two games that we won. We have to go out and play hard and start playing rougher with a certain intensity and go from there. We’re playing cool basketball right now. It’s not working for us. We have to get our hands dirty and do what it takes to win it.”

Smith on team morale: “It feels like the same old song again. But, we have to be more mentally tough to get out of it, opposed to just putting our heads down and going about the game and letting them do what they want to do. We have to be able to be mentally tough and say we aren’t going to let this happen and we’re going to do everything we can do and everything possible to win.”

Smith on losing intensity: “Third quarter. I think we did a hell of a job during the second quarter. The defense and the offense flowed. Third quarter came around and it’s been a nightmare for us. Third quarter is where we really break down and those guys just started to do what they do. Kyrie had a hell of a second half. It’s just like kicking a man when he’s down, that’s what it felt like.”

Knicks F/C Amare Stoudemire: “We got off to a slow start in the first quarter, fought back in the second quarter and got back in the game. Third quarter came out sluggish, and then they just took it from there. We constantly started off slow in the first and third quarters, which is something we have to change. We have to make sure we find a way to start those halves.”

Stoudemire on being down 18: “You know me, I’m always going to think positive. I look at the glass as half full. I know that we can get back into it, we just have to move the ball a little bit. We did that, and we got back in the game there in the second quarter and we thought we had a great chance to win it, but then in the third quarter they pulled away.”