Podium Recap: Coach Terry Stotts, Blazers Talk Game 5 Loss To Rockets

Bob Levey

Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts and All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard reacted to a 108-98 loss to the Houston Rockets in Game 5.

Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts and All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard reacted to a 108-98 loss to the Houston Rockets in Game 5.

Here are transcripts of their post-game comments.

Terry Stotts

Video here via NBA.com.

Opening comments

It was another hard-fought game. We got down early in the first half and I didn't think the first half we played the way we've been playing the rest of the series at either end of the floor. We turned the ball over a little bit too much. A little out of sorts defensively. We made a good run at it in the second half. It was just another hard-fought game. We look forward to playing them on Friday.

More intense defense from Houston

I think both teams have been playing with a high intensity all series. I didn't necessarily notice it one way or another. All of the games have been at a high level with intensity and effort and I think you'll see the same thing on Friday.

LaMarcus Aldridge's eight points

He goes 3-for-12, misses a couple of free throws. I think the early foul trouble probably got him out of rhythm. Our team is constructed where we have to take advantage of the opportunities that are there. Obviously L.A. didn't score but we still scored 98 [points] and we had some opportunities in the last three minutes. L.A. has had better games in this series, I don't know if it was necessarily their defense. Give them credit, they played hard. We'll look at the video and see where we can get better.

More shots for LaMarcus Aldridge?

It's the way the game turned out. With him getting the early foul trouble, it changed the rotation and the lineups a little bit. What I want is for our team to get good shots. Whether L.A. gets 12 or he gets 25 [shots], we want good shots. We need L.A. at the offensive end. We're better when he has it going offensively. The way I look at is that we need to do what it takes to win a game. How we get our points, we didn't have any as many assists as we should have for having 36 baskets. We probably should have more assists, we're better when the ball moves and we find shooters.

LaMarcus Aldridge

Video here via CSNNW.com.

Did the foul trouble take you out of it a little bit and get your rhythm off?

I think it did. Usually, I play the whole first [quarter] and I get more touches. I couldn't find my rhythm. That kind of threw me off. When I came back in, the whole flow of the game was just different. We were playing more pick-and-roll. We were playing more isolation with the guys that were going, so I was just trying to fit in out there.

Can you describe what Jeremy Lin gave them tonight as the game changed in their favor?

He was big. He gave them offense. He gave huge shots. We cut it down to three or four and he made one of those big threes. He played great for them.

You guys have played your best all season when you're seemingly against a wall. Does that give you reassurance going into Game 6?

Yeah. This team is very resilient. We've had ups and downs. We've had moments where people thought we would quit, but this team has never quit. We're going home with our crowd, which doesn't guarantee anything. This was one of those tough losses for us, so we'll go home and be better.

What do you think happened in the fourth quarter?

They made plays. We had opportunities to make shots. We didn't make certain shots that we needed. We didn't get the big stops down the stretch. I think they definitely played well down the stretch and we didn't, so I thought that was the biggest key down the stretch.

Did they do anything different on you tonight? You didn't seem to get the ball in your hands as much.

No. They just had a game where the ball didn't come to me as much tonight. Guys were making shots, so we were just playing off of that. That's how the game went. It wasn't about [Dwight Howard] guarding me, or anything like that.

Damian Lillard

Video here via CSNNW.com.

They were the more desperate team. Coming into a game where we can close out a series, I think at the start of the game, we got to be more focused on the small things: taking away what direction they like to go to, taking away the transition, just trying to keep the crowd out of it and trying not to give them life. I thought we gave them life early, they got themselves going, and they played a good game. We had a lot of good defensive possessions and then guys hit tough shots at the end of the shot clock, and it happened time and time again. We still found a way to give ourselves a chance at the end of the game, and it just didn't go our way.

You cut it to one twice. Did you start to think "we're going to win this thing?"

Definitely. Once we kept cutting it to one, after all the things we had to overcome to be in that position, we felt like 'alright, now it's going to come back into our direction. We might get a few calls, get them them to miss a few shots.' They just kept coming. They made free throws. They made the extra pass and knocked down threes, which really hurt us. They played a good game. Like I said, they played like a desperate team. They came out and won the game.

How frustrating, at times, was it to guard Jeremy Lin tonight?

He threw up some tough shots, especially at the end of the clock, when you got two people in his face and he hit a deep three. Coming down the lane and floating the ball over two or three people, and it's going for him. Another time, he run into a guy running full speed, and just let the ball go and it goes in -- and one. That's when you notice a guy is having a good night.

He had a good night. I wouldn't say it was frustrating. I think the more frustrating thing was that we had so many good defensive possessions and at the end of the possession, they put one up and it's going in. I think that let us know what type of night it was.

Still feel good about where you are right now with a chance to win at home and close the series?

Definitely. We're up 3-2. When you're up 3-1, you know it's going to be tough because the team is going to show some fight -- it could be the end of their season. It was on the road, the crowd was really into it. We're still up 3-2 going back to our home floor. We don't think we played as well as we can on our home floor, so I think everybody knows we need to bring that energy and that focus to this next game to try to handle our business and finish this series right.

With [Patrick Beverley] clearly sick tonight, did you feel like you could take advantage a little bit and score some more this evening?

I played the same game I played every other game.

Is there more pressure on you guys now, trying to avoid coming back here?

I don't think so.

This game do anything to your confidence?

I think, if anything, it gives us confidence because we didn't play very well. We didn't play consistent enough over the course of the game, and we still didn't win. I think with 3 or 4 minutes left, we still had a chance to win the game. Any time you can do that after not playing well, I think you definitely got to have some confidence based off of that.

-- Sagar Trika | @BlazersBySagar

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