Hawks-Bobcats postgame quotes

What they said after the Hawks’ 97-83 victory over the Bobcats Monday night:

“We’ve been talking about improving our defense going down the stretch. They activity, the effort and the commitment on the defensive end in the second half was what allowed us to beat a very, very good team tonight. It is something that we want to continue to build on and continue to improve on as we go down the stretch.”

- Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer’s opening statement

“A team like Charlotte, I don’t think any team expects to (hold to 31 second-half points). We have a high standard and tonight I think we were fortunate and caught them on a little bit of an off night. That was the challenge was to get better defensively (in the third quarter) and match it in the fourth quarter and not have one of those high scoring (quarters) for the opponent.”

- Budenholzer on second-half defense

“DeMarre really sets a tone for us with his activity and his energy. Everybody kind of feeds of that. Obviously, he has been scoring and shooting the ball real well. We’ll take it whenever we can. I think he knows how important he is to us defensively. He is going to keep playing and keep competing and eventually he’ll find his spots to help us offensively.”

- Budenholzer on DeMarre Carroll’s late offense

“Paul is a great player. Every night he is somebody that we rely on and count on heavily. He did a lot of good things tonight. We tend to just play our game. Paul finds a way to score because he is such a good player.”

- Budenholzer on Millsap’s favorable matchup at forward

“A team defense and a team effort. Really all five guys because he commands that much attention. Individually, Pero (Antic) and Elton (Brand) were active. They made his catches tough. They contested his shots. Our pick-and-roll defense we were active. He is such a good mid-range shooter too. I think it was a lot of little things, team effort and individual activity.”

- Budenholzer on defensive effort versus Al Jefferson

“I’m happy for our guys. They have competed and they have played hard. Even though we had a rough stretch, we kept talking about there were things that were positive and we liked what we were seeing. They are a competitive group so they don’t like it when they don’t get the results that they want. I’m happy for them to have success and see their hard work rewarded.”

- Budenholzer on Hawks’ four-game win streak

“It’s just a credit to my point guards finding me and getting me the ball. Shelvin (Mack) and Jeff (Teague) did a good job. Shelvin really did a good job coming to me and telling me he was going to get me involved. That is what good point guards do.”

- DeMarre Carroll on nine fourth-quarter points after going scoreless

“Coach came in and really got after us to be the more aggressive team, like he always does. I think it woke us up. He let us know that they played last night and we didn’t. We should have the energy. We came out and starting denying the passing lanes and double-teaming Al Jefferson and getting them out of their rhythm.”

- Carroll on Hawks’ second-half defense

“Elton and Pero did a great job on him on the defense end. I’m a defensive-minded guy. My uncle always told me if you can hold a guy under his average you did a great job. I think they did an excellent job on him. Me and Paul (Millsap, who played with Jefferson in Utah,) let them know what type of moves he was going to do.”

- Carroll on defensive effort on Al Jefferson

“We compete. Everybody helped. He is a hell of a player, a low-post player. When they passed (to Jefferson), there immediately was another player that helped. We played great team defense and in the end that was the result.”

- Pero Antic on defensive effort on Al Jefferson

“I was just being aggressive, attacking the basket and got a few layups and that opened up the 3-point shot. I made a few 3’s. More than that, just being aggressive.”

- Paul Millsap on his third quarter

“It felt good. We know that they are a good help team. There weren’t too many easy layups and drives to the basket. As soon as we made shots it opened things up for us.”

- Millsap on his matchup at the forward position

“It feels great. We feel like this is one of the better second halves that we played all season. The intensity was definitely there. The focus was there. The scout that we had, we came out and executed well. That is what we need.”

- Millsap on four-game win streak

“It takes effort. The effort was there. Guys had tough jobs of helping and then coming in and trying to get back to the 3-point shooters. They did a great job of doing it.”

- Millsap on defending Bobcats shooters with help defense on Al Jefferson

“It was great team defense. The guard did a great job of help defense on him. … We played more man-to-man when they had the shooters out there. You can’t leave those shooters open.”

- Elton Brand on defensive effort on Al Jefferson

“We weren’t getting the ball in deep where we need to. We talked about it at halftime and then we went out in the third quarter and just made mistakes on (Kyle) Korver and that got them going. You start making jump shots and everyone starts thinking it’s okay and once you lose that it’s hard to regain.”

- Bobcats coach Steve Clifford on game