Hawks-Heat postgame quotes

What they said after the Hawks’ 114-103 victory over the Heat Friday night at Philips Arena:

Mike Budenholzer

Opening statement: “I think defensively, the first six to nine minutes of the fourth quarter we did what we needed to do to find a way to get some stops and get a win, get a little bit of separation. That is what we keep talking about in the locker room is improving defensively, getting better defensively, that can feed our offense. Obviously the ball movement and making shots and sharing the ball were very good. Now we just want to keep building off of tonight.”

On whether win was most complete of season: “We probably played, from start to finish, the closest to (a complete game) for the past eight games. They made some plays to close the gap a couple different times. We talked about it, it happens in an NBA game. I don’t think we necessarily were doing anything to allow that to happen. I think you give them credit. They made some shots. They closed the game. We were able to extend it again. I think it is the closest to 48 minutes we’ve had. That’s what we want to move toward.”

On extending lead in fourth quarter: “We’ve talked a lot about how we want to get better in fourth quarters. It’s important to us. Talking about it doesn’t really mean much. You’ve got to go out and execute. You’ve got to go out and make the plays. It usually starts with our defense. We’ve been better in fourth quarters this year and we need to improve.”

On fast start: “I thought our energy. We were getting stops and were able to get out and run and get some easy baskets and some good looks. I think it started with our defense in the first quarter and we got off to a good start.”

Kyle Korver

On whether win was most complete of season: “Probably, still room to grow though. I thought we really had a chance to put them in a hole in the first quarter and we didn’t do it. We had some fast-break opportunities and we turned it over and gave up some shots on the other end. We had a great opportunity in the first quarter. We stuck with it and it was probably our best overall game in terms of our energy.”

On growth of team in extending fourth-quarter lead: “I think it’s too early to tell. There is definitely growth. I thought Dennis was a big part of that. He played really well for us on both ends of the floor. He is putting a lot of pressure on the basket, not just getting to the paint, but pressure on the basket by sucking guys in and making the right play. Defensively he was great. A lot of us just fed off of that.”

Jeff Teague

On fast start: “We just came out ready to play. We didn’t get caught off guard. We expected them to come out and want to punch us and we wanted to take the first punch.”

On growth of team in extending fourth-quarter lead: “We just continue to keep playing. The bench is stronger than ever. They are making plays. That’s big for us to feed off their energy when they get in the game. We come back in the game and continue to help them.”

Dennis Schroder

On play of bench: “Everybody was ready. Everybody played with an edge and an energy. I think when we do that every time, we win a lot of games.”

On Hawks counter when Heat went with smaller guards: “When they play with two or three little guys, we can do the same thing and try to run the team. I think that fit for us.”

On confidence level: “I try to do my best. I try to help the team win like always.”

Paul Millsap

On whether win was most complete of season: “It’s a pretty good all-around game. We still made a few mistakes. But we’ll get better at it. They are a good team. I don’t take anything away from them. Guys off the bench did a great job.”

On growth of team in extending fourth-quarter lead: “It’s a little more growth. We have to get leads and sustain them. Like I said, they are a good basketball team. It wasn’t anything that we did. It was more what they did. They came out more aggressive. They fought back in the game. We were able to sustain it.”

Al Horford

On growth of team in extending fourth-quarter lead: “We are being smarter. We are making better decisions. I know it’s early but it’s something that we have to keep working on. Keep working on being able to hold leads and when they make a run stay composed and make another run at them. We did a good job of that tonight.”

On play of bench: “They were great. Dennis, his confidence seems to get bigger every game. It’s a really good sign to see. Mike Scott, we can always count on him. Shelvin (Mack) came out firing even though he hasn’t played a lot of minutes in the last few games.

On fast start with first seven points of game: “I wanted to do things a little harder and be aggressive. I got some early looks and I took them. That’s what it was about. I wanted to come out with energy. I know we always talk about the energy. It’s usually on the defensive end but on offense I was able to get it going.”

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