Hawks-Pistons postgame quotes

What they said after the Hawks’ 99-89 victory over the Pistons Friday night at Philips Arena:

Mike Budenholzer

Opening statement: "It's good for our group to have a good first quarter, a good defensive second quarter that allowed us to get a little bit of separation and then respond to their run late in the game. We are still a long way away from playing 48 minutes like we'd like to play but I think there were a lot of good stretches tonight and we'll learn from where we weren't good and get ready for a big week next week."

On message after Pistons erased Hawks' 19-point lead: "We just said we have to get stops and we have to execute offensively. Stick with what got us up by 19 and just keep our poise and our players did that. It's a credit to them. We've got a good group in that way. When we are down or someone makes a run at us, I think the response has been where we needed it to be."

On Jeff Teague: "Jeff Teague was very good. I think his defense on the other end of the court. I think a lot of people will talk about his points and his offense but I think his defense was very good on the ball. They run a ton of pick-and-rolls. He is kind of in it all night. Really, really pleased with Jeff's effort, particularly on the defensive end of the court."

On rebounding: "It takes our group doing it collectively. Paul (Millsap) with 12 rebounds. I thought he was active tonight. … It's always important for our guards to rebound. With (the Pistons') length and the way they pound the glass to compete with them on the boards was going to be a key tonight."

On return of DeMarre Carroll: "It was great to have DeMarre back on the court. Our whole group feeds off him, how hard he plays, how he competes defensively. We were trying to play him in little bit shorter stretches but still get him, the minutes restrictions there were any, but we tried not to leave him out there too long and just hopefully get him back healthy and make it through the night and I think he did."

Kyle Korver

On difference after Pistons came back late: "Give them credit. Basketball is a game of runs and they came back. I thought our shot selection for a little while there got tough. They were scoring and we weren't able to get out and run. I thought when we had our most success tonight was when we were out in transition and attacking. When the other team is scoring we aren't able to get out and run. We had a tough stretch there. It was good to see us bounce back.

On rebounding: "Rebounding is just effort. You get a body on someone and you just scratch and claw and try to go get the ball. I think we came out focused on that tonight. We've been beaten up down low for a couple games now. It was a point of emphasis and I think our guys responded.

Jeff Teague

On message after Pistons erased Hawks' 19-point lead: "Just keep playing. We know they are a good team. They are going to make a run. It's the NBA. Things can swing fast. They did what they are supposed to do. They competed. We were able to sustain."

On whether 28-point game was one of better efforts: "I guess you could say that. I was just trying to be aggressive."

On how Hawks built 19-point lead: "I would have to say defensively. We were making it tough and just getting after it. When we play like that it's easy for our offense to get in a rhythm."

DeMarre Carroll

On early 3-pointer getting him going: "That got me going. Once I hit that I thought I was going to be money the rest of the way but my legs just gave out. Coach did a great job of playing me in five-minute spurts and putting me in and out. He communicated with me on that. That is the beauty of coach. He is a great communicator. He helped me get my rhythm back but I'm just happy we got the win."

On being tired: "Four games, it was almost like two weeks. It's big, especially when I had to guard the best guy and then go knock down shots. I'll get it back."

On how Hawks built 19-point lead: "Defensively. We held them to 15 points in the second quarter. Our defense is what is going to get us to that next level. I heard Paul say earlier whether we are going to be a mediocre team or a great team. I think it's going to be on the defensive end. (The starters) have to start the game off right and the others just have to tag along."

Paul Millsap

On rebounding: "We changed our mentality to go get the ball, whatever means necessary. We have to secure the ball and get out and play offense."

On message after Pistons erased Hawks' 19-point lead: "No. Not really. We know. We are professionals. We see the game get out of hand. We have to adjust to the game, adjust to the situation, and we were able to calm down and get into our sets."

Al Horford

On losing 19-point lead: "We did settle for a lot of jump shots and we stopped attacking as much and they were able to get back in the game.

On building 19-point lead: "I think it's a combination of both (offensively and defensively). On defense we were holding them to one shot and on offense we were pushing the tempo. Any time we can do that more consistently, the better we are going to be as a team."

On rebounding: "That was the key. I was boxing out and the guards were able to come in and get those rebounds. That's just the way it worked out. That is what we needed for tonight's game. When you are going against such a big front line, that's the way you have to do it."

Josh Smith

On returning to Atlanta: "There were a lot of emotions last time I came but this time I was a little more settled. I'm just trying to get back in the rhythm that I need for this team to be successful.