Regarding Caron Butler's return to the lineup after sitting out over a week with a bad back . . .
"Well it's a process, you know when you're out a week-plus. I thought he moved well in the first quarter, he had good shots. We played well as a team when he was out there." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"He's just coming off an injury, so usually when you miss a couple games you just don't waltz out there and be at the same level you were when you left . . . I'm not worried about Caron. He's a warrior. He's been a warrior his whole career." -Dirk Nowitzki
"You just got to work your way back in. I experienced that before here. Once the team gets momentum with different lineups, sitting out and just cheering and trying to keep them going; kind of the same thing that happened in the playoffs last year." -Caron Butler
"We need him." -Coach Rick Carlisle
The third quarter . . .
"We had a few choice words in the locker room at halftime . . . it wasn't about Xs and Os. It was about heart, character and resiliency." -Coach Monty Williams.
"That was definitely just a soft first six-of-seven minutes-- It took us too long for us to really respond to it the right way . . . from that point on it was a ballgame." -Dirk Nowitzki
"Our undoing was the third quarter, when we were dominated. You lose a quarter by 16 points, you're getting your ass kicked." -Coach Rick Carlisle
About that game-sealing turnover . . .
"We figured Dirk was going to get the ball. I knew Mek was behind me. We was able to be aggressive out on the perimeter. I just got my hand on it and tried to turn the corner. We got the stop." -David West
"The last play is on me; I'll take the blame for that. That put Dirk in a tough situation." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Nah, that was just a bad play; I caught the ball too far away from the basket so I had to take it out . . . I went left, I thought he (West) cut me off . . . usually if I go to move it's a spin but I was so far out that I was worried someone was coming behind me -- which they always do when I turn my back -- so I tried to keep my face in front. And that's why I chose to go behind the back. As I did the move I think he got a hand on the ball or a hand on my arm or something -- I don't know really what happened -- and the ball was gone. So it was just an unfortunate play on my part." -Dirk Nowitzki
Some professional respect . . .
"They definetely was the more aggressive team. Usually that's the team that wins. It was their night. Give them a lot of credit . . . they wanted it a little bit more tonight and it showed." -Jason Terry
Overall . . .
"Had our chances, had some good looks there in the quarter when it was a tie game. We just-- if you leave too many chances out there against a good team you end up losing." -Dirk Nowitzki
"We outfought them the first game, and they clearly outfought us in this game. That's where the disappointment comes for me. It's a tough loss . . . this was an opportunity lost." -Coach Rick Carlisle
Learn from it and move on . . .
"A couple little mental errors we're gonna learn from. It's early in the season; these type of games help you prepare for later. You can use these games as a barometer, a measuring stick, and move forward." -Jason Terry
"I'm not into looking back. I'm into what's going on right now and into what's going on tomorrow and the next day." -Coach Rick Carlisle
A note on the reality of life in the Southwest Division . . .
"Forget the conference, forget the Lakers and all that; look at our division. I mean, San Antonio, Memphis, us and Houston-- I mean, it's tough." -Jason Terry
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