Only three players scored in double figures, the defense allowed 25 fast-break points and 48 points in the paint, fumble-fingers and bad passes turned the ball over 18 times. The game was every bit as horrible as the 84-76 final implies. It was a trap, and the Mavs broke their legs running into it.
Let's see if we can wring an explanation out of someone. Quoteboard:
"I thought we were in too much of a 'try and make things happen' mode and not trusting the team and the system enough and really working together. It's one of those things that can happen, and it hurt us." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"They just outplayed us. They played great defense on us and we couldn't execute. They just outplayed us. They outplayed us at both ends." -JJ Barea
"I just kept encouraging these guys and trying to come up with something we could score on and something we could get stops with. All our guys stayed real positive and I thought that was a key part in tonight's win." -Coach Jay Triano
"[Bleep] happens." -Shawn Marion
Regarding human nature -- a letdown of energy after a hard win in Oklahoma City . . .
"I definitely felt like we were a little lax, a little slow getting back, slow to loose balls." -Tyson Chandler
About the defense -- which, being fair, only allowed 84 points . . .
"Our defense held them to 84, but offensively we had nothing." -Tyson Chandler
"Eighty-four points is what we gave up tonight, so we gave ourselves a chance to win the ballgame. Giving up 84 points, you'll take that any day of the week in this league. We feel like we had a good chance to win it." -Jason Kidd
And Nowitzki's (please let it be short term) absence . . .
"When you're missing your best player, it's always difficult. We're going to have to do a better job in the next game. Everybody's got to step up." -JJ Barea
"We've got to get used to playing without the big fella for a while. We had a tough time adjusting." -Tyson Chandler
Fan reaction . . .
"Jason Kidd owes me a taco." -a little kid waiting for the escalator