Seven of the Dallas Mavericks scored in double figures. Hard to lose a game when that happens, although for long stretches it looked like Dallas was trying. Down by 25 before halftime, Houston caught fire in the third and outscored Dallas by ten. When in the fourth it looked like the Rockets had finally hit the ropes, they went on a 12-2 scoring run before Dallas put them away in the final minute 111-106. Thrills, chills, sloppiness, grace -- entertainment in spades, lots of nits for Coach to pick.
Shall we spy? Quoteboard:
About high scoring from unusual suspects . . .
"It's not going to be Dirk and Terry every night. And it's not going to be Dirk or Kidd every night. We have strong belief in the other guys. Tyson is getting more accustomed to what we are doing offensively, which is good. Another guy, Pavlovic, was real good for us tonight. I thought defensively he was real solid and he hit some shots." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"We're spreading the wealth, everybody's getting involved and when we score over 100, you can check the record." -Jason Terry
On JJ's stellar play and his coming through in the clinch tonight. . .
"Every shot he's taken lately looks good — his floater, his pull-up. And if a guy is playing like that a couple of games straight, you've got to give him the ball." -Dirk Nowitzki
"He gets to the free throw line, he knocks down his free throws, he's able to knock down the little mid-range jump shot and puts a lot of pressure on. For a team like Houston, they don't have a shot-blocker and that's perfect for us because JJ puts a lot of pressure on them." -Jason Kidd
"They were setting a lot of picks for him and they left shooters with Chandler out there on the boards and we didn't do a good enough job of getting through the pick and getting in front of him. That is all I can say now until I look at it. But, he was getting like two or three picks at a time and you try to stay home on Nowitzki and you try to help on Terry and Kidd and he made us pay." -Coach Rick Adelman
"I came off the ball screen and I was looking for myself -- I'm not gonna lie. I thought they were going to switch, I thought I'd pull it back, but Brooks got back in it and I just attacked. I got him leaning just a little bit and then just pulled up and it went in." -JJ Barea
Regarding the first half, in which Dallas scored a season-high 64 points . . .
"I thought we played great, defensively and offensively. To have a game like this and to get off to a great start, I'm just glad to see us get out and play the type of basketball that we played." -Tyson Chandler
About that second half -- Houston managed to eat up all but one point of Dallas's lead . . .
"There are 15-20 possessions where we need to be better. It's a fact, it's reality and we're going to keep working towards being better." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"We missed a couple of shots that we would normally have made. And with a couple of turnovers sprinkled in there, they were able to cut the lead." -Jason Kidd
How is it the Rockets fell that far behind to begin with?
"We turned it over and they just got layup after layup in the open court. We were a step behind on what we did, we did nothing on offense to make them slow down . . . When a team gets layup after layup, all the shots look easy." -Coach Rick Adelman
"We got a little impatient in the first half. We weren't making a whole lot of shots, we started to do a lot individually, force passes, and they're too long to do that." -Shane Battier
On the rather non-Uber-ness of Dirk lately -- he's about five points and three rebounds under his averages . . .
"There was one ball right around me and I couldn't even make one step to get it. That was a brutal play right there. I've just got to keep on working. There's nothing really else to say." -Dirk Nowitzki
"We've just got to stick with this. The great news is that the knee is doing great. The rhythm, the conditioning -- those things take time. We know that. We understand it . . . Dirk was Superman for the first third of the season. Right now, we're going to have to be there for him." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"There's no question he's not even close to being Dirk Nowitzki. We've got to keep getting wins and giving him some time." -JJ Barea
In short . . .
"We played hard and did a lot of good things in the second half, but its just too hard to come back against a good team." -Coach Rick Adelman
"You can't, especially on the road to a team of Dallas's caliber, get down 25 and expect to win." -Kevin Martin