Quoteboard: Mavs 101, Celtics 97
This has been true since the season started; in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics are the team to beat. Friday's game in Boston was close -- the Dallas Mavericks found themselves playing from behind in the final two minutes. Some serious clutch-time heroics on both ends of the floor and there's the final, 101-97. If you listen carefully just after ESPN finished their postgame blurb, you'll hear Our Dirk cut loose with what sounds an awful lot like a barbaric yawp.
Fellas gotta catch a plane (they gotta play again tonight in Charlotte) so we'll be brief. Quoteboard:
Short summaries from the coaches . . .
"I loved the way our guys battled. It comes down to a make or miss here or there, that's how close it was. Fortunately we were able to hang in and make plays. Kidd's shot was huge and we got the stops we needed." - Coach Rick Carlisle.
"I just thought we broke a lot of our defensive rules. We made gambles, and they made us pay for every one." -Coach Doc Rivers.
Regarding the defense at the end of the game -- Boston did not score in the final 2:43 . . .
"It sure didn't seem like it, because we had about three or four airballs there at the end. But it's defense. You know, it's no secret about us. Fourth quarter comes, it's winning time, you have to get stops to give our offense an opportunity to score on that end." -Jason Terry
On offensive excellence in the face of the Celtic's league-leading defense . . .
"Again, no secret man. When we're getting a hundred points-- what's our record, twenty-two and one? twenty-three and one. So let's keep it rolling. We love to score." -Jason Terry
Massive respect for Boston . . .
"They've got four All-Stars that were voted by the coaches. That's really saying something. That's only been done one or two other times. And so, those four guys are legitimate great individual players in their own right. So, all those guys can cause mayhem in a game and you've got four of them that play well together and play unselfishly." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"The Celtics, if they're healthy, they're definitely one of the best teams in the league . . . We did get a little lucky in there, but that's what you need to beat a good team every once in awhile." -Dirk Nowitzki
Some respect from Boston . . .
"Dirk-- You can make a strong argument for him as MVP. Him and Derrick Rose are probably the two frontrunners." -Coach Doc Rivers
About the game-winning play -- Terry passed, Nowitzki couldn't control, pass to Kidd, pump-fake, three-point shot good with 2.5 seconds left . . .
"Coming out the timeout they ran me off a triple staggered screen, which I knew, if I were to get open I'd knock this thing down. It didn't happen that way because Garnett jumped out on a switch. Kicked it to Dirk on the inside-- he fumbled it, but fortunately he picked it up, swung it to J-Kidd. I dunno, Deuce kinda hesitated a little bit 'cause I think we missed the last two. But no doubt in my mind, once he let it go it was going in." -Jason Terry
"I thought about throwing something up toward the basket, but I'm glad I got it out to Jason instead. And he gave the fake, then stepped back into it, which to me is one of the hardest shots in the game to make. But he made it look easy." -Dirk Nowitzki
"I had thoughts when I showed the ball of maybe jumping into Ray, but he took a little wide angle so I couldn't get to him. Dirk was nice enough and he trusted his teammates down the stretch to make a play. And I got lucky and it went in . . . I had one I missed from JET, and that was the one that I thought I just rushed it. So, I said, ‘If I have this opportunity, just take your time. You're not a shooter, so they're gonna give you the shot.' Then Ray jumped out at me, and if he didn't jump out at me, I was gonna shoot it anyway, because I just felt the next shot I was gonna take was gonna go in." -Jason Kidd
"J-Kidd has hit a lot of big shots -- he's taken teams on his back a lot of times. He's no shag of a player — nothing like that. He's a respected player. Everyone in our locker room respects this dude. He's been around a long time. You're not in the league that long just because." -Kevin Garnett
"You know I'm going to be in bed tonight wondering what would have happened if I had just stayed with him. I was actually afraid that when I jumped he was going to jump into me and I was going to foul him. Which he could have -- but I was trying to run him off the 3, and he just stayed there. That was a tough shot, when I think about it -- still being able to gather yourself to shoot that tough shot." -Ray Allen
On the Celtics' failed attempt to respond and win the game . . .
"There's a sense of me getting sidetracked if you worry about it because you feel like you've got to shoot it from beyond the arc. I don't want to press. I don't want to step outside of what we're trying to do here." -Ray Allen
"I thought we got shots that we wanted. We just missed them." -Paul Pierce
A little something to whet our appetites . . .
"And you know we've still got a secret weapon in the tank . . . it's a Euro." -Jason Terry