Nuggets 121, Mavs 120: Quoteboard

Lots of ways to look at the 121-120 loss in Denver: Second night of a b2b, time-zone stuff, a terrible first quarter, Melo going Nova, heroics from Billups and Afflalo, failure in late-game execution, Dirk Not Clutch (?). In the larger picture, Dallas drops to a second-place tie (LA won in Boston) and Denver leads the season series 2-1. A preview of a playoff matchup? Concerning. Quoteboard:

That's a good streak broken . . .
"We had a good stretch there, 10 in a row. It's time to get 10 more." -Jason Terry

The Dallas Mavericks down 14 points after one?
"I looked at the entire stat sheet. Our undoing was the entire first quarter." -Coach Rick Carlisle

Nineteen fourth-quarter points including the game winning shot -- Arron Afflalo do what?
"Chauncey did a great job of being patient. When he figured he wasn't going to get enough space to get a clean shot off I was just ready. That was all I had in my mind, get a clean look . . . "When he passed it to me with about three seconds left, I knew I had enough time to get a one-dribble pull up off, and at that point it was just about getting a clean look and shooting a comfortable shot." -Arron Afflalo

"We were just trying to get matched up and Afflalo made a play. He just hit a shot. He had a big game, had a big fourth quarter." -Coach Rick Carlisle

"Afflalo basically was a non-factor for three quarters. Then, all of a sudden, he throws everything in." -Dirk Nowitzki

On subpar late-game execution, and what it means going forward . . .
"If we want to be a championship team, then we've got to close games at the end. This is one game, one game lost at the buzzer, but I'm talking future. We've got bigger goals and aspirations. So, this is one thing we've got to grow from." -Tyson Chandler

"When we had them down we should have kept them down. We let them back in the game." -Shawn Marion

"Losses are never easy, especially if you lose it that way . . . If you're up eight or nine in the last two minutes, you've just got to find a way to win. So, this is disappointing and it's a tough one to swallow." -Dirk Nowitzki

It's more than that, though . . .
"They made some unbelievable shots. We had some breakdowns, and we didn't get the ball in the hole often enough . . . I'm more concerned about our total game than the last play. I'm not gonna agonize over the very last possession. There's a lot of other things we can be doing better throughout the course of the entire game. And that's as big a concern to me as what happened at the end." -Coach Rick Carlisle

An attempt at perspective . . .

"This is the NBA. You win games sometimes when you're not supposed to and you lose games when you're not supposed to." -Jason Kidd

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