Simply, veterans find ways to make it work. Some clever last-minute execution and a lot of Wizard bricks from the stripe and there's your ballgame, 105-99.
And here's your Quoteboard:
A brief word on the state of the roster after Thursday's trade deadline . . .
"Peja's finding his stroke again, Roddy's getting his legs under him. I like the look of our team. We're deep. We're veteran. Inside we got Tyson and Haywood, who are really active. I like where we're at." -Dirk Nowitzki
Ahem . . . another should've-been-a-blowout . . .
"You're up nine in the fourth early -- that's a situation where you kind of want to go up 15, ice your knees and get on the bus. It didn't happen, but at the end of the day we want wins." -Jason Terry
"We didn't do a good job slowing the game down there when we had some leads. We just kept on chucking, missed a couple shots, put them in transition and they were right back in it." -Dirk Nowitzki
And only four guys over ten points?
"I'm not keeping track of the double-figure scoring streaks. We're looking at other things." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Well, tonight was a down night for him. And we understood from the beginning that there we going to be some nights like this, and this is just part of the cycle of him coming back. Fortunately he only played 13 minutes, so he's fresh for tomorrow night. These situations are learning situations for him, and so we'll show him some film individually tomorrow, he'll make adjustments, and he'll do better tomorrow." - Carlisle
On a specific failure in enemy execution -- the Wizards missed all six of their fourth quarter free throws . . .
"We kept fighting the fight, and if we had made our free throws, it would've been a different outcome. That ended up killing us down the stretch." -Trevor Booker
"We shoot free throws, we win the game." -Coach Flip Saunders
About Tyson Chandler and his season high twenty-three points . . .
"I really wanted to get involved because this is the time when we got to make our playoff push, and I wanted to come out and make a statement. And with the penetration from our guys, and their bigs coming over so much to block shots, I thought I'd have some opportunities at the rim either for finishing or on putbacks." -Tyson Chandler
"Tyson was great tonight. He's been great for us all season. When he plays like he did tonight, he changes the game and makes it so easy for Dirk. And when he runs to the basket, for a passer, you just have to throw it up there and he does the hard part." -Jason Kidd
Regarding Jason Kidd, and his Jedi Master skills and instincts . . .
"For him to be 37 -- I believe that's his age -- and still running up and down the court with their young fellas . . . man. That young dude on the other side, who may be one of the top three, two fastest guys in the league; that's impressive." -Tyson Chandler
"It starts with us being an unselfish team. And that starts with Kidd. We feel we're very deep and very good. We don't have to settle for bad shots." -Dirk Nowitzki
"I'm a quarterback. I just find my receivers. Dirk makes it easy, Jet, Peja, Shawn, Tyson, you go down the list you got a lot of guys who can put the
ball in the basket, so for me, if I was the selfish guy, I would shoot the ball and make them pass it to me, but my job is to get the guys the ball in
the right spot and let them do what they do best.'' – J-Kidd
On that shot -- a sick 360 degree reverse layup by Nick Young . . .
"I thought about doing just a 720 or something. You know, bringing something new out. It kind of worked for me. I think it was all luck." -Nick Young
About John Wall -- a superhero in waiting?
"Wall puts tremendous pressure on your entire defense; it's tough. You've gotta have a couple of guys right next to you, otherwise he's gonna find a seam and he's gonna make things happen. And he did that a lot." -Coach Rick Carlisle
Professional respect for the Wizards . . .
"You've got to give them credit, they kept coming and kept playing hard. They fought all the way down the stretch and we just made enough plays to win." -Dirk Nowitzki
"This was a tough game. It was a tough game on paper and it was a tough team on the floor. They're athletic and they're competing hard. And they play their best basketball against the better teams. So, we knew it would be a dogfight." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"We got a quick turnaround. We got to go to another country, we've got Customs, we got all sorts of nonsense going on. And we've got an early game." -Coach Rick Carlisle