Yeah, early on, after Dirk hit the first shot, the Dallas Mavericks missed their next eleven shots. The balance began to shift in the third and by the end it was all Dallas, silmutaneously making it six straight wins and breaking any possible The-75-Is-Watching-Us hoodoo. Final score 114-96 for a good and proper blowout.
The fellas have to deal with border-crossing touchy-feely again, so we'll be gentle. Quoteboard:
On the sleepy start -- the Raptors went up by nineteen points early . . .
"The best thing about tonight's game is that it kind of woke us up. Nobody panicked, nobody had their heads down. We had some great looks that didn't go down. The unfortunate thing is we didn't play any defense for the first five minutes . . . Hey there were times in the past when we might have said, 'That's it, let's get through Customs and get out of here.'" -Jason Kidd
"That was ugly early. We couldn't really get any stops. We actually had some looks that rolled in and out. Everything was a little too easy on their offensive end. And we were a step slow to everything." -Dirk Nowitzki
"When you get to the end of February in an NBA season, these guys know where it's at. They're experienced enough and veteran enough to know that if you come out and aren't ready to play at a high level you're going to get your face smashed in and that's what happened to us early. We took the hit and we fought back. Some nights, that's how you've got to win." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"It just took us a little while to get our legs warmed up. But once we got warmed up they still were hitting some shots, because they got their confidence early." -Shawn Marion
And the swing back the other way -- Dallas outscored Toronto 64-39 in the second half . . .
"We got some consistency with our defense and we became a lot more efficient with the ball in the second half." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"We were able to buckle down and get some stops, multiple stops, and open the game up." -Shawn Marion
"They were just picking us apart. They were just finding the open guy and that's what the good teams do. We stopped them in the first half but in the second we couldn't stop it." -Jose Calderon
About the excellence of the Dallas reserves -- 64 points, 15 rebounds, 17 assists, two steals and a block . . .
"I thought our bench really saved us. Some nights the starting five just doesn't have it for whatever reason -- fatigue or no rhythm, whatever. But our bench was phenomenal. It really changed the game when ‘Trix and Jet came in. Mahinmi was great all night long and J.J. did what he's been doing. So, the bench really won us the game." -Dirk Nowitzki
"We depend a lot on our bench to produce for us, to give us energy, to give us defense." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"This might be the deepest team I've ever played on. You've got 12 or 13 guys that can start." -Jason Kidd
Regarding Shawn Marion, and his twenty points, six rebounds, and two steals . . .
"I thought one of the real keys to the game was when Marion started the third quarter to match up with (Amir) Johnson. And he had a tremendous all-round third quarter for us, and I thought that energized our team and got us the lead." -Coach Rick Carlisle
DeMar DeRozen versus Jason Terry . . .
"I don't think they let DeMar DeRozan have an easy catch all game. Jason Terry did a heck of a job denying him over the whole court. He had to really work to get it." -Coach Jay Triano
A thought about the UberMan . . .
"I thought Dirk was very unselfish. He still takes 20 shots but he sets the screen and if you help, then he's going to pop for a jump shot and if you don't, then the guy's turning the corner and getting into the lane. Late in the game we tried to switch it, move, see if we could trap it a couple of times. We went under, we tried to switch, but at that point, the floodgates had opened." -Coach Jay Triano
Oh, and if you weren't at Esparza's for our DB.com Mavs Get-Together, guess what you missed . . .
"I haven't missed a minute of a game. I still watch, so I might as well watch with you guys!'' -Bob Ortegel