Quoteboard: Dallas Wins 'Nut-Cuttin' Time'
The last time The Dallas Mavericks faced off against the Pacers . . . well it was one of those games. Here, no Tyson because of a bum ankle, and Indiana almost pulled it off again. Almost. Dallas' 116-108 win makes it eight straight, 21-8 against the Eastern Conference, and 45-16 overall.
Let's go spy. Quoteboard:
Career Achievement Watch -- tonight Jason Kidd nicked steal 2,445, tying Gary Payton for third most in NBA history . . .
"In this league he was known as a thief, a guy that disrupted a lot of offensive sets. So, yeah, it'll be huge to pass him because I don't think I'll pass him in points, so I'm glad I could pass him in something." -Jason Kidd
Ahem . . . about the New Guy -- Corey Brewer, who didn't score, grabbed one rebound, and picked up five fouls in about five and a half minutes . . .
"I think he had good energy. The one thing about him, when he goes into the game, you know he is in there, particularly on the defensive end . . . He is playing his butt off out there. Aggressive -- probably a little overaggressive -- but he is unlike any guy that we have. That is why I like him and think he will help us." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I gotta stop fouling, but I haven't played basketball in a long time. It was just good to get back out there . . . It can only get better after that." -Corey Brewer
Massive thumbs-up to Brendan Haywood and Ian Mahimni -- combined for 17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks . . .
"Brendan played well and Ian played well. They both played well. We needed that tonight, obviously with Tyson out. We are going to need these guys to play like this again on Sunday because we have a bigger more bruising team coming to play here." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"We feel like we have a three-headed monster at the center position. Ian has been giving us solid minutes every time he comes in and Haywood has really been solid for us. Ian gives us energy off the bench every night. We would love to have Tyson back as soon as possible and we've got a tough stretch coming up so our bench will need to come up big for us." -Dirk Nowitzki
Regarding Jason Terry -- specifically his 21 points and his ongoing Sixth Man of the Year campaign . . .
"That means a lot to me. It's something I put out in all my summer workouts. It's something I've been focused on ever since I won it my first year. Last year, I finished second and that wasn't good enough for me. It's still on my mind." -Jason Terry
"He's been our closer in the 4th quarter . . . He makes big shots for us and makes things happen. It was fun to watch." -Dirk Nowitzki
On Maverick Offense -- characterized by balance, smart decisions, and unselfish play . . .
"We moved the ball well. We are an unselfish team . . . Through all of our great games, we have been averaging about 28 (assists), I think, so this is a really high number and obviously we really want to continue to do that." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"They were moving the ball extremely well. In the huddles I was telling guys you've to make two, three rotations because they're so good at working the ball around. And we didn't get off the shooters; in transition sometimes we didn't pick up known shooters and they burned us. First half they shot 6 for 12 from three. So, they're an outside shooting team and they exploited that tonight." -Roy Hibbert
About a lack of effectiveness on defense -- Indiana shot almost sixty percent in the first half and got to within three late . . .
"We tightened the screws when we needed it most . . . I like the way we finished the game, but we could have played better defensively through the first 37 minutes." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Our defense was a little bit disappointing, especially there in the first quarter. We've got to address that and get some work done, but offensively we've been really sharp, moving the ball. We're sharing, we're making shots, playing well off each other, so that's great. But we've got to get better defensively, especially looking to the playoffs." -Dirk Nowitzki
"Defensively, that's something that we've got to address is being able to get stops. Making sure that we can bring the shooting percentage down for some of these teams that have been shooting 47 or 50 percent against us.'' -Jason Kidd
"We're playing offense very well right now. Defensively, our goal was to keep them under 100, and we didn't get that done tonight." -Jason Terry
On fourth quarter execution, and why Dallas is so good at it . . .
"[Terry] and Dirk are the second-most prolific fourth quarter duo in the game, and so they are both great. Kidd hit big free throws down the stretch. We have three of the best closers in the game. We have to do it with a certain kind of balance and I thought we did what we had to do tonight. Those three guys are going to give you the best chance possible." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"We made them work. We wanted to make these guys work for tough shots, and I thought we did that in the second half. And they worked and they made really tough shots down the stretch. That's why they ended up beating us." -Coach Frank Vogel
"They executed a lot of their sets to perfection. Down the stretch they made some big shots; Jason Terry and Dirk. Dirk only missed two shots the whole game, so that pretty much sums it up." -Danny Granger
"We were aggressive and attacking in the fourth quarter. That was good to see." -Dirk Nowitzki
"Nut-cutting time. That's the best time of the game for me." -Jason Terry
Regarding the last stretch of the regular season -- twenty-one games left on Dallas's schedule . . .
"You play these next 20-something games out and you put yourself in a position to have the highest seed. So we have to take care of our own work and not worry about what San Antonio or the Lakers or Oklahoma City is doing. We've got to look at what we're doing and make sure that we're healthy and playing our best basketball coming into next month.'' -Jason Kidd