Quoteboard: 'We Got What We Deserved' - Rick
For the Dallas Mavericks, that's no ground gained in the race for first place and now the Lakers are nipping at our heels for second. Also worth bearing in mind -- the Memphis Grizzlies are in eighth right now and are going to make an interesting first-round matchup for somebody. Lucky them.
About Zach Randolph's game-winner with less than a second left . . .
"Coach drew up the play up for me to come out to the corner and Mike got me the ball and I got a good rhythm bounce and got the shot off. If I wouldn't have put the dribble down (Haywood) probably would have blocked it. I had to put it on the floor and get some rhythm and get the ball up. That is definitely higher than I normally shoot it. I can hit a lot of shots like that, I felt comfortable when I released it so I felt real comfortable with the shot." -Zach Randolph
"I noticed that Zach was the guy that was going to be open if we wanted to run it again the way they were playing it. I just stayed with the same play and just switched positions. Zach came off the screen and nobody came with him. He had the ball when Haywood finally came over to him. I think Haywood thought he was going to drive. Thank God he thought that. I hoped he thought that. He allowed Zach to get off his shot and when it went up in the air, I thought it was good." -Coach Lionel Hollins
"I got up as high as I could and cut off his left hand, but that's what Zach does. He makes tough shots. He's made a career out of that." -Brendan Haywood
"Randolph got space, he threw up a high shot, and it went in . . . The magnifying glass goes on the last play, but it shouldn't. It should go on the third quarter." -Coach Rick Carlisle
Okay; a 41-23 third quarter -- what happened?!?
"We didn't take the challenge at either end. The whole game is the 3rd quarter. You give up 41 points, turn it over 6 times, and basically don't take the challenge -- you get what you deserve. That's really the bottom line." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"They just took it to us, simple as that. We turned the ball over, gave up offensive rebounds. It could've gone either way down the stretch, and they made a good play to win it. But it shouldn't have come down to that." -Dirk Nowitzki
"They came out aggressive and they did to us what we did to them in the first two quarters and the tables turned and they hit a big shot to win the game." -Jose Juan Barea
"It was a tough loss for us tonight, a really rough third quarter and if we want to win a championship we can't blow leads like that but we still had a chance in the end to win the game." -Corey Brewer
"In the second half I decided to start OJ and Shane and get into a pick and roll game. We were spacing the court pretty good with those two guys, then we had Darrell and Zach, and we had Marc and Zach, and Marc and Darrell. I decided to shorten the bench a little bit. Those guys did a heck of a job increasing the defense." -Lionel Hollins
"The second unit came in and we were flying around, making something happen. We were just trying to shake things up. We ramped up our defense and stopped turning the ball over. We played smarter." -Shane Battier
On Rodrigue Beaubois -- 15 points in the first half, scoreless in the second, did not play in the fourth quarter . . .
"For sure you really want to be on the floor when you get off to such a good start, and try to help the team win the game. But like I said, we've got a lot of tough players that can play. There's never a bad [lineup] call, so we need to share for each other." -Rodrigue Beaubois
About Corey Brewer -- six points and three rebounds in ten minutes . . .
"I like that he's active, he's tough, I love the way he runs, he'll get into people. I thought he played better tonight than he did the other night, and I like what I see; it's an element we don't have." -Coach Rick Carlisle
Pride salve masquerading as professional respect, perhaps?
"It's frustrating, but they've been playing well too. It's not like we really lost to a really bad team. They beat San Antonio last week too, as well. So it's not like we're coming in here playing guys who have already cashed it in and they're already made their summer vacations." -Shawn Marion
Regarding another blown lead -- has outstanding offense been concealing defensive problems?
"Yeah, it has. But we played well defensively in the first half . . . As far as was it coming? I don't buy into that. I just believe that when someone gets into you the first 2 or 3 minutes in a quarter, you've got to respond and knock them back, and we didn't do it." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"That's what happens sometimes if you give up big leads all the time -- at some point, it's going to come back to bite you." -Dirk Nowitzki
"You've got to play 48 minutes, and we didn't do that tonight. So it's a lesson learned. We've got to treasure those leads. For us it's just something that we've got to concentrate on our defensive assignments and make sure we play better team defense." -Jason Kidd
No rest for the Mavericks -- tonight is the first of a four-in-five, with the Lakers visiting next weekend . . .
"We've got four in five nights, so this is a tough stretch for us, a tough week. Then at the end of the week the Lakers are coming in here, so it's definitely a big week with a lot of challenges. We've got to recover from this tomorrow and turn back and get this tomorrow and somehow grind it out. Whatever we've got to do to get this win tomorrow we've got to do." -Dirk Nowitzki
"Coming up on this stretch starting tonight we'll get a better picture of who we are. And we'll have to play a lot harder, and hopefully it will turn up well." -Mark Cuban
"He's doing well, making progress." -Coach Rick Carlisle