Sunday Donuts: Talking Our Way Through Utah

The Mavs' Last Epic Road Trip starts with a 94-77 win (and series sweep) in Utah. Whether or not it starts the trip off on the right foot is debatable. So we let the fellas themselves do the debating in Sunday Morning Mavs Donuts!

DONUT 1: With the help of DB.com staffer BJ Stahl and QUOTEBOARD sponsor McKinneyDentist.com, we gather up the facts:

The Dallas Mavericks played three quarters of atrocious basketball before the game was rescued in the fourth by timely makes and (finally!) shutdown defense. However, it's alarming to see the backcourt combine for 10 turnovers. And the officiating . . . never mind, we'd rather not get The 75 Member Staff in trouble. Final, 94-77. (See Your All-Access Pass here.)




"To start off the road trip with a win in this building, it builds up your confidence. We've got to keep the momentum." - Jason Terry "I'll take it. A win is a win and this was a great win, too." - Shawn Marion

"I thought it was a great game. ... I loved it. I thought it was great for us." -Coach Rick Carlisle

DONUT 2: OK, to be fair, here's Rick's quote in full:

"I thought it was a great game. You play a team that's desperate and they've been losing close games. They fought and they were physical and they were clawing . . . Every game on this trip will be like this -- desperate teams fighting for their playoff lives and playoff positioning, you know, very emotional and the crowds that are really into it. I loved it. I thought it was great for us."



In context, we get that. But "great'' and "love'' in regard to this three-and-a-half-quarters of effort ... really needs some cushy context.

DONUT 3: Are there explanations for the choppy play in the first three quarters?

"They always play physical, especially here in their building. I thought there in the first half, we got frustrated here and there, but you know, in this building, you've got to fight through some stuff, and play through it, and that's what we did there in the second half." -Dirk Nowitzki

"We didn't catch the ball and we had a lot of offensive fouls. So, it happens in a game, but we were still down four." -Jason Kidd

"I felt like we were watching the NCAA tournament at the end of the third quarter. 62-58, what kind of score is that?" -Shawn Marion

DONUT 4: Sigh -- eight turnovers in the first quarter, 12 in the first half, six by Kidd alone ...

"We've got 10 games left and we've got to work through that. But, we're a veteran ballclub and we understand that, again, we put ourselves in that position by turning the ball over. But, once we took care of the ball and got shots, we started to push forward and got a little breathing room." -Jason Kidd

Smile

DONUT 5: What about the "interesting'' refereeing, which had everybody dealing with foul trouble at one point or another, four straight possessions with offensive fouls called, phantom calls against Ian, Peja and others when there seemed to be no contact at all, and an end-game ejection for an overclapping Al Jefferson ...

"They really called a close game early on. We had a bunch of guys with two or three fouls." -Dirk Nowitzki

Big Al Jefferson, what say you?

"I just said I don't want to speak on that, my man,'' Jefferson said after the game. "I don't want to speak on that."

DONUT 6: Now, Rick's point about "playoff intensity'' and such: That has some validity given the cut-it-with-a-knife atmosphere in that building ...

"Tonight the level of intensity was like the playoffs, but as far us just getting out and getting a good lead on them, it wasn't happening for us, so that was kind of frustrating. But, there in the fourth quarter we locked in on both ends of the floor and did what we had to do to get the win." - Jason Terry

DONUT 7: So was that a Utah collapse or a Dallas shutdown? The Mavs held them to just 30 points in the second half, and in the fourth quarter, the Jazz went 7-of-20 and only scored 17 ...

"Defensively, they packed the paint. Everything we wanted to do to try and get inside they did a good job of coming in there and double-teaming Al and Paul. The guards coming in and just digging the ball out. Even on our drives, from outside they got that. They took charges, they blocked shots, they were just active and it was tough for us. We missed our outside shots, so trying to get the ball inside, we just couldn't find some things." -CJ Miles

"It was just what we needed, you know, and a physical game, and there in the fourth quarter I thought we really responded, held them to [17] points, rebounded the ball, contested shots, offensively just made stuff happened, got hot. I remember Jet hit some big threes, Peja hit a big three top of the key, JJ hit a huge three in the corner there off a pass, so we definitely made timely shots, but I think what really won us was the defensive end in the fourth." -Dirk Nowitzki

"Once we took care of the ball and got shots we started to push forward and got breathing room." -Jason Kidd

Smile

DONUT 8: Shawn Marion was the late-game driving force on defense. And on offense?

Jason Terry, who scored 10 of his 22 in the fourth quarter.

"He's one of our closers in the fourth. He's been doing that for six or seven years, however long he's been here. And tonight he was great. Twenty-two points on seven shots, that's pretty amazing. That's what he does for us, and he's one of the best shooters out there." -Dirk Nowitzki.

DONUT 9: About going to the 3-PG Attack, a finishing lineup that left Dirk and his 19 points on the bench for the final six minutes of the game ...

"Nothing else was working good. So you just keep trying different things. It was something we hadn't done in the game and the extra playmaker was good, it brought more quickness." -Coach Rick Carlisle

"It gave them a different look and it made us play a little quicker. And as you know, in our flow offense we're pretty tough to beat." -Jason Terry

"That was definitely fun to watch." -Dirk Nowitzki

Wait -- a fourth quarter rally without Dirk?

"That's a first." -Jose Juan Barea

DONUT 10: Also being talked about: How to get swag from DallasBasketball.com?

Easy. Between MavCowTickets.com , The DB.com Store and The Dallas Mavericks FISH Facebook Page and here, stay heads-up!

Oh, and stay in touch with us as we work towards a Playoff-Watching Get-Together at ThreeSheets! ... where we'll have even more Mavs goodies for you!!

DONUT 11: One down, five to go. Next stop, Phoenix.

"This is the first game on this long road trip. We've got five more to go, and we needed the first game. The first game is the hardest one to get sometimes and we got it. Now, we're going on to play Phoenix tomorrow and they're a good team. They're a good team at home. They're still trying to push for a playoff spot, so we know what we've got to do." -Shawn Marion

So it's big. Unless ...

Smile

DONUT 12: Does anybody need a rest? Ten games left, including a late one tonight at Phoenix on ESPN, and the playoffs are a lock ... do the old and creaky Mavericks need to take it easy?

"We don't need to rest. We are finely-tuned athletes, and we had enough rest losing in the first round last year." - Jason Terry

Wow. Jet talks a lot. Maybe too much. But that one there is suitable for framing.

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