Game 3 Quoteboard: Mavs/LA Locker-Room Talk

The reality has yet to sink in. The Mavs have the reigning champions on the ropes. All that's left is the knockout punch. Final 98-92, and Dallas is in control. Time to go play spy - in hanks's Mavs Quoteboard!

If you were there you remember; if you weren't you've been lectured. Dallas Mavericks up 2-0 in the Finals (or as Fish likes to say, "2-and-7/8ths'') and everything went smash. If anyone could make history repeat itself, it would be the Lakers. One could be forgiven for dying a little inside when the Mavs found themselves behind six with four and a half minutes left. And then the Lakers faded, Dallas's sharpshooters kept the buckets coming, and ba-duh-bing! there's the buzzer and the score's 98-92, Mavs. Los Angeles could in theory punch out four straight and advance . . . but they'd be the first in NBA history to do such an unthinkable thing.


On Los Angeles's lineup adjustments -- Lamar Odom started in place of suspension-serving Ron Artest . . .
"They started with a big lineup tonight and we did a pretty good job against that lineup in the second half and that lineup gave us some problems on the boards but we stuck with it and stuck with the game plan. Defensive rebounding was a key for us and just sticking with the game plan on offense and being aggressive." -Peja Stojakovic

"I feel like that was a tough one. I feel like they gave us a lot, especially with starting Lamar Odom and most of those guys played 33-plus minutes. They gave us a good punch." -Tyson Chandler

About the arena crowd -- official attendance 21,156 souls . . .
"You got to give our crowd a lot of credit. It was every bit as loud as it was in Portland the other day, and that was a difference maker" -Coach Rick Carlisle

Coming through in the clutch . . .
"We were able to put together some big stops in that fourth quarter and make a run. We still believe in ourselves and we have a chance to go out there and close the game out. We don't stop hustling and we're sticking together. That's a sign of this team. We come together as a team and try to get this stuff done." -Shawn Marion

"It's great we just didn't panic early when they were going inside all night. They were up there eight in the 4th quarter and we stuck with it. We said in the huddle that we keep fighting, keep plugging away and finally got some stops and got some shots to fall on the offensive end and that was big." -Dirk Nowitzki

"When they established their low post presence with that long lineup early in the game they were getting everything in the paint . . . that's dangerous because they are very skilled in the paint, but in the 4th quarter we did a pretty good job defensively and making them shoot over us and take tough shots and it worked." -Peja Stojakovic

"Again, as in Game 1, they finished better than we did. That was the difference in the ballgame. They got to the foul line in the second half and we didn't. They made some threes in the fourth quarter and we didn't. They deserve to win and we didn't . . . We double-teamed Nowitzki ineffectively and irrationally a couple of times at the end of the game, which is something we don't want to do. He matched up with Gasol on him. If we come back and play the same game we're going to win another game. We played too well to lose, is what I said." -Coach Phil Jackson

"We're beating ourselves a little bit, not getting a decent shot in the last five minutes of the game." -Andrew Bynum

"It was a slugfest game -- we were down eight, with six or eight minutes left, but we hung in there and kept battling." -Coach Rick Carlisle

Dirk Nowitzki -- running low on synonyms for ‘awesome' . . .
"Dirk Nowitzki made it happen. Just about everything that happened down the stretch was a direct result of him either scoring the ball or making a play to get somebody a shot or make a pass for an assist for a three or a two or whatever it was." -Coach Rick Carlisle

Dealing with an 0-3 series deficit . . .
"Well we're disappointed. We felt like Games 1 and 3 we controlled the pace of the game, but just couldn't finish the game. They were better finishing the games out than we were, so that's a big disappointment to us. But we still believe we're going to win the next game, and we'll go from them." -Coach Phil Jackson

Regarding Peja Stojakovic, who scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and helped to turn the game around . . .
"The key to the game, aside from Dirk being the guy who facilitated everything on offense, was that Peja did a great job on Lamar Odom the last six or seven minutes. As great as Kobe Bryant is, and he is un-guardable, Odom is right there with him as one of the most difficult matchups in all of basketball, because of his versatility, his size, length, skill. We needed Peja's shooting out there, but the job he did defensively was equally important." -Coach Rick Carlisle

"I just have to continue to be aggressive on the offensive end and I think that was the key tonight for all of us because they were doubling Dirk from the very beginning so we had to relieve the pressure. When we make a few shots that opens up everything for him and it helps him get to the basket and draw fouls and he knocked down most of his jump shots." -Peja Stojakovic

About an unusually animated exchange between Coach Jackson and Pau Gasol . . .
"He grabbed the ball in the half court and wasn't aware that he was holding it in the position we always ask him not to put it in and Terry took it from behind and went down and got a layup. I was just making sure he understood he needed to take care of the basketball in those sequences." -Coach Phil Jackson

On Jason Kidd's defense of Kobe Bryant -- Bryant scored 4 in the fourth quarter on 2-6 shooting and didn't notch a rebound or an assist . . .
"You're not going to get me to say I shut him down. So you guys can ask however many questions so many different ways and you can do it in a different language. I didn't shut him down. I just got in his way and I had a lot of help." -Jason Kidd

"I can't even explain that one. Like the way he's moving and denying the ball and getting under him, I mean, it's incredible. I'm watching him and most of the time I'm thinking about helping him and I'm looking and looking over there, and he's doing a great job." -Tyson Chandler

This is the playoffs -- nobody's resting on anything, and nobody's conceding anything . . .

"We're all trying to do something that we have never done, so the focus, the determination, the discipline, and all those things, is crucial. Dirk is one of the all-time greats, there's no doubt about that, but we're going for the ring and that's the one thing he hasn't done in his career, and he's one step closer, but we have a long way to go, and getting one more game from Los Angeles is going to be a lot of hard work, and we're going to have to stay humble and stay hungry." -Coach Rick Carlisle

"We've got to keep attacking on the offensive end and keep them off balance on the defensive end by attacking at all angles. We've got to keep shooting the ball well and defensively just keep battling and keep winning the rebounding game . . . We've just got to go for it. We're not good enough to coast or relax or anything You don't want to ever give a champion life, so hopefully we can have the same effort and the same crowd and a great game on Sunday." -Dirk Nowitzki

"These three games have been tough, but they're the champions and we know they're going to fight until the end. But we've got a great opportunity -- one game to close it out -- and we've got to try to close it out. We've been fortunate to get this 3-0 lead. But until it's four I'm not going to count them out." -Tyson Chandler

"It tastes pretty good. The three wins we have were good ones. This next win is going to be the toughest. It's always tough to close a team out, but for us, why not let it all hang out? That is the approach we have to take." -Jason Terry

"I might be sick in the head or crazy because I think we're still going to win the series. Win on Sunday, go back home and see if they can win in L.A." -Kobe Bryant

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