Game 4 Quoteboard: 'We Believe,' Says Cuban
If any matchup could produce a comeback-from-three series, it would be the Dallas Mavericks versus the Los Angeles Lakers. That idea ignores an obvious fact -- Dallas has played playoff basketball and prevented Los Angeles from doing likewise. With deadeyed shooting and gigantic production from the bench, the Mavs reduced the champs to a disorganized mess who met their demise with either moping or Flagrant-2s. Dallas sweeps the series 4-0, puts an ugly exclaimation point at the end of ring king Phil Jackson's career, and advances to the Western Conference Finals (with at least a whole week off as a bonus). Final 122-86.
'Knew it the whole time,' right?
"I think I told you guys all along that Dallas is a very good team. We had the same record they had during the season. And they played better as a team than we did." -Coach Phil Jackson
There goes the Jet -- Jason Terry and his record-tying nine made threes . . .
"The way they play defense, they suck in, you gotta be ready to shoot the shot. That's when I'm at my best. And tonight, again, without the penetration of J.J. and J-Kidd, those looks wouldn't have been there. So, I just had my feet set ready to shoot." -Jason Terry
For that matter, the Mavs as a team had 20 threes, also tying an NBA postseason record . . .
"For some odd reason they were leaving [Terry] open this afternoon and he was doing what he does best, and that is catch and shoot, and he made quite a few of them. If it wasn't Jet, it was Peja, he went 6-6 and so you got two of your best guys going. It stretches the defense." -Jason Kidd
"We had a lot of guys play great. Jet's shot-making was breathtaking, really. Nine of 10 from three, and then Stojakovic hit six out of six." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I think they've been so focused all series on Dirk, and tonight with our penetration we drew so much attention that our corners and wings were wide open for 3's. And everyone made shots tonight." -Peja Stojakovic
"They jumped out on us in the second quarter. It was just 3 after 3 after 3 and we could never get back in it." -Kobe Bryant
"On a couple of those shots I didn't even see the rim. I know Dirk don't want to hear that because he probably was open." -Jason Terry
Respect the Mavs off the Bench, who scored as much as the entire Laker team . . .
"We knew we had a good bench especially when we shoot the ball like that and we really came out with energy and we were more aggressive than they were tonight and it worked out for us." -Jose Juan Barea
"We've been doing it by committee all year long. There are a lot of guys who can make plays and make shots when it counts." -Dirk Nowitzki
Playing Maverick Basketball on defense . . .
"This is the best we've played since early in the season. We came out of training camp with defense on our minds and I felt like we started the season off right, and then with our injuries we slipped a little. Playoffs start and you have to get back into the mindset of what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish things, and I felt like we really picked things back up. We understand that defense wins championships. This is a team that has always had offensive fire power and if we can stop teams on the other end we have a great chance to win every game and make it easier on ourselves." -Tyson Chandler
"More importantly, we guarded. You hold this team under 40 percent you're moving your feet, you're guarding and you're rebounding, and that fueled a lot of the good things that happened for us offensively." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Defense for the Mavericks is not new, but we've gotta get people talking about it now." -Jason Terry
About the career and impending retirement of Coach Phil Jackson . . .
"His contributions to our game have been gigantic. As the president of the Coaches Association I know that he does a lot of things to support coaches behind the scenes that have been very meaningful . . . Look, we're talking about the greatest coach in the history of our game. I was drafted by (Celtics legend) Red Aurebach, I was around Red Aurebach for three or four years, and I know the maginitute of what he accomplished over a multidecade period. And what Phil's done is, you know, is ridiculous. This is a tough series for them, but it shouldn't taint what he's done and I don't believe it will." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Feels really good to be ending this season to be honest with you . . . This has been a wonderful run. I go out with a sour note after being fined $35,000 this morning by the league, so that's not fun having a feeling like I've been chased down the freeway by them. But as Richard Nixon says, ‘You won't be able to kick this guy around anymore.'" -Coach Phil Jackson
"I grew up under him. The way I approach things, the way I think about things -- not only basketball, life in general -- comes from him. It's a little weird for me to think of what next year is going to be like." -Kobe Bryant
. . . and why we could see him back . . .
"My belief is that he'll retire for a while, but I don't know how long you can got to Montana and meditate and smoke peyote or whatever he does there. He's gonna get bored." -Coach Rick Carlisle
On the revenge factor . . .
"It's nine years ago. We had our chance. It was very emotional for us over there, but it's been so many years we all have to move on with our lives and our careers." -Peja Stojakovic
"I've been on the other end of a lot of losses against the Lakers and Phil. So, it's good to get a win." -Jason Kidd
You miserable dirty rotten-- about Lamar Odom's hack on Dirk and Andrew Bynum's shot at JJ . . .
"I was a little embarrassed. I went to fill the rim out, they were already up 30, and I didn't mean anything by it." -Lamar Odom
"A little bit frustrated and they kept making layups . . . I'm not disappointed in myself. It is what it is. We got embarrassed tonight, so that's what happened . . . I think it was more we were getting embarrassed, they were breaking us down. So I just fouled somebody." -Andrew Bynum
"Yeah, that's not a basketball play. It happens sometimes in basketball. I got to be ready every time I drive the paint. Sometimes that happens . . . I bet they played 10 replays of it on TV. It was a pretty good hit. I'm happy nothing really happened to me. I'm going to be a little sore, but just happy we got the win." -Jose Juan Barea
"I wasn't happy with the way our players exited the game, on Lamar and Andrew's part. It was unnecessary, but I know they were frustrated. And Barea was one of the guys that really frustrated us tonight." -Coach Phil Jackson
"That is unfortunate that those guys would do that because we're all NBA players out there and we're all playing the game and there is no need for that kind of stuff. We'll move on and we've got another series to prepare for . . . The way you get them back is by sending them home. We did that." -Tyson Chandler
Some respect from the enemy . . .
"You gotta put the credit in the right place, which is the Mavs locker room. They played extremely well, executed extremely well, their spacing was excellent, they shot the ball extremely well. Their depth hurt us -- every night it was another player stepping up and performing and making big plays. The credit belongs with them." -Kobe Bryant
"They played their butts off. They played how you're supposed to play in a close out game." -Lamar Odom
"I think they just came out and beat us from the start." -Andrew Bynum
Halfway there -- on advancing to the Western Conference Finals (and beyond) . . .
"Okay, we beat the Lakers and got out of the second round, but the job is not finished. From day one when we started in training camp we set goals for ourselves and we set the bar real high. I don't want to understate the meaning of this victory and getting out of the second round, but we're back in the Western Conference Finals, and it's been a while . . . We know these opportunities don't come along that often. So we're focused on one goal. And if you do that, it's very powerful thing." -Jason Terry
"Just gotta stay focused and enjoy this for a day. I'm probably gonna have some pizza tonight and cheat on my diet. And just go at it again the next couple of days . . . be ready for the Western Conference Finals whenever they start." -Dirk Nowitzki
"It felt good tonight, but we know we're only half home. We've got eight wins but we need eight more and that's our ultimate goal." -Tyson Chandler
"It doesn't matter if you get to sweep the series or not, just to win the series and move on. This is a two-time defending champions that we beat and we have to use that experience and we can't have a let down." -Jason Kidd
"It's a good win, but we got some more business to take care of." -Shawn Marion
A welcome bonus -- the soonest the conference finals can start is next Sunday, giving Dallas a whole week off . . .
"I think it's huge because we've got some older guys that can use some rest and get our bodies right and then we'll see what happens in the other series and mentally get ourselves ready for the next round." -Tyson Chandler
"I think it means we get some rest, which is good for us. I think the challenge now is we've got to manage this period of time; I don't see a problem with that." -Coach Rick Carlisle
The nature of competitors . . .
"I would give it all up, the rewards or the recognition, to be able to play in the championship round." -Lamar Odom
"Losing is losing . . . it sucks just the same." -Kobe Bryant
"That's why you play basketball for is days like this." -Jose Juan Barea
And a word from the boss . . .
"We believe." -Mark Cuban