The Quoteboard For Mavs' Game 1 Victory
Now things are getting interesting, as the Mavs tackle the young-and-hungry Thunder. Rivalry? We'll see. For now, the Mavs get the 121-112 win, a 1-0 series lead, and seven (!) straight playoff wins. Shall we listen in? Quoteboard!
Two teams, led by scoring machines, separated by 210 miles and almost a decade's worth of experience. The Thunder haven't made it this far by being pushovers and Kevin Durant had an astonishing night -- 40 points on 10-18 shooting. Stunning, however, trumps astonishing, and Our Dirk did something genuinely stunning. 12-15 from the floor, a perfect 24-24 from the line -- overturning Paul Pierce's record of 21 straight free throws in a playoff game -- for a total of 48 points. Throw in six rebounds, four assists, and four blocks, then back it with the Mavs off the Bench doing their thing, and there's your ballgame. Final score, 121-112.
Um . . . yeah, uh . . . that Nowitzki guy . . .
"I was really looking for my shot early. I was working a lot to on my shot after we had a week off. We had a week off, I was in the gym every night and it paid off. I really looked for my shot early and was able to get in a good rhythm. And for a shooter, obviously, when the first couple go in it's even better for your confidence. Just attacked from there." -Dirk Nowitzki
"He played great, obviously. We had a long layoff, but guys were working hard during that period. Dirk spent a lot of time working on his game, keeping himself ready. He got it going early, and I thought he did a good job of mixing drives with jump shots. And getting to the bonus was big, because that helped him get to the free throw line when we had a matchup advantage there." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Tremendous and he saw matchups that he liked and he was knocking down his shots early and then you try to get aggressive defensively on him and then you put him on the free throw line. He's an outstanding free throw shooter so they'll make an adjustment but our motto is continue to do what we do and defensively we're going to have to pick it up a notch." -Jason Terry
"He's been doing it for many years against a lot of great players. He had good rhythm. He got off to a good start . . . he's a great player and he's one of the best I've ever seen at that position offensively." -Coach Scott Brooks
"We can't get discouraged. He's going to make shots. He's going to make off-balanced shots with a hand in his face." -Kevin Durant
"He was hot. It's tough. You can't get frustrated. I'll watch the film and we'll come back the next game." -Serge Ibaka
Also that Kevin guy -- 40 points, 10-18 shooting, 18-19 from the line, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, two blocks and a steal . . .
"Kevin was good offensively. He had a nice rhythm going and he was attacking the basket. His jump shot was falling and he was making plays. I don't know how many assists he had tonight, but I felt he was passing the ball very well." -Coach Scott Brooks
On Dallas's long layoff and Oklahoma City's short turnaround . . .
"Mixture of rest and competitive play. We just kept talking about how it was going to be good for us. I wasn't worried about the rest. When you go nine days without playing a game, I worry about concentration slippage in some areas. We had a little bit of that, and we're going to have to get that cleaned up for Game 2." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"You can't blame an excuse on that. We had a chance to win the game towards the end of the game but we just weren't able to close it out." -Russell Westbrook
"No, we'll be fine. We'll be fine. Like I said we're just getting a feel for them, [coming] from a different series. So, we're just going to have to adjust and watch film and be ready for game two." -James Harden
About the Mavs off the Bench, who outscored their counterparts (again) . . .
"As much attention as Dirk is drawing, guys like myself, Stojakovic and JJ are going to have opportunities. Taking advantage of those opportunities is key." -Jason Terry
"They came out and made some shots . . . Their bench, Terry comes in and Barea comes in, and we understand that's their strength of their team. We have to do a better job of guarding those players." -Coach Scott Brooks
Regarding JJ, who hit a hot streak in the fourth quarter and tacked up 21 points for the game . . .
"What JJ Barea did not only in the second half but in the 4th quarter he kind of took control of the game and getting a basket, assisting on a basket or playing pick-n-roll basketball which we like and he kept the momentum going." -Jason Terry
"Barea is a handful. He's a terrific player. He breaks the defense down with his toughness [and] with his playmaking ability. He was stepping back behind the pick and he made two threes tonight. He was good." -Coach Scott Brooks
"He's playing at a high level and we all expect that. His confidence is high, and we're going to need him to play like this." -Jason Kidd
"That pick-n-roll was really working for us in the 4th quarter and he was able to get in the lane and when they went under he hit a big three for us so he was big for us." -Dirk Nowitzki
"We've got our shooters around, so they're going to be hung up on the shooters. I've got Dirk setting the screen and they don't want to leave him. I've just got to keep being aggressive and playing my game. Some nights it's gonna work, some nights not." -JJ Barea
On Russell Westbrook and his lackluster 3-15 night . . .
"Well he's so good in the open court and in transition and as a team we have to get back and try to load up on him because he's so quick and explosive off the dribble so we just tried to slow him down and Durant just kept making plays. It was a lot closer than we wanted in the 4th but we came thru with a big win tonight." -Dirk Nowitzki
"Westbrook had a sub-par game for him. I thought we did some good things against him, but I also thought he just had an off game." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Russell missed some shots. He's going to come back better. He missed some shots but he was attacking the basket. It's what we want Russell to do." -Coach Scott Brooks
"It happens. Just going out and still staying positive. Just got to defend . . .It's not about me or what I was doing; it's about our team and we have to continue to play . . . I just missed shots." -Russell Westbrook
That's not birds tweeting -- officials called 55 personal fouls and awarded a grand total of 79 free-throw attempts . . .
"We have some areas of concern that we need to address, but again we can't continue to give Westbrook 18 free throw attempts and Durant 19 free throw attempts. That's just entirely too many free throws, so we'll take a look at that and make adjustments." -Jason Terry
"We're going to have to quit fouling them as much, obviously. This series is, in large part, going to be about the free throw line. If Durant and Westbrook get there a lot, they win. So, we were fortunate tonight. But we're going to have to play better." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"We were fouling [Nowitzki's] jump shots. Twenty-four times to the free throw line -- and he's a terrific jump-shooter -- but that's just too many fouls. We got to do a better job guarding him, and we will. We will make some adjustments." -Coach Scott Brooks
"It's frustrating out there playing a physical game and series, and that's what we're kinda used to. I think we were a little bit too physical with them, and it's something we got to make adjustments on with every starter. It's a learning experience, especially this first game and feeling it out and seeing how it was going to go." Kevin Durant
Why it wasn't a blowout, and why this series isn't over . .. "They kept coming, especially in the fourth quarter. I think we were up 10, and they kept making plays, Durant kept making tough shots and they were right there." -Dirk Nowitzki
"I don't think Westbrook will go 3-for-15 again. You can quote me on that. I think James Harden will give us a bigger push the next game; he played well still. Guys like Daequan [Cook], he will come out and help us out as well. I have a lot of faith in my teammates and I believe in them and no matter if they miss 10 shots in a row, I'm still going to pass them the ball, still going to have trust in them. That's what it's all about. We got to lean on each other. One guy can't win a series, two guys can't win a series. So we got to stick together." -Kevin Durant