Quoteboard: 'We're Dependent On One Another'
The Dallas Mavericks have taken heat the past few days by allowing the Oklahoma City Thunder to score over 100 on over 50 percent shooting. Here, the Thunder came out of the gate in more mere mortal fashion, surrendering a 23-point lead they'd spend the rest of game picking at. They tried; inside play let to a lot of free-throws and Dirk was having a bad night from the floor. Ultimately, it didn't happen and Dallas takes the series lead back with a 93-87 road win.
Regarding Dallas's fantastic first few minutes . . .
"We wanted to come out with energy. We wanted to come out with a great defensive presence, and we did that; we were able to slow them down. And we made shots. Throughout the game when you play that hard defensively-- sometimes the shots don't continue to fall, but we gave ourselves such a cushion, we could still win." -Tyson Chandler
"In a game like this in someone else's arena, coming off a loss, you have to come out with anger and an intensity. We did that." -Jason Terry
"We started out the game very aggressive on both ends of the floor. We took them out of any and everything they wanted to do on both ends of the floor." -Shawn Marion
"Great defensive effort, I think, early on. ‘Trix [Marion] really taking the challenge. I thought Stevenson was great early, and that really set our offense up in the first half." -Dirk Nowitzki
Maverick defense; how we've missed it . . . "We were much better defensively tonight and we had to be. The first two games we were horrible. Now the challenge is to sustain it." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Every time they got a shot somebody was in their face. That's the defense we have been playing all playoffs." -Shawn Marion
"They did a great job from the start with their defensive pressure, they took us out of our sets and got us playing on our heels. They were very physical, pushed us off our spots. But our guys fought back to make a game of it." -Coach Scott Brooks
So why didn't we see it during those games in Dallas?
"I knew what we're capable of because the first 10 games of the playoffs we saw it. But you come up against a very different type of opponent, you get seduced a little bit into a different style of play, and you get a little bit seduced out of what made you successful. I believed that happened to us the first couple of games. And then you get hit in the face at home, it's sobering for everybody. But we refocused and guys got committed to the defensive end.'' -Coach Rick Carlisle
The Matrix, Reloaded -- Shawn Marion and his 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals . . .
"Shawn Marion got us off to a great start defensively and he was involved in a lot of great things offensively, scoring, moving the ball. He's such an important player for us because he plays a total game, his movement offensively, his ability to run, his ability to do things at the basket, and he's an underrated passer." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Shawn Marion stepped up big. He wasn't kind of there the first two games and we talked about it. Him being the person he is, he came back strong. We need that from him." -DeShawn Stevenson
"Those first two fouls have been [bleep]ing me up in the first quarter. I can't be the aggressor on either end of the court if I'm coming out after five minutes with two [bleep]ing fouls. What am I going to do? Now I'm tentative, trying not to pick up the third and can't be the aggressor I want to be. Tonight, I was able to do that." -Shawn Marion
"We've got to have him pissed. We've got to have him slashing all over the place and being aggressive. We don't want the happy Trix. I like the angry Trix. He can be pissed off at all of us if he gives us the results." -Tyson Chandler
About Jason Kidd, basketball Library of Congress and offensive coordinator extraordinare . . .
"He does so many things that can not be quantified on the stats sheet. Just from having a calming influence, a knack for hitting big shots and finding the window to deliver the ball at the right time to the right guy. And defensively, he did a great job the whole game of communicating to everybody what was going on, because our coverages were good. But we did change things a lot on the fly, and he's a guy that's directing traffic out there for us." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Jason, as you all know from the last 17 or 18 years he's been in this league, gives you everything he has. He's what you want out of a professional athlete, did everything on the floor for his team. Nothing he does surprises me, other than playing the way he's playing at his age. I mean, I couldn't do it when I was 30, play good basketball. He's doing it late in his 30 . . . He battles and competes against whoever he has in front of him and that's what you want. He's a terrific player." -Coach Scott Brooks
"Jason Kidd ran their team. Every time they got down or something, he made a big play or a great pass." -Kendrick Perkins
OKC shot how many free-throws? (36, as opposed to Dallas's 18) . . .
"In terms of legal limits, I believe the line may be crossed at times. But if so, then the league will see that." -Coach Rick Carlisle
What to do when the stars aren't shining . . .
"Guys stepped up. Everybody is gonna look at Dirk and everybody expects superhuman things every time he's on the floor, but he's human. He and Jet had a bad night, but we kept playing as a team and, again, we've always won and lost as a team. Hopefully those two guys will have a better outing come Monday." -Jason Kidd
"Jet and myself were off, so I guess we'll take the win, if our top two shooters and top guns are off like that and we still won the game. That's a tribute to our defense." -Dirk Nowitzki
Why the ball's in Nowitzki's hands when time's running out . . .
"He's our guy. In the fourth quarters, he's going to touch the ball as frequently as we can get it to him. And if he misses a few shots, he's not going to get deterred, he's not going to get discouraged and he's got the kind of will to keep going at it." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I've got to keep attacking for this team, like I have for the last, whatever, 13 years. This team needs me to score and keep being aggressive. My teammates obviously support me and find me in good positions where I can make plays. I've got to keep coming. I've got to keep being aggressive for this team. That's what I tried to do in the fourth quarter." -Dirk Nowitzki
About That Game In Portland . . .
"We understand that we've given up some leads and have lost games This was just another battle that we could draw back from. I don't think anybody every brought it up, but just understanding that, hey, we've got to finish this game the right way. We all can look at each other and understand what's at stake." -Jason Kidd
"In Portland one thing happened after another and we lost the lead. Today we got big stops when we needed and got rebounds. I thought we fought through a lot in the second half. We stuck together and ground it out." -Dirk Nowitzki
Looking ahead, because there's still a series to win . . .
"We know what we have to do. The first thing we have to do is take care of home floor the next game." -Kevin Durant
"We've gotta be even sharper in Game 4. We've just got to come out with the same intensity and focus on the defensive end, and I think that's gonna help us in Game 4." -Dirk Nowitzki
The inner truth of Maverick Basketball . . .
"We're a group that's a little dependent on one another more than a lot of the teams left playing, so it's one of the things I love about our team. Our collective spirit that we play with and our collective will have got to rise up right now, and that's where it's at." -Coach Rick Carlisle