Mavs-Thunder Talk In Game 4 Quoteboard
Beginning of the fourth quarter, the Dallas Mavericks down by four. Not so bad, not for a team with a habit of unholstering their best play in the final frame. The following 12 minutes might've aged Mavs Nation a million years, as the Oklahoma City Thunder's lead ballooned to 15 before Dallas went on a massive 17-2 and never looked back. Final 112-105. The Mavericks take a 3-1 series lead back to Dallas, and with a win on Wednesday can punch their tickets to the NBA Finals.
Oy vey, what a horrible start . . . "They hit us early today and we weren't quite ready . . . Really what was killing us all night long was offensive rebounds, tip-outs for shots." -Dirk Nowitzki
Regarding rebounds, and how Dallas got slaughtered 55-33 . . . "The big thing is we've got to address the rebounding. We can't give up 20 offensive rebounds. When we went small, they got a lot of offensive rebounds. When you do go small, everybody's got to help out and rebound. Somewhere in the 50s to 30s in rebounding, you're not going to win many games like that." -Jason Kidd
"Normally when you get outrebounded like that, usually it's a butt-kicking." -Brendan Haywood
About The Red River Rally (it's earned proper noun status) . . .
"It was all about getting stops, and every guy that was in there during that period made big plays, whether they were loose ball plays, big rebounds, big defensive plays, big extra pass plays. And the one thing about this-- about all year is it's been a resourceful group. They keep believing. We've been extremely opportunistic. The way they hung in tonight was fantastic." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I've obviously had my fair share of leads and lost them. It was a great comeback for us, definitely one of the best that I can remember being a Maverick, definitely in a very important game." -Dirk Nowitzki
"During the timeout there was always the comment that there was a lot of time left. Five minutes, three minutes left, we felt if we could get the clock stopped and be able to score, hopefully that would give us a chance to do something." -Jason Kidd
"It was a tough loss to accept, but it was a loss. Throughout the game we struggled with turnovers. Dallas outplayed us down the stretch." -Coach Scott Brooks
"They made shots. We didn't. Dirk Nowitzki was great, you know, making threes, contested jump shots and they played great defense. We lost." -Kevin Durant
Dirk Nowitzki being Dirk Nowitzki, in other words, Mama, There Goes That UberMan . . .
"We've been on the flipside where we've given up 15-point leads. I've seen us give away a 20-point lead, down 15, down 10, come back in the fourth quarter, and Dirk finds a way." -Jason Terry
About the OT-forcing play -- Kevin Durant, guarded by Shawn Marion, misses a game-winning three . . . "I didn't have anything else to do. When I caught the ball I was at the half-court line, there where three Mavericks in front of me and three seconds on the clock. I didn't know what else to do. I didn't want to run into their defense and had another shot." -Kevin Durant
"I was just playing good, solid defense. I was trying to frustrate him, and I stayed with it. Even though he hit those first shots in the game, I was all over the dude. He hit some tough shots, but I was making it hard for him." -Shawn Marion
Some more love for Shawn Marion's defense . . . "It's become clear to Shawn exactly what we need from him. And we need just tenacity defensively. We need him to-- Durant needs to be wearing him like a suit." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"When he plays that way, he's the best on-ball defender in the league." -Jason Terry
"Everybody's going to talk about Dirk's 40, but we don't win this game without Trix's defense." -Brendan Haywood
On the kill shot -- Dirk finds Kidd for three with forty seconds left in OT . . . "I was actually gonna make a play there on the elbow against Collison. And once I turned, I think Westbrook was right there or right in between, so I didn't really have a good look. So, I swung it over to Kidd, and he made a nice little play, I thought." -Dirk Nowitzki
"I knew the ball was gonna end up to me. Dirk has a little trust in me, and I felt it was my job to be able to knock down that shot. They kind of went to him late, so Westbrook had to contest my shot. I thought about jumping into him, but I just reloaded and shot it. People were talking about it reminded them of the game in Boston, so I just got lucky that the ball went in." -Jason Kidd
Sum up Jason Kidd . . . "Everybody asks questions about the age and all that other stuff, but the thing I'd say to anybody is, 'Never underestimate greatness.'" -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Really, I mean, I'm proud of Jason Kidd. I mean, the way he battles on defense, the floor game he leads for us every night, the steals he gets and the huge three in overtime to put us over the top and put us up by three. I tip my hat to him every night, the way he competes." -Dirk Nowitzki
Sometimes you just deserve it -- regarding Tyson's T, the one the Mavs aren't asking for league review on . . .
"I mean, not that I deserved it, but this one was a tangle-up and I did hit him. They got this one right . . . I'm not getting another tech throughout the rest of the season. No more techs for me." -Tyson Chandler
The endlessly fascinating Experience versus Youth arguement . . .
"It's all about being on an even keel and knowing you have been in the situation. It's about a veteran team knowing that five minutes is a long time to play . . . Our faith showed more than anything. We kept believing. That's why we got the win." -Jason Terry
"All of us involved with this team have been through a lot of these wars. We understand our position that we're in. We respect it. We're very humble about it. We've got to get ourselves revved up and ready for Wednesday, because that's an opportunity." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I have been on the other side when we have given up leads. Those are easy to remember, when you give up a big lead and lose a game you felt you should have won. We kept playing and kept believing." -Jason Kidd
"We are not going to give up. No matter what kind of run they make, no matter how many points we were down, we just have been optimistic about the situation." -Tyson Chandler
Pressure -- it's what makes the postseason fun, right?
"We just felt we couldn't get over the hump. In the playoffs, you can't just throw in the towel. We could have easily said, ‘Hey, we did our job, we won Game 3 and now we're gonna go home with the split. But nobody ever hung their head. Nobody was complaining. We kept playing." -Jason Kidd
"It was almost over. If we mess up one more time that would've been it. We couldn't afford any mistakes down the stretch . . . We were almost perfect." -Dirk Nowitzki
"There's times and situations that are going to test the courage and the mental inner strength of your team. This was one of those times.'' -Jason Terry
One more to go . . .
"We worked really hard in these two games to win. None of that guarantees anything in Game 5. We know that. We have to get rested up for Wednesday because it's an opportunity." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"We understand we are one win from the Finals. We will play Wednesay like its Game 7. Game 5 is Game 7 for us. I plan on going home and taking care of business. I don't plan on coming back here." -Jason Terry
"We don't want to come back here. We have to end the series in five. When you have the opportunity to do something like this, you have to seize the moment." -Tyson Chandler
"I think they're going to come back in Game 5 and (will be) going to throw everything at us. Obviously they're desperate now. But they showed they can win on our home court. They stole Game 2 there, so they're going to be confident and we've got to take it." -Dirk Nowitzki
"It's not over yet. We know we have a game on Wednesday. We've won in there before, so we've got to try to do it again." -Kevin Durant