Mavs-Nets Quoteboard: Ignoring The Neon
Cling wrap ... The main behind-the-scenes storyline to Dallas Mavericks versus New Jersey Nets -- the Deron Williams To Dallas scenario -- DB.com's got that covered like cling film. In the meantime, there's business to tend to. First game after the All-Star Break against a team Dallas routinely paddles at home, this one had TRAP written all over it in giant pulsing pink neon. The Mavs oblidged by stepping into it and waiting patiently while the tiger at the bottom (Brook Lopez, who went off for 38) ate them alive. Jason Kidd's last-second hero heave went awry and the Nets take it, 93-92.
With that, Dallas has lost three of their last four.
The other behind-the-scenes story -- D-Steve gets his shiny thing ... "It was special. The whole ring ceremony was overwhelming. I think they did a great job, and to come here and get a win, too, it just felt good." -DeShawn Stevenson
Defending-- no, surviving Deron Williams ... "Did you see how fast he was? Whoa. That was no joke. He got me a couple of times in the first quarter, but I kept coming at him and it finally got him off his rhythm a little." -Shawn Marion
About Brook Lopez -- 17-28 for 38 points ... "Brook was a monster tonight. With him back, we're a different team. I just wasn't feeling it and Brook was. He carried us from the start of the game and it makes a difference, I've said it all season. He knows how to play the game and we're glad to have him back." -Deron Williams
"The guys got the ball to me in spots where I could lay it up and score." -Brook Lopez
Something one doesn't expect Coach Johnson to say in regards to a player ... "We kind of took the handcuffs off Lopez tonight." -Coach Avery Johnson
Regarding the first half -- New Jersey outscored Dallas 56-45 including a buzzer-beater to end the half ... "We were off, couldn't make a shot; it was ugly, they really jumped on us and had a big lead. That's obviously not what you want coming out of the break at home. We were sloppy -- ballhandling, shooting, everything was sloppy." - Dirk Nowitzki
"Look, we didn't shoot well. We shot 36 percent and that's not a very good number. The focus is at the end of the game, but I thought our beginning of the game was poor. We weren't engaged defensively, we allowed them to shoot 52 percent and get a five-point lead. We had some turnovers that led to fast breaks and they had a bunch of fast-break points in the first half." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"We got more fastbreak points in the first half than I think we've had all season. It was a good thing for us, to get out on the break, and get some easy baskets. It gives us confidence and opens a lot of other things up." -Deron Williams
Crunch-Time Fail Part One -- missing 14 shots in a row ... "I have no idea, brother. I have no answer for you on that one. No idea at all. I don't know if it was lack of execution or play-calling or whatever you want to call it, but we didn't get the shots we wanted." -Jason Terry
"Brutal, like the whole game. It was kind of a reflection of the whole game." -Dirk Nowitzki
Crunch-Time Fail Part Two -- the final Maverick possession leading to a Jason Kidd airball ... "Hopefully they're looking for me. But obviously that wasn't the case." -Jason Terry
"It's tough with Dirk Nowitzki. I've seen that move about 1,000 times, so I kind of cheated that way and he passed to Jason Kidd. I was going to jump, and I got my hand on the ball and got a win off of that." -DeShawn Stevenson
"We were trying to get the ball to Dirk. We felt that they were going to come off of him and we just had to be ready to shoot. I should have shot the first ball that they gave me, I had a wide-open look and I was trying to keep the last shot so we could run the clock down. D-Steve got his hands on that pump fake and once I lost focus -- not focus but the pass -- I had to heave one up." -Jason Kidd
"It was scheduled for Dirk, yes. It didn't work out, so it's on me. Because I'm the coach. And if I'm going to get on their ass about not being into the game early in the game, then I've got to be willing to take the heat when the two plays at the end of the game don't work out. It's accountability; that's how it works." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Our guys played some terrific defense down the stretch. They executed the game plan. We wanted anybody else to score except Dirk." -Coach Avery Johnson
Onward through the gauntlet ... "This is going to be an emotional stretch of games. There's going to be a lot going on, there's going to be a lot of hungry teams that don't necessarily have good records. Similar to tonight, if we don't put our best game forward, we put ourselves in harm's way." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Starting nine games in 12 days, that's obviously not the way you want to start this off, with a loss at home with sloppy play." -Dirk Nowitzki
Oh and any word on Lamar? Word around the campfire is someone's talking buyout ... "We're not going to buy out anybody. There's no reason to and we're not going to do it ... We'll just deal with this, like we do with everybody else that's had personal issues. Our job is to try and help them out and not to comment beyond that. He's got to figure things out, and that's what we're trying to help him do." -Mark Cuban
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