Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Mavericks lost in a very disappointing fashion, and the players and coaches mostly reflected those sentiments in their post-game quotes. Since I have your attention, I'll throw a few notes at you before we go to what was said post-game tonight.
* Being present at the AAC, I must say that the atmosphere of the crowd was the best it's been in a while, probably the best all season. Obviously, I haven't been to all the games, but other media regulars backed me up on that, so I have no problem saying it.
* Vince Carter's 29 points was the most he'd ever scored as a Maverick. Previously, it was 25 vs. New York on 11/21/12.
* Ignore the whole 1-8 in overtime stat -- nine overtimes is the most ever in Mavericks franchise history. This marks the third time in recent memory the Mavericks tied a game against Oklahoma City with a three pointer in the closing seconds. Earlier this year, Collison's prayer three pointer sent the game to overtime (which OKC went on to win), and last season, the Mavericks tied a game on Vince Carter's three pointer only to have Kevin Durant win the game with a three of his own to beat the buzzer.
* Speaking of Collison, he scored double figures for his 14th straight game. He had six assists to just one turnover. Just to play devil's advocate, Westbrook scored 31 points and had several put-backs that probably could have been prevented by boxing out.
* Elton Brand had 10 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. He scored all 10 points in the 4th quarter. He played 36 minutes tonight, twenty more than Kaman's 16.
* Kevin Durant's 52 points was a career-high, topping his 51 points against Denver on 2/19/12.
* Six players where in double figures: Carter, Mayo, Nowitzki, Collison, Brand and (somehow) James. This was the fourth consecutive game the Mavericks had 6+ with 10 or more points.
(on the horrible Mike James pull-up three): "The play blew up and Mike ended up with it and it was unfair to him. It was a play that didn't work and it was my responsibility.
(more on that play): "The play got blown up. It was on me, when something like that happens in a game that's on the coach. I took responsibility for that. That's all I can say about it."
(on rebounding): "Sometimes it's concentration, sometimes we face a team that's more athletic and bigger and that can be an issue. We just have to stick with it. ... We've had nights that we've done a good job."
(on KD): "There are some things that we obviously could have done to limit him. ... He had a great game and he is the best offensive player on the planet."
(on VC): "I thought he was great. ... He had a couple of rough nights recently, so he bounced back. We wouldn't have been here without him. He hit some timely shots throughout the course of the game."
(on whether there's anything Collison can improve on to get late-game minutes): "It's a coach's decision; it'll be game-to-game and so that's basically it."
(on the blown play): "I just made the wrong decision. I had a big on me and I have to understand the situation. I have to attack and I didn't. I had hit a few shots so I felt it was a good shot but it's only a good shot if you make it. I didn't make the right play and that's what it's about, especially at the end of the game."
(are you happy with how you played) "No, not at all. It doesn't matter how you play if you lose the game. The focus is playing the game the right way and doing the things to help the team win. Regardless of what I did tonight it's about winning games and I didn't do my job."
(on the still horrible James three): "It was the first time in the game they switched (on the pick and roll) so knowing that, we probably would have run something different. We ran a play for O.J. coming off my screen but because they just switched again. It was a good play on their part; they hit us with something we weren't ready for and Mike got stuck up top."
(on Durant): "For a guy who had 52, I think we did a pretty decent job on him. We got hurt on the board."
(on his game): "I was just trying to do my part. Those were shots that I had the last couple games that I didn't make. I'm just working on my game, remaining confident in my game, remaining aggressive."
(on his injury in the 2nd half): "I got hit on top of the head and I had a little stinger. I just felt my whole left arm go numb real quick so it kind of just made me nervous. All of a sudden I couldn't feel anything for a second so I just tried to hold on and it went away and everything was tingling down my arm and down the middle of my back."
(on his play): "I was upset with myself in the fourth quarter. I missed so many shots and I wasn't taking it to the rim. I wasn't putting pressure on the defense, so I was just trying to make up for it in overtime. So, I just kept fighting. ... We just kept fighting. And we get a good win on the road."
(on maintaining his cool despite disappointment with his play): "Experience is helping me a lot. Just knowing that if I look like I'm out there panicking my teammates are going to be looking the same way. So I've got to be cool. If I miss a shot, so be it."
(on the Mavs hanging with you): "Well, everyone is going to play us well. Everybody. They've got a championship level coach, players; they've got some tough guys. Every stepped up for them. ... They've got guys who are big game players. And no matter what if you're on the road, it's always tough to get a win and I'm glad we did."
(what he said to the team): "I'm just proud of the way they competed. It always seems to be a fourth quarter game or overtime game this year. Both teams did not want to lose this game. Obviously Kevin had a phenomenal game, but I thought Serge [Ibaka's] two offensive rebounds down the stretch were a big part of the win.
(on the Mavericks): "Defensively they've been playing much better, faster, and now they have Dirk back in the fold. It was a good game that nobody deserved to lose."