Quoteboard: The Mavericks make a statement in comeback win against Houston

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball is great. Basketball is fun. Basketball is my friend.

Editor's note: Locker room reporting done by Doyle Rader. I compiled the audio here.

Rick Carlisle

On the fourth quarter comeback

"We cut it to three and then they went on a run and got it back up over 10. It would have been easy to drop our heads and stop playing, but these guys aren’t going to do that. They didn’t do it last time we played these guys down there even though we were getting beat pretty good, and tonight we hung in and we gave ourselves a chance. Marion hitting a three out of the corner? What a huge play."

On his two stars

"Dirk and Ellis were great all night. Both guys were attacking, they were playing well off each other, they were getting other people involved. It had to be a very entertaining game to watch. From a coaching/playing standpoint, there’s a lot of frustrating things that happened because both teams are good, both teams are putting the other team in binds. There’s a lot of complaining to officials out there and stuff. But our guys rose above it and got the win, and it’s huge."

On the Rockets starting the game off so well

"They made eight shots in a row, shooting 100 percent. They were on pace for a 60-point quarter at the 8-minute mark. We knew they weren't going to keep shooting that way, but we also knew we had to step it up and make them feel us more than they were defensively. Gradually, we were able to do it. They’re talented, they're highly-skilled. They’ve got a monster on the inside, so they cause a lot of problems."

On his defense

"Schematically? We played zone a lot because we couldn't guard them. It's just a hard team to guard man-to-man and the zone just gave a different look. It slowed them down a little bit. There's no cure all when you play a team wil skilled guys like that. Bottom line is, we're going to have to play better basketball if we're going to keep improving, especially on the defensive end, but I love the way we hung in and rose above all the challenging things and found a way."

On Shane Larkin

"I liked Larkin out there tonight. Look, we need speed in this lineup. We're slow and old, and that's not a good combination. Our best players are older, slower guys and we need speed in the lineup. He gives us speed. My message is going to be consistent to the whole team: everybody's got to be ready to play. Mekel's got to be ready to play and Ellington's got to be ready to play. ... We need dynamic quickness and Shane helps us with that, Devin Harris coming back sometime hopefully in the near future is going to help us there too, Brandan Wright is one of our more dynamic guys right now and he's sitting out, too."

On the defense

"This was a pillowfight defensively, it really was. It's two highly skilled teams, but this is not going to be anybody's blueprint for how to stop anybody."

Dirk Nowitzki

On Monta's impact

"Well we're really just playing off of him. He's been aggressive, he's been the ball well, but what's been great is that he has been making plays for others. He's making all of us better. We run a lot of screen and rolls for him, I don't know how he does it, but he gets everyone involved and it's been fun to play with him."

On whether there's a chip on the shoulder this year

"Yeah we feel like we have a good team. We'd love to get healthy. We just got Shane (Larkin) back which was a big addition. We want to get Devin Harris back at some point, and we're looking forward to getting Brandan Wright. We need his defensive presence down low. I think we have a good team, a deep team and we're going to keep working and see where we can take it."

Monta Ellis

On fourth quarter comeback

"We stayed together as a team. We got the defensive stops when we needed and came down and made shots on the other end."

On whether playing in Dallas will get him national recognition

"Who knows man, I just want to win. Like I've said before I came into training camp with a great mind set and I love playing with this big fella right here. He (Dirk) makes my job so much easier on how the defense plays him and how good he is for our spacing and how great he can shoot. We just want to continue to get better and let everything else fall into place."

Rockets coach Kevin McHale

On whether the team took too many threes

"Yes, we got three happy. Our defense tonight... We never could get a handle on them. All game long they were scoring. We were scoring too. We had a lead in the fourth quarter again. We just hold on to it and we made some turnovers. We had some point-blanker and layups that we missed. We just couldn't get them stopped the whole game. Dirk and Ellis got what they wanted."

On the zone defense

"The Mavs go zone and we swing it around we get open shots. They were packing the paint in there because we were hurting them down low. They packed it up and at some point we are going to have to make open shots. We have good shooters. We just didn't hit a few shots that we had. Our defense more than anything else, when we get a lead like that we have to get some stops."

On Dwight

"He got the ball down low and he's very good with it. He scored down there and made them collapse their defense. We played inside out of the post and he had real good rhythm tonight."

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