VIDEO QUOTEBOARD: "He's the great one"

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Postgame at AAC last night was all about a tough win -- and the superstar who wouldn't let the Mavs lose.

Last night at AAC was all about Dirk.

In a first half when both teams seemed very tired and it looked more like a rec league game, somehow, some way, Dirk went postal in the second half, scoring a season-high 40 points. Monta Ellis (and Monta Ellis Jr. ... more on that later today!) joined the fun with 26 points of his own. The defense (the Mavs have a defense?) kept the Pelicans in the game til the very end, but a win is a win.

A few injury notes: we didn't get an official word on Shane Larkin's injured ankle, but postgame chatter didn't make it sound too severe. (GET WELL SOON, DEVIN HARRIS.) Also, take a peek at how Rick Carlisle spoke about Marion below -- not wanting to read too much into it, but it seems like they're being extra cautious with him and he may not be back as soon as we had hoped.

The lesson here is, never leave us, Dirk.

Rick Carlisle

On a slow start and strong finish...

I'm not really sure (how that happened). Both teams were four in five nights. Strange things happen in this league. They had foul trouble. They had a guy that's taken 10 threes all year and shot 3-of-10, comes out and makes 4-of-5 out of nowhere. They're a well-coached team and the really fight you. It's a very hard game. I give our guys a lot of credit. What can you say about Dirk [Nowitzki] - 40 points on the fourth night in five. It's amazing. Monta [Ellis] obviously had a big game offensively. It was a grind.

On Crowder getting the start, and Marion's possible return...

He started last night, too. He's done a good job both nights. He's played multiple positions. This is an important time for him because he's stepping up into a big role in terms of responsibility filling in for Marion, who is one of our better players. Hopefully Shawn will be feeling better soon and we can get him back, but I don't know what the timetable is going to be there. Until that happens, we've just got to keep grinding away with the guys we have available and go from there.

On Dirk's big night...

He's the great one. He knew that we need a lift. Last night we shot it well from the beginning of the game. His spacing is a big part of our offensive attack. They were late getting to him a few times. The threes that he hit when we were struggling to start the second half, and then he got fouled on one or two of them, were just massive, massive plays. We're fortunate. Our guys played hard, but they played really hard, too. We're on the climb. We're trying to build this thing back up to where we were. Monday is going to be another battle.

On monitoring Dirk's minutes in the fourth...

[I've been monitoring them] a lot. He was at the table, and then we had some good things happen while he was at the table for about a minute and a gave him another minute or two where he could bring up the reserves. He could have played more if needed, he's played big minutes his whole career. I've been pretty obsessed with trying to keep it at a certain level, but some nights you have no choice.

Monta Ellis

On the slow start to the game...

With having four games in five nights you're going to have games like that, but we stuck with it and pulled the game out, getting more aggressive. We knew it was going to be a tough game but we came out with a win.

On Dirk's 40 point night...

Unbelievable. I've seen that a lot throughout my career, and for him to come out give us that lift tonight, it really opened up a lot for us as a team. You know, me, Jose, driving, they had to switch their defense...but when he got opened up more for the rest of us.

On the non-call on the last defensive play of the game...

I mean, if I was going up to shoot the ball, yeah [I would have wanted the call].

Jose Calderon

On the home and home back to backs...

You go to their place, and get a win, then have to come right back, it's tough mentally. You have to be ready to play and win, and it was a really good one yesterday, so we knew today it was more mental than anything else.

On winning three of four in five nights...

Everybody's good. We know we could be better. We lost some games that should have been ours. But that happens in the NBA and you have to keep working and I think we're moving in the right direction.

On Dirk's scoring...

He was scoring, but we couldn't get stops. So they were scoring as well, we were playing faster, and we were feeling our legs in the second half, we were tired, but like I said, we kept fighting and had a good run at the end.

Dirk Nowitzki

On the slow start and hot shooting in the second half...

I have no idea. The first half looked like the fourth in five nights for both teams. We had good looks just nothing really seemed to go thing you know the basket just opened up on both sides. Started to shoot threes, a couple shots go in, confidence goes up, and then suddenly we couldn't get stops. But at least we made enough plays to keep the pressure up and get the win.

On what turned the game around...

I figured someone had to get going in here. We shot 9% in the first quarter for the most part. Davis is tough, he's tough to shoot over...but I found some areas in the second half where I could get my shot.

I don't know where I found it in the second half...we always talk about how our goal is to get in the bonus early in quarters, but somehow we never do, but tonight it worked...for me, seeing some shots going through on the free throw line helped me get my rhythm.

On the importance of back-to-back wins over a division opponent...

It's always tough to beat a team twice in a row back to back, so we're happy with the win. We're not happy with the defense in the second half, but we found a way to win. Now we can rest a little tomorrow. Four games in five nights is never easy, I don't care who you are. So we get a little rest tomorrow and hopefully be sharp on Monday.

New Orleans Head Coach Monty Williams

On not calling a foul on Ellis on Rivers' three-point FG attempt at the end of the game...

That's just too bad. That's just not right. If we stopped it with .5 on the clock, and Monta Ellis' arm is across Austin's - both of his arms for a three-point shot. It's hard to swallow that kind of no-call in a game like that, especially when Dirk gets the same call on the right side in the first half. That's a tough one. Then they shot I think 45 free throws. So, it's hard to swallow that. Certainly not going to blame the game on the refs, but certainly didn't like that call at the end.

On what he is looking for from his team...

Yeah, we have a bit of a goal for this team. We basically have a new team now, and we want to be better in two weeks. So, it's going to take us going after it like we did today against a really good team that's probably going to be in the playoffs. We've got to go after it the way that we did. We make a lot of mistakes. We had a 2-point lead, we took some tough shots, and then I think we had three turnovers in a row and it really put us in a hole. They were able to capture the lead. I love the way we competed tonight, but that's what you should do. I'm not going to pat anybody on the back for competing. That's what you should you every single night.

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