VIDEO QUOTEBOARD: "We got down but we hung in"

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

There was a palpable sense of relief postgame as the Mavs pulled out the victory they needed against a tough Kings team.

For once in what seems like a long time, it was a relaxed locker room at AAC last night. There was palpable relief, a lot of jokes, and nice things to say about a hard-fought comeback win against a Kings team that gave the Mavs a run for their money. Read/watch below to find out what Carlisle thought about Monta's effort, what Monta thought about Monta's effort, and what Dirk thinks about those sleeved jerseys he'll be sporting for the All-Star game.

Rick Carlisle

Take a peek at Carlisle's comments about Monta's best all-around game of the season, Dirk's groove, no second half turnovers, and hanging in against a tough opponent:


Monta Ellis

On what he looked to do on defense...

I just looked to make the right plays, be aggressive and find open guys.

On what the strategy was when they were down by 14...

Keep playing, it's a long game. The way they were playing us, we knew we was going to get back in the game.

On his individual defense...

The last few days we've just been talking about helping more as a team. I was in the help position and was able to get back to my man. I was just more locked in defensively today.

On Carlisle calling this his best game of the year...

It's good. Hopefully we can have more of them consistently.

On four turnovers as a team...

That was our biggest thing the last few games, our turnovers have been very high. I think we were trying to make the risky passes. And tonight we didn't. Four in the first half and none in the second half -- that was the reason why we were able to chip away and get back in the game.

Vince Carter

On finally winning a close game...

Everybody was locked in. We were shuffling in a lot of guys in, but it was great to see each guy come in and do what they were supposed to do. It's something we haven't done a great job of. But you've gotta start somewhere.

On Dirk...

He's in a great rhythm. If you look at everyone else doing their job -- Monta getting to the basket, Jose shooting the ball -- it's everybody really contributing and making it easier for [Dirk] because now the other teams have to make a decision. And I think he's really benefiting from that -- getting some shots that he didn't get earlier in the year. It's great to see... there was a stretch where he didn't have any legs, it [seemed like] he didn't have any confidence in his shot, and that's not the case [now].

Dirk Nowtizki

On coming back to win the game...

We had to grind it out...even without Cousins they're a talented team, they can score, and we really had to dig deep and get some stops in the fourth quarter.

On whether two big games in a row boosts his confidence...

Oh, man. I'm 36, I don't need a confidence boost. I've been in this league too long. But yeah, I've been in a nice groove. Before the last three I didn't really have a good groove...it was a lot of games since after Christmas. I got a little rest and this week, we have two days off twice and that helps a lot.

On whether he knows when he has a groove early...

Yeah. You try to be aggressive early, like I said, we knew they were a good team so I wanted to establish myself early. Got some good looks, guys kept feeding me in my spots, and definitely made some shots. The second half I wasn't that hot and missed a couple of easy ones...but made enough to win the game.

On Monta...

He actually played a great floor game, I don't think he forced anything, they collapsed a lot of those pick and rolls and he couldn't get to the lane as much. But then I thought in the fourth quarter he took what they gave us...if you're 6/10 from the floor that's an efficient night.

On taking care of the ball...

We try to do that every night. As an older team, if we turn the ball over, the younger teams are running it right up our throat and getting layups, so our goal should be every night to take care of the ball, play off each other and get a shot up, that way we can set our defense. Which really hasn't meant much lately. [laughter] But at least in transition we have no chance.

On being in his best groove of the season...

Yeah I'm on the meds, so I feel good. [laughter] Anti-inflams, you know that. So obviously Holger is here, we shot a little bit, worked on some stuff the last couple days. Like I said, I wasn't in a good groove there on the east coast; we had too many games and I felt a little sluggish. But we had some days off here, and working smartly with Holger here and there, it's been good. Hopefully we keep going. Obviously the way we're playing, we're going to need every single point.

On his ASG selection...

It's great. I didn't really know what to expect. I thought there were some guys who were very deserving. I think Anthony Davis is playing phenomenal, if he hadn't missed four weeks or whatever with his hand injury he might have been picked; I thought DeMarcus Cousins has been playing a phenomenal season if you look at his numbers...there are always some guys that deserve it. But both of these guys are very young and they've got a long long future in this league and they're gonna be okay. Maybe this is my last hurrah.

Can't wait to wear those sweet jerseys with the sleeves. It's really nice and snug. Should bring out my physique nicely.

On the best part of the ASG...

Just to go and have some fun and represent this franchise and these fans is what it's always been about.

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