QUOTEBOARD: "He can take us to a higher level."

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Some postgame quotes after a comfortable win over the Cavaliers.

It was a relaxed locker room after a nice (dare I say comfortable?) win over the Cavaliers last night. Granted, the Cavs are a team the Mavericks were expected to beat, but as we know, it seems nothing ever comes easy with this team.

Important side note: Monta Jr. was in the locker room running around and playing with DeJuan Blair and hiding in dad's locker and it was just as adorable as it sounds. (We bring you the hard-hitting reporting here at MMB.)

Read on below to find out what the team thought of Dalembert's effort, how Devin Harris is making a difference already, and what Dirk thought about getting to take the end of the fourth quarter off for once.

Rick Carlisle

On Dalembert's aggressive play...

He's proven that he can take us to a higher level, and tonight, he did. Down the stretch, he was a presence at both ends. He kept alive those two or three balls; those are possessions that we get that they don't get. He did a lot of good things. Our guys have really been encouraging him, they've stayed very positive with him, and he's a good guy. We just have to keep reinforcing with him the things that we need him to do. He's big heading into the next game because they [Memphis] have a lot of big strong guys in there.

On the collective play of the guards...

Well, we got it done. I thought we did a lot of good things. There are going to be some mistakes in any game, but the good thing was that in the first half we had eight turnovers and in then in the second half we only had five -- that was big. Being able sit Dirk for the last seven minutes -- that's a big deal -- that really helps us. I thought Ellington did a really good job tonight; he didn't have gaudy stats, but he came in the game when Crowder got two fouls and immediately got two rebounds. He was active defensively and just brought us some positive energy. He made an impact, and right now with Marion out, we are scrambling around with different lineups and there is a lot of different looking stuff out there. It's all about finding a way to make it work, and our guys did tonight.

On out-rebounding the Cavaliers by 14...

We were blocking out. I thought all of our big guys did a good job. Wright was active. Blair was putting his body on people. Sammy was hitting people and he was above the rim. Dirk was rebounding and our guards were helping out. We are doing a better job of blocking out than we did. The last game with these guys was a big impetus for our guys and for us staff-wise for us to place a huge emphasis on block out. We are not the team that is going to jump over the other team most, if any, nights. If we are going to be on the ground, we have to make sure to keep the other team on the ground as much as possible.

Samuel Dalembert

On the team's rebounding effort...

We have been talking about boxing your man out. A lot of times you can see one or two guys going for the rebound and other guys are watching or coming from behind. We have been doing a real good job of putting a body on somebody and not letting them get the rebound.

Devin Harris

On Dalembert...

We're a different team when he plays like that. Obviously, when any of our 5s play like that, we're so much better defensively, offensively, things work a lot easier for us.

On the best part of his game...

[I ] just keep working at it consistently. But you know my legs, keep trying to get back into game shape. Some nights it's there; I don't expect it to be there all the time. Just trying to work back into it.

On working back from his injury...

I still think about it on occasion, but no pain, no discomfort whatsoever. [Side to side] is still coming along, I feel like guys are still getting by me too easily. But that's something I'm working through and obviously the more practice the better. Straight ahead is fine though; never been a problem.

Dirk Nowitzki

On Dalembert...

He was great. I've always said when he's active...we're a different team. He was phenomenal. Even on the weak side he was blowing plays up, he was alert, meeting guys at the rim, rebounding, blocked some shots.

On resting the last seven minutes of the game...

Oh it's like a gift. [laughter]. It really is...that was awesome. Every time that happens I get excited. The guys did a great job of closing it out. Monta made some plays off some high pick and rolls, Jose made some shots, so, that was fantastic.

On what Devin Harris brings...

He's been great. We were hoping he was going to give us that but I didn't know how quickly he was going to find his rhythm. But he looks great. He says he's getting tired pretty quickly still, but you can't really tell. He's picking up his guy full court, he's active on defense, he's going to be our best perimeter defender along with Trix [Shawn Marion]. And offensively he's making some great plays...he's been great for us, and hopefully he keeps it up.

On Memphis coming up...

It's a big game. You don't want to say in February that something is a playoff game, but it will be that kind of intensity. We beat them twice already this year, so they're going to be ready to play, especially coming off a loss...it's going to be a grind out type of game. We have to rebound with them, they have a huge front line. But it's going to be a playoff-type atmosphere for sure.

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