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Mavs Top Heat: Postgame Quotes

Josh Howard

Take me through that charge that you took.

I had seen him trying to bait me going to the right and I just stayed with him, beat him to the spot, and he ran over me.  Got the call.

How good did that feel?  Your offense has been there since you got back, but to have a play like that in a big game on the defensive end...

Yeah, it was a big game.  I'm just trying to get back to game shape.  I wasn't supposed to play in that fourth quarter, but I sucked it up for my teammates and did what I had to do.  It was a big charge, and I'm just glad I could help my team get a win.

How hard has it been for you to go in and out of the lineup the way you have this season, and how important is it for you to get back at this point in time?

It's been tough, but I had to stay professional.  Especially staying in shape.  Just giving whatever I can give to this team.  It's important.  I've been around a little while and these guys need me like I need them, so I have to stay healthy.

Seven games remaining, you're locked into 8th right now but there's a lot of potential for movement.  What do you guys do to stay just focused on you.

Just stay aggressive, staying in house and not listening to outside influences.  You know how it gets around this time.  A lot of people start making up stuff and try to bring your team down.  We just have to concentrate on us and keep doing the things that we've been doing these last two games.

14 points in 22 minutes last night, 20 points in 29 minutes tonight.  What do you attribute you getting back into the groove so quickly too?

Darrell Armstrong.  That's who I've been working out with. He's just a great guy for our locker room and off the court.  He keeps me going and keeps this locker room going.

Darrell Armstrong

Let's talk about this win.  Another one at home and you guys need every win you can buy right now.

Yeah, and it was against a good team -- a team that's going to the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.  A guy in Dwyane Wade who has been scoring 40, 50 points a night.  It was a great win for us, and we had Josh Howard in his second game step up big for us -- especially on the defensive end.

Talking about Josh and that last defensive play, how big is it to have him back for this last stretch?

He's an offensive presence.  We know he's capable of playing defense every night.  For the psyche of our team, for Dirk, for Kidd, for JET, they know we get another scorer back and they know we get someone who can knock down threes as well as get to the basket. 

He talked about you being a mentor for him while he was out.  What are some of the things you are trying to give to Josh Howard as a player?

Just talk to him about teammates needing him and him needing his teammates. I told him he's very important and Dirk is very important.  He sees that, and I think he's now taking the challenge of coming back and coming back srtong -- trying to finish this season off no matter if his ankle is hurting or he's feeling good.  We saw that tonight.  He was only supposed to play like 24 minutes so I asked him "can you go back out there, do you feel good", and he said yeah.  So the coach put him in and he made some great defensive plays and also had that charge at the end.

Rick Carlisle

Josh the last two nights has really given us something extra, which we really need right now.  We're in okay position playoff wise, but we have nothing sewn up yet.  It's huge.  It's really huge for us.

You've been talking about Kidd's defense in clutch long all season and he did it again tonight.

The last play was a key play, where he was able to get a hand on the ball in the corner.  The shot wouldn't have counted and that was because of the deflection, you know he had to regrip and sort of double hitch.  So that was a huge play.

Jason Terry

Outstanding defensive effort, Brandon Bass, Josh Howard had obviously the play of the game.  Jason Kidd's defense on Dwyane Wade was great.  It was a playoff type intensity and that's the kind of effort we need going forward for the rest of the season.

If Phoenix loses tonight that would be a five game lead with seven to play, any kind of comfort with that?

No, why would we get comfortable at this point in the season.  It's all about building up momentum heading into the playoffs, so we're ready.  We got Josh Howard back, that makes us whole, that makes us healthy, and that's the team we are moving forward with.