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QUOTEBOARD: Mavericks 113, Spurs 92

After Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs in San Antonio, the Mavericks and Spurs had some words.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Carlisle

On the defense:

We did a lot of good things, and I think there are still a lot of things we need to do better. We gave up 10 threes tonight, and that's usually doing to be a winning number for them. We rebounded better [than last game]. We scrambled. We played through some tough stretches. The run at the end of the first half could have derailed us, but at halftime we regrouped and got it back together. We had a really strong stretch in the second half, so that was key.

On his team causing problems for the Spurs:

I don't know what you're looking at. I am not content with anything. They are such a dangerous team, and they have such great players. We are mixing things up a lot, and doing a lot of things we don't really want to do, but we have to because they are such a potent team, and they have such great players. They have the coach of the year. It is a monumental task, but we are in this thing to win. We aren't in it just to get a split and be happy. We can't do that. We cannot let up.

On Gregg Popovich:

The coaching matchup is a wipe out. I feel like I have boulders falling on top of me. You're playing the No. 1 seed. They're going to come up with some things up their sleeve for Game 3, and we are going to have to counter and be ready. I have said it before, I think Popovich is the greatest coach in NBA history and I don't think it's close. With all due respect to Phil Jackson, who is a friend.

Dirk Nowitzki

On what got him going after his first 6 misses:

It was about time that one went in. I was kinda too hyped there, early. I didn't have a good rhythm. The first shot I made, I think, was kinda at the end of the first quarter, where I pump faked, got him in the air, and hit a one dribble shot. I think that slowed me down, relaxed me a little bit, and helped me make some shots after.

On the Spurs, and whether or not they feel familiar:

Well, the Big 3 is there, obviously, they've been there for the last 30 years. They're great. Ducan's so great in there, Ginobli looked like '06 Ginobli, he just just made every shot. And Tony is so, so fast, and (groans). He's so tough off the pick and roll, and so quick in the open court. So. Our goal is to get back in transition, force them to play against our halfcourt defense, and we've been doing a good job in the first few games.

On scrambling and diving for loose balls:

I think we get in trouble when we don't go for those 50/50 balls. If you wanna win on the road, you gotta get that little bit extra, you gotta play a little harder, you gotta compete like we did tonight. We deserve this win.

On what this win means to the team, and their belief:

Well, game 1 actually helped a lot more than today. Even though, as I mention it, we were down after game 1, but just to be up 10 with 6 to 7 minutes left, I think that gave us a lot of confidence. Just keep executing the game plan, shoot a little better, which we did.

But I'm a little worried. I'm a little worried; we can't play the next game here. We're going home for game 3, and we gotta figure it out at home. We can't relax, that's the main thing. We'll get away a little bit tomorrow, and then we'll get ready on Friday.

On Monta getting it going:

If you're a scorer in this league, you've gotta have a short term memory. Even me, after last game, I had to have a short term memory. So, he's gonna keep attacking, and even if he misses a couple, he's going to stay aggressive for us. And we need him to [stay aggressive], it's not like we've got a bunch of other guys that can penetrate, he's our one guy that can get there with Devin, and we need him to attack.

Monta Ellis

On the difference in his play from Game 1 to Game 2:

We had to attack more. The first game, I think we settled for a lot of jump shots, so coach emphasized attack more and taking the jump shots that we needed. We'll attack, and it will open everything else up for us.

On the defense, and what they needed to do:

Just be active, not put them on the free throw line. Trust that the help was going to be there. We locked into the game plan that we had. They made some careless turnovers. That was good for us. We came back on the other end and converted.

On how to keep the momentum going home:

We have to play like we're down. We have to go back home, and in front of our home crowd, we can't lay an egg. We have to stay the course, the series is not over. We have to take it game-by-game when we go home.

On Dirk diving for a loose ball, and whether it was inspirational:

You know, that's what we needed today. We needed this win, by any means necessary, to play to exhaustion, get every 50/50 ball, and we did everything that we could today to get this win. Him diving on the floor, after being in the league for 17 years, at his age, it don't do nothin but motivate us as a team to do the same thing and get out and hit the floor as well.

Vince Carter

On the importance of this win:

First off, hats off to everyone for their intensity. I've said this before, we're going to have to match [the Spurs' intensity] if we're going to win games, plain and simple. I mean, we have to execute, we have to do the little things to win. But the most important thing is that you have to play at their level, and play as hard as them. I think we were able to match that tonight.

On Dallas' defense:

We just have to stay active, stay in front of them. And it's not an easy task, keeping them from easy shots, keeping them from layups, and keeping them off the three point line. We just had to answer the challenge.

On them playing as well as they've ever played as a unit:

That's the formula. We have to play [at our best], from top to bottom, leave it on the floor like it's your last game. That's the challenge. The tough thing about it is we have to do it again for us to come out victorious in the series.

On picking apart San Antonio's defense:

It's guys just executing, being patient, and taking care of the ball. They're great at forcing turnovers, at forcing tough shots. And we took some tough shots, we made some tough shots, but we were able to eliminate our turnovers and just move the ball as a team, and as a unit.

Devin Harris

On the Spurs' sloppiness:

I mean, we brought it on one of the nights they're not making shots. We just stayed aggressive, we pushed the tempo, and we put a lot of pressure on them.

On the importance of this road win:

Oh it's huge. It felt really good. We felt like we let game 1 down, but we got this one, and obviously we got a big one coming up on Saturday.

On the familiarity of these Spurs:'s a little familiar to me. They're still running some of the same stuff from when I was [in Dallas] the last time, so they're doing a lot of familiar things. Offensively, we're attacking them sort of the same way as when I was here the last time, so it's a lot of familiarity with different players.

DeJuan Blair

On if this win was a little sweeter than most:

Oh, yeah, of course. Like coach said, we can just kinda enjoy it til 9 AM, then we just get ready for the next one.

On his physicality:

Yeah man, that's my whole game plan [is to be physical]. If I play, I can come in and bring that physicality, you know, just do what I do.

On his preseason comments, about getting to play the Spurs in the playoffs:

Yeah, of course. But I ain't gonna bring that up. It's gonna be a long series.

On his coast to coast fast break:

Yeah, I thought it went well. I mean, you know how big men get in the open court (laughs). But it worked out, and it ended up being a pretty good play.

On guarding Tim Duncan:

It reminds me of practice last year. Going in, helping [San Antonio] for the playoffs. Timmy's a great friend of mine, so it's pretty cool.

Gregg Popovich

On the Spurs' turnovers:

It's 24 turnovers. That's been something that's hurt us all year long. When we've had games like that we have been unsuccessful. Tonight was 24 turnovers, and I think it was 33 points. That's been a weak link for us throughout the year when we have lost a game and that has showed up tonight.

On Kawhi Leonard:

Sometimes a player doesn't have a great game

On what to tell the players who haven't played well so far:

I don't know what you're talking about. Dallas played a great game. They played at the offensive end with great execution. We didn't guard well. It really showed up in the guard play with their three guards. They really hurt us. It's a bad combination to not play good defense at one end, and then give the ball up at the other end, and not shoot free throws well either. I don't know whAt the final free throw number was, but I think that was poor also. That means you get your butt kicked, and that's what happened tonight.