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Quoteboard from Bulls 102, Mavericks 98: "It's a coach's decision."

Dallas lost in frustrating fashion to Chicago, but the big story was Rondo's absence late in the game.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Rajon Rondo didn't play the final 5:11 of the fourth quarter

Why did Rajon Rondo sat for the final 5:11 of the game?

Rick Carlisle: "Coach's decision."

What's changed from Monday, where Rick said his philosophy was to stick with Rondo late in games?

Carlisle: "It's just a coach's decision. Today is Friday. That was Monday. That's where it is."

You made a blockbuster to make the trade ... [question cut off]

Carlisle: "Listen, if you want to make it a blowup story, be my guest. Go talk to him. It's a coach's decision."

It's not a blowup story, but you've talked about him being good in crunch time.

Carlisle: "It's called: coach's decision. [pause] ...and that's how we're going to roll. Next question."

Rajon Rondo: "It was a coach's decision. Coach made the decision, it's as simple as that. I've been in this game for a long time. It's not like the end of the world. I like what coach Carlisle has done for me this year and I don't have any regrets."

Rondo, on watching Rose get a game-sealing offensive rebound: "That just kind of sums up the entire game, as far as offensive rebounds. I think they were a +17 on the boards and that's been our Achilles' heel all night, getting rebounds. We couldn't finish the job in the closing seconds of the game."

Rondo, on whether his play justified him sitting: "Uh, I don't know. That's coach's decision. You've got to ask him. I don't make the plays, I don't call the game from that stand point. I don't think he was pissed off at me or anything, he just made a decision. That's what he went with. No big deal to me."

Rondo, on whether it was a situation he needs to discuss with Carlisle: "If he brings it up, he does, but it's not something I'll go to his office and make a big deal about."

Rondo, on whether he expected an adjustment process: "It's not much of an adjustment. It's just basketball. What do you mean by adjustment?" A situation like tonight where he didn't close out a game. "Doc [Rivers] has done that to me in the past. Like I said, it's not my first go-around. He made a decision."

Rondo: "It's over now. Obviously I want to be in there, I've been in a lot of games, a lot of situations, and I feel like I help my teammate's win, but tonight it was a coach's decision and that's what it's about."

Rondo, on being better equipped to deal with this from a maturity standpoint than the past: "Absolutely." How so? "Maybe the [ACL] injury -- I'm just more appreciative of just playing the game, I'm very grateful to be playing the game I love. ... I'm a competitor. I'm pretty sure you all know I wanted to be in the game, but it didn't happen and did my best to cheer my teammates on."

Rondo, on his Achilles soreness: "I'm fine. I didn't play much in the Minnesota game the other night, a great blowout win. Tonight, I think I played around 25, 26 minutes. The body's feeling fine, especially this time of year, I'm very, very pleased about how my body's responding."

Carlisle: "We didn't really have anybody who played great. It's just a coach's decision down the stretch -- not an easy one, but it's a coach's decision."

Carlisle: "There are very few correct decisions when you lose games," Carlisle said at the end of his press conference. "I've learned that after coaching 1,000 of these, you've got to roll with your gut. When you're in the position I'm in, you've got to take the heat and you've got to welcome the heat because that's what this job is. You've also got to roll with you gut, and so that's what we did. We just came up short -- all of us. And we all own it."

Everything else

Monta Ellis, on the Bulls keep finding ways to switch him onto Jimmy Butler: "We were matched up the whole game."

Ellis, on the difference down the stretch: "They just outrebounded us. Wing guys got to do a better job helping out our guys. They had two bigs in there that attacked the basket and then Gibson coming off the bench and being active, so we've got to come in and help out big guys more."

Ellis, on the disappointment of not getting the final rebound to give Dallas a chance at a game-winning shot: "Yeah, but the game wasn't won there. Throughout the whole game they played harder than us and we played hard in the fourth quarter in our spurts, but we've got to do better than that."

Dirk Nowitzki on the rebounding: "We always got to keep the board game sorta close. We're not going to win it every night, but sort of keep it in range, we give ourselves a chance to win. We didn't get hammered as bad as the second chance points, which was actually not too bad, but you just can't give a good team second and third cracks at it."

Dirk, on the Mavs losing at home: "Yeah, especially off a back-to-back, they probably came in with a little more energy, but the first quarter is an issue at home. After that, we battled them pretty good."

Dirk, on failing to sustain momentum after a big win: "We need every one of them [wins] in this tight race. It's not realistic, you're going to drop some, this was another disappointing one. We've got to regroup, watch some of this stuff [on film] tomorrow, play another big front line in New Orleans against Davis and Asik. We've got to be ready for them."

Dirk, on Kobe Bryant's season-ending injury: "I mean, [it's] disappointing. I think he worked extremely hard to work to get back to the point where he's fun to watch again. After an Achilles tear, everybody said they weren't sure if he was going to come back, and he worked his butt off like he has his entire career, and gets to a point where he's fun to watch, and now another injury happens. So it's tough, but he's a fighter and he'll probably be back from that as well."

Dirk, on whether Bryant's injuries reminds him of his own 'basketball mortality': "Well, I think you can't take anything for granted in this league. You want to compete every night, you want to have fun doing it. You don't want to get up every morning and fight to go to work, fight to stay out there. That's now how I've ever looked at basketball. As long as I feel good, I don't need to take a bunch of pills to play, that's not how I look at the game."

Dirk, on his general health: "I'm better. I got over the stomach thing finally, and I've just got to keep on working. Had some good looks down the stretch, especially those two 3s, so I've just got to keep working."

Dirk, on whether he found out what that stomach thing was: "Yeah, but I can't tell you. That's doctor's secret."