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Quoteboard for Mavericks 87, Jazz 82: "Female pajamas"

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Dallas earns a win headed into the break. Here's what was said in the locker room.

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Monta played through injury

Monta Ellis: "It was good. I did battle with my soldiers. We needed this win. They could have got it without me but I hate sitting on the sidelines so I go out there and did whatever I could to help us win."

Rick Carlisle: "He set an all-time individual team record with 12 deflections in the game defensively. He played well. You guys are just looking at his shooting stats and whatever his turnovers were, but there's a lot more to it. He hit the big free throws that decided the game and he had a big steal that decided the game. It's not all about points."

Ellis on the decision to play: "That was made last game."

Carlisle: "I figured he would probably play but it wasn't a mail-in thing. He went out of the game the other night, that's happened one other time in two years."

Ellis on his games played streak: "I don't care about no streak. I want to win. That's all that matters to me."

Dirk: "I guess he continues to surprise us all. Just a guy who always wants to be out there. Reminds me of my younger days, just never wanting to miss games. No matter what you have, you try to give it to the team. No matter if you're not 100 percent, always trying to get it to this franchise, and that's what he's been doing since he got here."

Ellis on the team record in deflections: "Yeah, he told me. I don't keep up with records, stats, none of that. I just go play basketball."

Ellis: "Whatever they needed me for tonight. They didn't need me too much for scoring tonight so I just tried to do it on the defensive end."

Ellis: "It was alright tonight, a little sore. I got through it. I'm alright. These next several days I'll treat it, ice it, stay off of it, get a lot of work with my massage therapist and get ready for the second half of the season."

Ellis: "I just hate watching basketball from the sidelines. I feel like if I can walk, I can play. I'm good."

Sarge back in Dallas

James: "I got back on the 2nd, I've just been working out with one of my guys out here. Tyson got hurt and they gave me a call and said they needed me. I was already in Dallas so perfect situation."

Carlisle: "He did a great job. Guy just got off a plane from China a couple days ago and we were jumping through hoops trying to get his letter of clearance from FIBA and all that. The other side of the world, time differences, and all that stuff came through about one minutes before shootaround today. That's the reason he was able to be prepared in shootaround."

Dirk: "Glad he's back. Sarge is my guy. He plays hard, he's athletic, he gets off the ground quick. Had some good blocks. That's not easy, coming back. He didn't even practice with us; had a little shootaround this morning, gets thrown out there, made some big plays for us."

James: "Pretty much the same offensive philosophy. There were a couple new things they changed but for the most part it was the same, so there wasn't a steep learning curve at all. It was kind of me out there being more comfortable. I played a lot of minutes in China so coming back here, my confidence is high and I'm just out there playing, I wasn't thinking or hesitating or anything like that."

James: "Yeah, he just told me 'good game.' That's about all you get out of Rick."

James: "They told me when they signed me that there were going to throw me right into the fire, so I was expecting it. I'm just happy to finally get an opportunity."

James on whether it's bad timing: "No, not really. I actually prefer being signed and playing today instead of having to wait until after the All Star [break]. I really just wanted to get back in the NBA as soon as possible and get my feet right."

James: "It's definitely a lot faster than China but I'm used to it. I didn't play much these last couple of years but in practice, the game is just as fast as it is out there. China felt really slow so it felt really easy, it wasn't something I got used to. So coming back it just felt normal again."

James: "It was literally five minutes before shootaround that the letter came through and I signed, so once I had that I knew I was going to play tonight, and I put that out of my mind. I wasn't really worried."

James on the confidence boost from China: "It's both, but mainly on the offensive end. On defense, I'd always been confident in myself and believing in myself. It was offensively, not getting the reps and not playing enough."

Assessment of the team at the "halfway" point

Dirk: "Obviously it's way past the halfway point. We only have 27 games left. After the All Star break, the season's going to fly by and the next thing you know, the playoffs are going to be here. We've got to get healthy, we've got to get Rondo in the mix, we've got to get used to playing him some more. I think we put ourselves in a decent position to make a run in March and April. I think we gave some games away that we don't really feel good about but you know, in the Western Conference, it's tough. Sometimes you're just not going to have it, you get beat. We feel like we stole a couple. I feel like we're right there."

Parsons: "Yeah, we're coming along. We feel like we could be a lot better and we're definitely getting better, our record is good but our schedule is getting much harder. We've got to bear down here and we've really got to clean up some things. I think there's only 27 games left so it's getting down to the wire and it's going to be really close in the conference."

Ellis: "We coming along. Second half is going to be our biggest test. We've got to fight the fatigue, teams getting better, and try not to lose a lot of games in the second half because it's easy to slide. We've just got to stay mentally ready in the second half and Rondo get back, Ty[son] get back, we get this team back together and try to make this run."

Carlisle: "We know what we have, we've got to use the break to heal and coming off of it we have to hope Rondo is far enough along where he can back on the court, and Tyson is in a position to get back out there, and Monta's got six or seven days which is really important for him."

Parsons on the team going forward: "Play defense. Rebound the ball. We have so many guys who can score the ball and that shouldn't be a problem in our system, up and down, transition. The biggest things for us is to get stops and rebounds."

Dirk: "I think we've got to stay consistent defensively. I think if we don't guard and don't rebound, that's when we can lose to anybody. If we're solid defensively, rotating, getting up on shooters, making them drive the ball, I think we'll be OK."

Dirk rips Chandler Parsons' fashion

Dirk: "I think his fashion is horrible but then again he thinks I dress like an old man. We think he dresses like Justin Bieber so if you're into that kind of stuff then I guess you can vote for him [in the All Star Fashion Contest]. If you like some grown man stuff, some slacks, some button downs, then I've got him beat."

More Dirk: "You know, sometimes, I don't think the jeans are the worst. These sweaters he wears that are almost down to his knees, the female pajamas I call them, that's the worst look. His sweaters. His shoe game is OK some of the time, sometimes it's too over the top for me. But like I said, with these young boys these days, the flashier the better."

Everything else

Ellis on his All Star break plans: "I'm gonna be here in Dallas. You know, you've been doing this 10 years, you don't need to be spending no money right now."

Parsons on guarding Gordon Hayward, specifically on that last shot: "He's been playing really great this year and their entire offense goes through him, so I pretty much knew some pick and roll or dribble handoff was going to come through him. Just tried to make it difficult with him all night; he has the ball in his hands a lot and he's great shooting off the dribble. He can get into the lane, use his body well, kind of like James [Harden] drawing fouls. Just try to stay solid, not put him to the free throw line too much and try to make him make a play over me."

Parsons, same thing: "Yeah, I actually thought they were going to do a quick post up to Favors and try to foul and make free throws. That was their coach's decision."