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Quoteboard for Mavericks 121, Rockets 109: 'Mom never let me play football'

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Dallas stays alive with a Game 4 win at the American Airlines Center.

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Carlisle

On starting Aminu and Barea: "They've been two of the most effective players in the series, but we had injuries too. Felton started the previous game -- he was banged up. RJ was banged up. That contributed to it as well. We really felt like we needed as much rebounding as possible in the game at start. The difference is that it's 52-38 on the boards for us and that's the game, so we've to keep rebounding."

On going down nine early and rebounding: "It's a long game and our guys were in this to fight this thing out until the end. There's still 36 minutes left to play. We just had to keep the pace up, we had to get some of the turnovers down, we had to keep attacking, keep moving the ball. We had that one lineup towards the middle part of the second quarter with Villanueva and Chandler and Ellis and Barea and Farouq -- Dirk was on the bench that part of the time -- and we were able to make some hay with that group. That was a really big part of that game. Everyone's staying ready. We're staying aggressive."

On physicality: "Are you asking me a question about the officiating? I brought something just for that." Puts tape over mouth. "Look, it's a physical series, they're a physical team. We stood up to it tonight and held our ground. That's what we got to do."

On offense: "He just has a real good feel for pace. We're doing a real good job of getting the ball out, make or miss. He's attacking and mixing it up -- attacking to score and attacking for kick outs to other guys. Monta is running and attacking. Dirk's making good reads. We just have to stay with it. The biggest, most decisive factor in this thing is rebounding. It's possession of the ball."

On Monta: "Relentless. Nonstop, relentless, next play mentality. Good or bad, he kept playing and charging forward like a freight train. That's who he is, he's an attacker through and through. That's what we need him to be."

On limiting 3-pointers: "We preventing a few more paint attacks, which collapses your defense and opens up three point opportunities. We did a better job in transition. Harden's didn't get going from 3 as much as he has in other games. It's a long series. We're four games into a seven-game series. There's a lot of basketball to be played."

On Harris' hard foul: "It's a big play. I haven't watched it to get the whole sequence of it, but there's a lot of physical things going on out there and when you're at home, you've got to keep the energy up, you've got to keep the aggression up, and you've got to do it in a way that's clean. That's a clean play. Well, I shouldn't call it a clean play, because I guess they called a flagrant one on it, but it's a hard foul and some of these things become flagrants, but there was no intent to hurt anyone or anything like that. There's going to be more hard plays. That's just the way this series is; any playoff series is."

Monta Ellis

On Aminu and JJ: "Oh man, it was great. It was a total team effort. ... even when we were down 10, we were able to keep our composure. Go play by play, get stops when we need to, get on a run, and were able to switch things back over. Went up eight at the half, and then the biggest thing for us all season has been the third quarter. We came out at the third quarter and did an excellent job, start to finish, and then [were] able to finish the game."

On Devin's flagrant: "It turned the game around. On top of that, he missed one of two free throws, and we were able to get out on a run and build on that. That was an old school foul, unfortunately he got a flagrant one, but we needed that and it really gave us a spark."

On pressure on Houston: "We can't play loose, pressure is still on us. At the end of teh day, if we lose, we go home. The biggest thing for us, like I said, is ride the course, take it game by game, play by play, and bring the same energy."

Dirk Nowitzki

On offensive uptick: "We have a better feel for what they're doing. They're doing some switching, we've still got to push the pace. We don't really want them to set their defense. They've got length in a lot of positions, they've got Dwight on the inside. We'd love to get stops, get the ball up the floor, get in the paint, share it and find the open guy. That's how we got the lead. They kept hanging around. They're a very explosive offensive team. You have a couple of bad possessions, a couple of turnovers, next thing you know it's almost under 10. It's a lot closer than we wanted in the fourth but we pulled through."

On Barea: "I thought J.J. and Farouq were phenomenal tonight. Both of them got in and Ray [Felton] is banged up and so is RJ, and it was kind of like next-man-up mentality. Those guys stepped in and both were great tonight. I thought Farouq was battling on James even though he still gets his numbers, he's so good, but he made him work, made him shoot tough shots, was rebounding the ball. I just thought JJ was just wheeling around. Running around, getting some good looks, never seen him have 13 assists in one game so that was phenomenal. He was attacking, getting to the lane, making stuff happen for us."

On Harris' tackle: "I mean, there's tons of plays out there. Obviously, they played physical with Dwight in there. We just did a better job matching today. I thought we held them to just a few offensive rebounds and when we do that we're usually in good shape. Devin's foul is just making a hard stand: we're not going to give up another dunk. That was a big play for us."

On Monta's impact: "He creates but he's been doing that the two years he's been here for us. We need him to attack every night. He takes a pounding, he's a little guy, he only weighs a buck 20 or whatever, but he goes in there and makes stuff happen for us. He's so quick off the dribble, gets to the rim, and if Dwight came over he's got this little lob finish over him, a couple finishes over him. His mid-range game has been great these last two games at home, so he sort of just looked comfortable. He was the man."

On third quarter after previous struggles in that quarter: "We were up at half in Game 3 and within a few minutes we gave up the lead. ... we talked about it today, at least hold the lead. Your goal is always to extent the lead but it doesn't always work against good teams. We wanted to be the aggressors coming out of halftime, and I thought that worked. We got more stops, more runouts, we extended the lead at some point it was up to 24."

Tyson Chandler

On difference from Game 3: "I think the third quarter, we came out, played aggressive. Our tempo, we've got to have that tempo because we got stops and kept them off the glass."

On Barea and Aminu: "I think they started the tempo tonight. JJ with his penetration, Farouq with his defense and starting [fast] breaks."

On Devin's flagrant: "I think it was a big play in the game. We weren't going to give up any layups. He didn't give up a layup on that possession. He went and missed two free throws or something like that, so we didn't give up any points."

On rebounding: "Having bodies in there, we did a better job collectively as a team having guys in there working, limiting them to one shot. I think that's also why we were able to get out there in the fast break."

On heart and pride: "Everything. I personally, and I know other guys in the locker room, I personally didn't want to go out like this coming back here. I got a lot of pride on this floor, I've got a lot of pride in myself in general. Getting swept was not an option."

On Devin foul, again: "I think it's moreso not giving up the layup in that situation, you know, than to spark a run. Those plays, the last three games, have been dunks. Dwight got a play like that, we were out running one way and they got a steal, and he got a tomahawk dunk, and it just energizes them. When you put them down, energize them and make them make two free throws, and he misses them, it works for us."

On Barea: "He plays on both ends. He's picking guards up full court and making them work, and then he does such an excellent job getting into the paint."

Al-Farouq Aminu

On starting role: "I think it was a team win. We always do next man up, everybody was ready. Someone even played through a little bit of energy and everything like that."

On pride and heart: "We know that we did a lot of good things in Game 3 and we needed to make some corrections. I think we made those, and we just got to keep learning from our mistakes and keep getting better."

On what he provided: "I always try to provide energy and defense and that's usually what my staple is."

On length: "All year long I've been working on my defense. The last two, three years, I've been trying to fine tune my defense, watching film on players and stuff like that. I take great pride in that."

On whether it's easier when he hits shots: "Yeah, man, they're just fun. It gets the team going, it gets everyone going, so it's fun."

Amar'e Stoudemire

On pressure: "Yeah, I mean, pressure produce diamonds. You can't really point the finger at where the pressure is. You don't want them that team to produce the diamond."

Devin Harris

On JJ: "JJ was great tonight. His ability to get in the paint, timely shots, defense, just being the pesky guy that he is out there."

On whether the flagrant was the best tackle of his career: "One of them. Mom never let me play football so, you know. Gotta get em in when I can."

On the importance of that foul: "They pushed us around for three games on the boards and stuff like that and I think we really responded tonight by matching their level of physicalness and not being pushed around."