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What the Mavericks said after a 98-91 loss: 'We control what happens in the standings'

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Dallas is still optimistic about their season with two games to play.

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Deron Williams

How would you evaluate your play after being out?

I don't know. It's been a little bit of a process for me. It's not really about me, it's about the team. We came up short today after being on a six game winning streak. Definitely not happy about that.

How do you feel?

I feel okay. Pretty much just gonna have to deal with it for the most part. I feel pretty good.

Were you surprised you played 25 minutes?

Not really, I talked to coach yesterday, and he didn't have a restriction in his mind, he said we'd just feel it out. See how I felt.

What happened in the 3rd quarter?

We talked about it before the game. It's kind of what happened to us last game, they came out and they're a good third quarter team. Coach told us to be ready for it, we were for a little bit, then they got it going. Before you know it, you look up and we're down almost 20. We just didn't do a good job of defending, I think. We missed some shots, some open looks, and they were able to capitalize on that.

Rick Carlisle

What happened in the third?

Turnovers were a big problem. I think we had seven for a bunch of points. Turnovers were a problem in the first half, too. We were struggling to get good looks and then when you're turning it over on top of that it makes it harder. We got a group with some energy in the fourth that gave us some juice, got the ball in the basket a little bit. We just weren't good enough today.

How'd you feel about what you got from D-Will? Do you anticipate him being available for tomorrow night?

We'll have to see. I thought he played well today, considering he's been out a couple of weeks. We need every health body we can get, but again that situation's gonna be hour to hour I would think, but I like what he did. For a guy that's been out for two weeks, he's been doing some shooting and rhythm work and getting the ball in the basket pretty well all things considered.

It seemed to be a physical game. That took a toll on your team down the stretch?

What took a toll on us were the turnovers and  thenmissed shots. Whenever we get within smelling distance, they'd hit us with an and-one or knock in a three. They're an elite team and you gotta be great to beat them, especially on their home court. We had some very good stretches and held it together and were holding the line even though we were turning it over during certain stretches, but in the end we just couldn't get over the hump.

Does JJ have a chance to play tomorrow?

We'll find out tomorrow. It hasn't been ruled out, I don't believe, but we'll see. We'll see. Again, that's gonna be a game time decision, most likely.  And we'll see how D-Will is.

How do you feel about the position you're in with two games left?

We control what happens here in terms of the standings. We gotta earn it. We gotta earn our way in. We knew that coming into this. And that's the way it should be. Gotta get ready for tomorrow.

Raymond Felton

On the third quarter

We just couldn't hit any shots. They made a big run in their building, just never could really recover from that. We fought it, fought through the end, made it a game, came back. Gotta take the positives.

Were you guys strong enough with the ball?

Yeah, they just did a good job of switching at times and reading our sets and what we wanted to do. Really playing the passing lanes. I don't think it was necessarily us not being strong with the ball.

Considering the stakes, how big is this game in Utah tomorrow?

It's very big of course, obviously, we know that. Probably the biggest of the year. Just gotta get some rest and get ready for it.

It seemed like the trap kind of helped you, got you going to force some turnovers, then when Griffin go to the middle, that's when the problems started?

That's any trap, once the ball gets to the middle, it's a wrap. It's kind of tough. You got so many options , so many passes you can make and the option to finish. Once the ball got to the middle, it kind of buckles down a little bit.  You gotta live with it sometimes.

Will tomorrow be a similar style to what you've seen the last two nights?

Yeah, it'll be a physical game, we know that. Especially in their building against a young team, who's gonna be energetic, and who's fighting for the same thing we are. At the same time, we gotta go in there and want it more than they do.

How do you think D-Will played?

He played good, he was aggressive. He did some of the things we know he can do. You can still tell he's not quite 100%, but at the same time... him being out, there the things he did, I thought he looked good.

Dirk

How do you feel about the position you're in with two games left?

It was a tough loss today, we were still right there. The third quarter was really our killer, couldn't get much going offensively anymore, missed some good looks. We fell behind a little bit, then kind of have to find an uphill battle but kept battling until the end. Now we move on. Tough game tomorrow in one of the toughest environments against a very long physical good team. It's gonna be a fun challenge for us. We'll see how it goes.

How'd you think D-Will played tonight?

I thought he looked good, was aggressive especially in the first half. I liked how he pushed down the break, tried to get it in the lane and collapse the defense. I think when a guy comes back from injury, you look how he moves and I thought he looked great.

Are you focused on seeding? Or just get in and see what happens?

It's hard to wish for an opponent. It's not like we'd beat any of them up there. We're 0-4 against OKC, we haven't beaten Golden State, we haven't beaten San Antonio. We gotta get into the playoffs, that's what we gotta worry about. We have two games left, tough games against tough teams. Whatever happens happens. That's kind of our mentality, go from game to game, from day to day. Play hard from possession to possession, however the chips may fall.

3rd quarter collapse?

We just couldn't score much. I thought we had some good looks, at least three or four good shots that we gotta make against good teams. We tried to hack a Jordan a little bit, it actually worked, obviously slowed the game down some for us, and then we had to play against their set defense and they're pretty good. They're long and physical, scoring whatever 10, 12 points in the third got us behind the eight ball a little bit.