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“He’s in a good situation and I’m happy for him” Mavericks talk about Harrison Barnes’ return and Luka Doncic’s historic night

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Mavericks talk about a close loss and an excellent performance by Luka Doncic

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Carlisle

Why didn’t Dirk Nowitzki get more minutes in the second half?

“At halftime he actually said he would prefer to come off the bench just depending on what the matchup was going to be. It was tough, they didn’t bring Koufos back it was just tough.

“I was talking to him during the second half and we pretty much agreed that it’d be tough to get him back in the second half especially as cold as he was at that point. Here’s a guy with 32,000 points willing to not start the second half because the match ups were tough. Once again I can’t be too negative. There’s a lot of good things that we’re doing.

“I especially liked the way Doncic attacked the paint. Once again it came down to a game of inches, the turnover possessions were big.”

Can you pinpoint a particular reason he’s struggling from three lately?

“I just think he’s got to stay with it. We’re spending a lot of time looking at his threes and his step-back threes. I’m encouraging him to take his step-backs provided that he creates good separation and balance. I thought he had both tonight. Five or six of them were in and out.

“Only one of them was a tough shot it was first half it was over by Cowboys stadium it was so far back. It was a tough shot up against the clock but I just kept feeling like he was going to bust loose and hit a couple of them and it just didn’t happen. [He’s] just got to stay with it.”

What’d you think of the reception fans gave Barnes?

“Oh it was great. He deserves a warm reception. He had the kind of game you come to expect from him, just a workman-like consistent game in all areas. He had some timely buckets. I thought his two or three buckets to start the second half got them going a little bit.

“They were down seven and they ran a play to dump it in and he made a tough shot over Kleber and that got it to five and they were able to chip it away from there. He’s in a good situation and I’m happy for him.

“I wish we still had him because he’s a hell of a player but business is business is business and he’ll do great there. We’ll do well this summer with the space that opened up.”

Luka tied Magic Johnson for the third most triple-doubles as a rookie, what does it say about him to be in conversations with guys like that so early in his career?

“I’ll put it this way: he’s one of the top players in the game on a lot of levels. He’s still young, he’s still learning, but his impact is undeniable.”

Ryan Broekhoff

What’s been going well for you during this hot streak the last three games?

“I think it’s just our style of play. We’re being very unselfish with the ball. Luka is a terrific passer and he sees passes that other players don’t see. I’ve been on the receiving end of a few of those in the corner.

“Once you make a few shots the confidence builds and you feel confident that the next one is going to go down. It’s been nice to shoot the ball lately but it would’ve been great to get a win tonight.”

Is it contagious when players start moving the ball around well and help you get into the groove of the offense better?

“A little bit. We have such a talented roster. The best way we can play with how our roster is built is to share the ball and you can see it with the way we’re playing. Everyone’s getting excited and getting into the game and everyone feels like they’re contributing which only brings moral up and energy and effort comes with that.

How do you stay ready no matter where your standing is in the rotation?

“It’s been tough. There’s been ups and downs and mentally it’s been tough but just working with the coaches and getting workouts in daily just trying to stay mentally as fresh as I can and physically do everything I can to stay ready. I’m just trying to grab any opportunity that comes up and obviously playing a little bit more you have more time to work into the game and find a rhythm and I think that’s been a big key too.”

Dirk Nowitzki

Rick said you told him you didn’t want to start the second half because of matchups, what was that conversation like?

“Yeah I think we were down 8 right away or 10. We just needed to be quicker in pick and rolls and we had a great game down the stretch, just didn’t close. We had some mistakes, made some turnovers, the Buddy Hield three was big to tie it. We had our chances just didn’t close the way we wanted to.”

Luka had a tough game against this team recently then bounced back well, how does a player do that?

“Well that’s usually what the playoffs are like. You see a team then you see them again. They make some adjustments and you make some adjustments. I though he attacked well. We put the ball in his hands a lot and all night long he put his head down trying to get to the basket and find weak side shooters.

“He plays a great floor game for a 19-20 year old the way he reads the game, makes decisions is incredible. He’s a great playmaker for us and unfortunately he missed some of those threes that he usually makes but other than that I thought he played a great all-around game for us.”

What do you make of the reception Harrison Barnes received and did you see the tribute video?

“Of course, it’s well deserved. He was a great player for us here but he was also great in the community and I think that’s what people appreciate about him. He was getting out there and trying to make a change for what he believed in and he’s a good man.

“I was good friends with him. We would sit next to each other on planes, sit next to each other in locker rooms and we had some good times and he’s a good dude. I wish him nothing but the best.”