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Quoteboard: Hear from the Mavericks and Suns following Game 3

Straight from the sources

Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Following nearly every Dallas Mavericks game, we get a chance to hear from players and coaches on both sides. Sometimes they say something interesting, other times... they really don’t but they’re all contractually obligated to talk all the same.

After the Game 3 win, there was plenty said by all parties involved, so here’s some of the highlights right before we jump back in tomorrow and play Game 4 at home. Here’s the best of what these guys had to say after the win:

Jason Kidd

(On more players contributing tonight...)

“Yeah, it was great. I thought it was a great team win. (Jalen Brunson), Spencer [Dinwiddie], Maxi [Kleber], Luka [Dončić], Reggie [Bullock], (Dorian Finney-Smith) – everyone joined the party, they helped out on both ends. And then Luka was great defensively, he participated, too. It puts us in a different position when that happens.”

(On forcing Chris Paul into seven turnovers on his birthday…)

“Happy birthday (Chris Paul). I think when you look at it, we were active. Our hands were active, we got deflections that led to steals. We came out aggressive. There was carryover from Game 2 in those first three quarters and we played 48 minutes tonight. It’s a great win but now this game is over. It’s a quick turnaround here for Sunday.”

(On getting Jalen Brunson going in the first quarter...)

“I just wanted him to be aggressive. We talked before the game: ‘Just be yourself.’ I thought this was the first time he was aggressive; he didn’t wait and he wasn’t surveying. The ball touches the paint and again, as we talked all season, when the ball touches the paint good things happen for us. We make a lot of right basketball plays; (Jalen Brunson) did that for us tonight. Luka [Dončić] was great in the post, putting pressure on their defense and we’re going to need that again on Sunday.”

(On Luka Dončić responding to criticism from himself and others following Game 2...)

“I think he’s one that’s never run from criticism – we’ve seen that early in the season. He admits when he hasn’t played well but he tends to come back the next game and play well. I think he has ownership and he knows how much we need him to not just play well on the offensive end but participate on the defensive end. I thought he did a great job on both ends tonight.”

(On slowing the game down and holding the Suns to 88 possessions...)

“That’s a good question. I thought that we were playing super fast but I guess not. We were just trying to play at our pace; we wanted to exploit, we wanted to attack early in the shot clock. As we talked about in the first two games, we were getting shots up against the clock and deep into the clock. They are a really good defensive team, so we felt that we needed to be a little bit more aggressive early in that clock. But I guess we were playing slow. It felt like we were playing fast because we got a lot of shots, I thought, early in the clock, a lot of 3s we haven’t gotten in the first two games.”

Luka Doncic

(On the difference on the defensive end tonight…)

“Energy, man. I think that the energy was insane. This crowd gets it going which is amazing the whole game. But the energy and the execution were better. We trusted each other and that’s what we have to do every game.”

(On if he had motivation from last game to play better...)

“I wouldn’t say motivation, but I knew I had to do better. I knew I could do better, I think that I have made a big jump on defense this year and the second half was more by me; and I knew I had to get back to my team and play better defense.”

Jalen Brunson

(On the difference between Games 1-2 and Game 3…)

“Be able to push the pace a little bit. Like [Dorian Finney-Smith] said, we got into our stuff quicker. We just played together. I think our coaching staff did a great job of just, putting us in a position to succeed, and we were just able to execute.”

(On his play in Game 3…)

“I think I kind of found myself playing with a little more of a hop in my step, and getting to spots quicker and making decisions faster. Decisions came to me just being aggressive, the team had just got to give me confidence to go make plays and I just kept doing that.”

Dorian Finney Smith

(On what the team did to limit Devin Booker to 13 shots tonight…)

“To make it tough on him, he makes tough shots to trying to limit his 3s and try not to let him get so many off like last game. We knew he was coming that third quarter, so we also wanted to keep the energy on him. Like I said, we have had great team defense. Our bigs have been doing good coming off the picks and being up. They have been doing their job.”

(On what he saw from Luka Dončić on the defensive end tonight…)

“He was more active I think. Either the first or second possession, he was diving on the floor – and when you see the best player doing that it sets the mood.”

(On what the team did to hold Phoenix to below 50% shooting for the first time this postseason…)

“We protected each other, everyone was helping each other, and it was great team defense overall. Even when we went small, I still feel like we did a good job by keeping them off the offensive glass and limiting them to 3s.”

Maxi Kleber

(On the dynamism his drives to the rim added...)

“Obviously, I know they’re going to run out at me, since I’m shooting my 3s, so I got to just be ready to play off the catch. When we have them rotating and running around, everyone has to attack, and keep that attacking mode, including myself. And today, I just saw more gaps than usual, I guess, and I took advantage of it.”

(On how the win affects the team’s morale…)

“Obviously it gives a big boost. Big shout out to the fans here, they were incredible, super-loud, that’s exactly what we needed, coming here 0-2, having the crowd on our side. I think it helped us to play from the jump with the right energy and physicality that we wanted to do, and we didn’t just do it for three quarters, we finished it today, and that’s what we have to do on Sunday again.”

Monty Williams

(On the loss…)

“Because they clearly got more shots from turnovers, and offensive rebounds, turnovers. I think we tallied quickly up to 38 points off of those categories. I just felt like they brought a great deal of effort along with them coming up with those tip-outs or 50-50 balls, whatever the case was. Then they just, I think, by our calculation, around 20 shots around the basket that we normally make. You see us at 94 points and 23 assists, that’s just not a typical game for us, but they brought it from the jump – the physically of their attempts to go to the basket and get offensive rebounds. I thought they put us in mud a little bit because we couldn’t come up with the ball and get on a run. Then we just kept giving them extra possessions. We had a few mishaps on [Maxi] Kleber tonight with the switches, lack of communication or just execution would be better in those categories, all of those categories will be better on Sunday.”

(On Chris Paul’s seven turnovers…)

“I’m sure there was a bit more pressure on the ball or hands in lanes to get the flex and that kind of thing. I didn’t feel like we had a rhythm tonight on offense to be straight with you all. You saw flashes, but we just didn’t have the same kind of offensive connection that we had in Phoenix. Some of that is to be expected when you are playing against a team and you are up two games, you know they are going to come out and hit you in the mouth. I thought we could have settled down a little bit more on offense especially when we have the ball jumping around the gym the way we did from a turnover perspective.”

(On still having a chance to win late in the game…)

“We just couldn’t put it together. We came out in the second half and I forget – what we cut it to maybe six or seven? I forget. And then bam-bam-bam – it was back in the teens. Then we cut it again and then we give up a 3 or a 50-50 ball for a 3. We just couldn’t put it together. Tonight, we played in sections and I felt like the bottom line is we have to give them credit. They guarded us full court tonight, they put pressure on us, they fought for real estate, just inbounding the ball was tough for us tonight from the side. They mixed up some defense and went zone at times and we didn’t handle that well and we missed a ton of shots around the basket. Cameron Payne missed a point blank layup, that’s a shot that you don’t make that shot, they come down and they are in transition and it’s a double whammy.”

Devin Booker

(On if Dallas did anything different…)

“It wasn’t like us. You can credit Dallas. They came out and played hard [and] played desperate. We got a series.”

(On what was different from the first two games…)

“The rhythm. The rhythm wasn’t there where it usually is in past games. It didn’t get there early or at a certain point in the game. We were up 2-0 coming to their home floor. People want to see more basketball games, so we’re going to play more basketball games.”

(On missing shots…)

“We missed some shots. Offensive rebounding for them and our turnovers were the majority of the points that we need to emphasize.”

Chris Paul

(On his seven turnovers and what he thinks happened…)

“If I don’t turn the ball over like that I feel like it’s a different game, so give them a lot of credit. They came out and did what they were supposed to do. We’ll be back on Sunday.”

(On if Dallas was in a different place from a mentality standpoint…)

“They were aggressive trapping the screens, they were rotating. It was an interesting game. We were so up and down. We never really adjusted to the calls either. That’s not why we lost but we never really adjusted to it. They took care of home like they were supposed to do.”

(On how hard it is to play after committing self-inflicted turnovers…)

“It’s tough. It’s tough because you’re putting them out of transition. With a team like that, you start letting other guys get going. You see Jalen had a big game (with) 28. I think if we take care of the ball we get more shots at the basket. That’s on me. We didn’t get but 76 shots and they got 90. That’s a huge difference. We’ll be better on Sunday.”

Jae Crowder

(On getting close to catching up…)

“I feel like that wanted it a tad bit more than us tonight. They played harder. They played more aggressively. I’m not going to say that’s what we expected, but they’re at home, playing for their city. They played harder than us tonight.”

(On missing shots…)

“I just think about playing the flow of the game. Whatever the defense gives you, you got to go with it. You can’t go in thinking ‘I’m going to get X amount of shots.’ You don’t know. [Jason] Kidd did a good job with the defensive scheme. It’s whatever the game reads.”

Here’s our latest episode of Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you’re unable to see the embed below, click here to be taken to the podcast directly. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball Podcast.