The Dallas Mavericks played a post-brunch game on Sunday as a precursor to the Dallas Cowboys playing later in the afternoon. Well, the Mavericks played one half of basketball before the Mavs stumbled in the third quarter and fully gave into the Marvs in the fourth, when the Los Angeles Clippers outscored Dallas, 33-19.
Los Angeles won the game 112-98 and left the Mavericks searching for answers. The team tried to make sense of things after the game.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
(On what happened in the fourth quarter...)
“I don’t know. We did have some good looks. We didn’t capitalize on them. They did a good job of running their lanes and trying to get easy ones and getting us cross-matched. Their supporting cast did a good job of knocking down shots and taking advantage of matchups.”
(On the Mavericks’ free throw struggles...)
“Just keep shooting them. Keep attacking and keep shooting. We practice, so when you’re in the gym get some more shots up. I can’t really tell you. Just go up there with confidence and knock them down.”
(On the small ball lineup down the stretch...)
“It is turning into that. The league is trending in that direction. We do it as well. We do have a lot of success when we go that route. When our bigs are in foul trouble. They did a good job of limiting us to one shot, they switched everything. Once they get the rebound, they go. They go, they push us and they got us cross-matched and they took advantage of it.”
(On the state of the locker room...)
“For now, after this loss, we went back into the locker room and it was positive. We know we can hang with the guys. We know defensively we’re starting to get better. Especially with Doe [Dorian Finney-Smith] and Josh [Green] being back. I think the mood in the locker room is positive. We have to be better on that end of the floor. We have to limit little funny mistakes and keeping some guys off the line. I think that will go a long way for us.”
(On the second half...)
“I thought the second half, we just came out a little flat. Giving up the lead and then being down by five, we kept fighting. Give them credit – they were the better team. But I think we learned a lot this afternoon.”
(On how to fix the team’s free throw misses...)
“You’ve got to work. You’ve got to be confident. Your routine – you’ve got to work on it every day at practice. It is a big thing. When you get to the line the most in the league and you’re shooting in the bottom of the league, that doesn’t help you win. Free throws can help you win, especially when you’re a good team. The Clippers shot 98%. They missed one. Understand it stops runs and it continues to keep a run going. That’s our next step, being able to make those free throws.”
(On how the game shifted when lineups went small...)
“It puts a lot of pressure on our wings being able to close out to their wings. They won that battle this afternoon. When we closed out, they just re-drove us. If it wasn’t a layup, it was free throws. That’s something that we can learn to do when we are small. I thought we settled for some 3s there when we could have re-drove when they are small to get to the rim. That’s something that we’ll look at and we’ll get better at.”
(On the thought process when Luka Dončić picked up his third foul in the first half...)
“The thought process was easy just knowing the other side was going to go at him every possession. This was a good time for him to rest for three minutes and halftime. They were going to put him in every pick-and-roll – and that’s what they did. To save him from getting his fourth — or fifth — foul, just understanding they’re going to put him in everything. They’re not dumb over there. For us to be able to continue to grow as a team in these situations to see who can handle it — I thought Spencer [Dinwiddie] and that group did a really good job. Ty [Lue] and that group, Paul George, they’re going to put 77 (Luka Dončić) in everything no matter if he has three fouls or four, and that’s what they did in the second half. I was just trying to get him rest to prepare for what was coming.”
The Clippers shed some light on how they turned the game around in the second half and walked away with a win.
(On how he thought they did against Luka Dončić …)
“We did a good job. I thought we did a really great job. We had to get creative and keep mixing it up and just showing the blitz, firing, fake the firing, get back guarding him one-on-one. You know, just keep him off balance the best we can. He’s a great player and it’s hard to show a great player the same thing over and over because they will pick you apart. I thought they did a great job just mixing it up.”
(On the difference in the second half…)
“I think we got some pace going. I think, like I said, we gave them a lot of second-chance points in the first half. Our pace in transition on the offensive end was a lot better, and obviously we made shots.”