The Dallas Mavericks pulled past the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. It was a feisty game from Detroit where Bojan Bogdanovic game to play and torched Dallas from outside. The problem is that Luka Doncic also played, his first action since suffering an ankle sprain on Thursday, and he scored 53 points for the Mavericks as they won 111-105.
Here’s what Luka Doncic and Jason Kidd had to say post game.
(On the health of his ankle…)
“It’s good. It’s not 100%, but it’s good. I did some good work.”
(On his scoring early in the game to carry the team…)
“I really think, in the first especially, we had pretty good looks. They just didn’t go in. Sometimes they double, sometimes they didn’t. But I think we had really great looks.”
(On the recent play of Spencer Dinwiddie…)
“I mean he’s an amazing player. He needs to stay aggressive and play his game and get going. He’s an amazing player.”
(On his hot shooting start from 3-point range…)
“Somebody told me I was 12-13 from two. So probably I should have taken more 2’s than 3’s. But I think that’s efficient three shooting for me too.”
(On the Pistons assistant coach talking at him from bench…)
“Since the first quarter he was chirping. You know I will chirp back. I don’t know. From the first quarter he was chirping. I don’t want to say the words. I have no problem with that. It’s basketball. It gets me going for sure. I don’t have no problem with that.”
(Do you enjoy the trash talk…)
“Yeah. I do sometimes. It was their assistant coach. He started chirping in the first quarter. So, they didn’t like when I chirped back. They said to me ‘play basketball.’ If they’re going to chirp at me, I’m going to chirp back. I ain’t scared.”
(On getting his own shots, while also keeping his teammates involved…)
“I mean sometimes you just have to accept the coverage. When they’re doubling. Sometimes they will come double. And sometimes before they go, just attack and attack the paint every time.”
(On the Mavericks’ third quarter run…)
“I think our defense started to pick up. When you look at Luka [Dončić] in the first half, you couldn’t ask for a better quarter offensively for someone. Then I think defensively, we started to get stops and then again with the double teams, we know we’ve seen it all season, where to be, and I thought we started to execute there in the third. From the middle of the third on, I think we started to play defense like we did on the road trip.”
(On why other players got going later in the game…)
“Luka [Dončić] was going. The first half was pretty productive. I think he only had 10 shots, 27 points. When you look at what he was doing offensively, just being able to keep us in the game. He’s been very unselfish with the double teams. Reggie [Bullock] made some big shots for us tonight, Josh [Green] was good too on double team [scenarios]. The rhythm of those shots we just have to be consistent with, because we want to see that all year. Once we started to knock those down, our defense picked up. And then I think just in early transition, being able to attack before the double team came.”
(On Luka Dončić’s return to the lineup after missing the last two games with an ankle injury…)
“I think we were connected. I think sometimes when someone comes back you tend to wait. Spencer [Dinwiddie], after the last two games, was playing at a high level. I thought he was letting Luka dictate everything instead of just playing the game he was playing the last two [games]. Luka’s going to join the party, he’s too talented not to, the ball is going to find him. I thought at halftime, we talked about Reggie [Bullock] looking to shoot the ball and Spencer [Dinwiddie] looking to be aggressive. Act as if Luka is not out there, and I thought he started to do that there in the start of the third quarter. Even though he missed a couple of layups, it was just him being aggressive and the ball touching the paint, which helps everybody.”
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