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Quote board: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Jones, and Jason Kidd talk after Maverick win over the Clippers

“We said before this game that we need to run, so that’s what we did.”

Los Angeles Clippers v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks improved to 7-2 following a 144-126 drubbing of the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night at the American Airline Center. Following the game, stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving each spoke to the media, as did Derrick Jones Jr. and head coach Jason Kidd.

Luka Doncic

(On what led to the Mavs’ first half run…)

“It was great. It was our defense, and we had the pace. We said before this game that we need to run, so that’s what we did.”

(On the larger volume of his catch-and-shoot jump shots…)

“It’s great. I think people didn’t believe me, that I’ve been working on that. And it’s a way easier shot than a step-back, so that is the beauty of it.”

(On the added pressure of the NBA In-Season Tournament games…)

“We don’t have many games for this In-Season Tournament, so it’s good that we got to pull this one out. Every game matters and obviously we have a lot of [regular season] games, but I think our start has been great.”

(On what the team needs to carry with them into the upcoming road trip…)

“I would say defense and the pace we have. I think our defense was good today, just a little bit too much fouling. But the pace we had was great.”

Kyrie Irving

(On what led to the Mavs first-half run tonight…)

“A bit of luck that they weren’t making shots, but outside of that I feel like we were making them play in the halfcourt a little bit more than they anticipated. They’re a great one-on-one, individual team and I think they know that in that locker room. So, we wanted to make an emphasis tonight that they had to play through each other. They’re a new group, so we just wanted to take advantage of some of their mistakes in transition and make the game easier on ourselves by getting our in transition. Not necessarily call a bunch of plays, but just be in the right positions out there offensively to take advantage of their defensive mistakes.”

(On the team’s response to the loss against the Raptors on Wednesday…)

“I mean I think that’s the beautiful nature of this game and being able to respond the way we did tonight – that’s what it’s about. To be able to not take it as much as a personal challenge, but a team challenge, you have to individually play our roles. But it’s a team game and collectively, we just knew in our hearts that we had to be better. I think we proved that tonight in the 48 minutes we were allowed to play out there.”

(On the added motivation from the NBA In-Season Tournament…)

“To be honest with you, this is probably my lack of awareness showing right now, but even in that shootaround I didn’t know it was an in-season tournament game cause I was so used to seeing the court be split in three. The excitement, I didn’t feel it rising, but coming into the game it did feel like an in-season tournament game and it did something and you could tell the Clippers knew what was at stake. We knew what was at stake, and it just felt good to get this win and put ourselves in a position for when Houston comes here and also when we play New Orleans. I’m excited about those challenges, and I think that’s probably what the NBA wants is for us to be locked into what that tournament means for us personally and as a team, then going out and executing.”

Derrick Jones Jr.

(On what has given him the most confidence to start the season…)

“My teammates, coaching staff, just everyone around me telling me to bring my game and be who I am. Just gotta keep going.”

(On what drove the Mavs 35-4 run in the first half…)

“Getting stops and scoring the ball a lot. Once you have Luka [Dončić] coming down and getting in a rhythm, he was scoring a lot. Then ‘Kai’ [Kyrie Irving] got in his rhythm, and it’s going to be hard to stop him too. When we got those two guys in rhythm and were playing defense how we were tonight, it’s going to be a good game for us.”

(On his put-back dunk tonight…)

“I just know ‘Kai’ [Kyrie Irving], and I know he is going to get to the rim and get his layups off. I tell him when he goes to the lane I’m following up, and if it bounces off, I’m going to go get it. Nine times out of 10, the ball bounces off, I’m going to go get it.”

Jason Kidd

(On tonight’s 144-126 In-Season Tournament victory over the Clippers...)

“I think it was a great bounce back game. I thought the guys, again, executed the game plan. I thought everybody participated but I thought Luka [Dončić] set the tone and Kai (Kyrie Irving) — those two set the tone tonight and the guys followed.”

(On what changed after the Clippers took their largest lead, 12 points, in the 1st quarter...)

“I think it was more that we sent them to the free-throw line. They were in the bonus with seven minutes or so, and that’s hard to do against a group like that that’s going to isolate you and drive the ball. You’ve got to not foul. I thought once we got past the first half of that first quarter, I thought we were pretty good.”

(On the Mavs’ 32-2 run to end the 1st quarter and start the 2nd quarter...)

“I thought being prepared for the reads, the switches and the double-teams, I thought everybody was alert and made plays. With all that being said, you’ve got to make shots and I thought everyone made shots. Even Luka [Dončić] was making a lot of shots there in that run.”

(On the Mavericks scoring 77 points in the first half...)

“That’s where the league is today. There’s a lot of scoring happening right now, and we feel comfortable with that. I thought one of the guys who did a really good job for us who carried over from the Toronto game was [Dante] Exum. Dante [Exum] did a really good job of pushing the pace, getting us out and getting us easy looks. But, when you can score that many points in a half, those guys are pros. The Clippers are a good team. It’s just a matter of time when they click, and we just caught them early before they were ready to go.”

(On playing Mavericks guard Seth Curry in the fourth quarter...)

“He had a big, underrated shot tonight. When they were making a run, he made a big 3-pointer for us and no one’s going to really talk about that. Everyone was talking on the bench about maybe bringing Kai (Kyrie Irving) back at that point. With the tournament and the rules, we were already in a hole a little bit with the 11-point loss to Denver. We were trying to figure out who could keep us above 20 to try to get out of that hole. I thought [Seth] Curry made a big shot for us that no one is going to talk about, but it stopped the run and also kept us up there at the 20-point margin.”

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