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Quote board: Luka Doncic, Derrick Jones Jr. and Jason Kidd talk to the media

After beating the Rockets, Jason Kidd, Doncic, and Jones spoke with reporters on site

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks won their 11th game of the season, holding off a feisty Houston Rockets team, 121-115. After the game, head coach Jason Kidd spoke with reporters for a time until Luka Doncic and Derrick Jones Jr. were made available as well. Here’s what they had to say:

Jason Kidd

(On starting Josh Green over Derrick Jones Jr....)

“We came up with that decision just to see how Josh [Green] handled it and also see how D. Jones [Derrick Jones Jr.] handled it. We talked to D. Jones about it and he’s a pro, man. He said, ‘All I want to do is win. Whatever you need me to do, Coach.’ He didn’t do anything to come out of the starting lineup. Sometimes we lose focus, and everybody gets caught up in having their name announced to start the game but it’s about finishing the game. That’s where you get paid. D. Jones is a pro, that’s why we wanted him. It’s not just because of the shots or the rebounds or the defense he’s playing. He’s about winning, and he showed that by giving a teammate the opportunity to start and Josh did a great job starting.”

(On the third-quarter play of Kyrie Irving...)

“I thought in the first half he had some great looks that just didn’t go down for him. We came right back to him to start the third, and he let us know that he was ready to go. He got us going offensively. We always talk about points, but I thought his defense was really good on Freddy [Fred VanVleet] tonight. He was picking him up full court and making him work. Again, we’ll look at the points, he was good, but I thought it was his defense, being able to come back and help us on the defensive end.”

(On the impact of Dereck Lively II’s return...)

“Being able to change shots [was impactful]. I thought he did an incredible job on the offensive boards, giving us second or third opportunities there. There in the fourth, rim-running, understanding a lot of teams will slow it down. We were talking about how we have to get our pace higher. Kai [Kyrie Irving] found him for an easy lob. Those things will go unnoticed of his hustle. And I thought he did a pretty good job defensively. [Alperen] Sengun is a very good player to have 31 points, but I thought he made him work. We missed him [Lively] the other day in L.A. I thought today he was really good, bounce back game, especially coming back from that injury.”

(On Luka Dončić diving to the floor for a loose ball...)

“Sometimes we take him for granted, and we shouldn’t. He’s about winning, too. It just happens that he’s a walking triple-double. Tonight, he had some great looks, but I think he’s not looked upon, or you guys haven’t really talked about his defense. He’s competing defensively. He’s taking the challenge. But again, when you’re that good, someone has to pick at something. Unfortunately, you guys don’t see the game totally all the time but he’s competing defensively. For him to get on the floor, it just shows that he’s all about winning, too.”

Luka Doncic

(On Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving’s performance in the third quarter of tonight’s game...)

“Yeah, he can go off [at] anytime. There were a couple of insane layups, which isn’t insane for us because we see it all the time. But his play has been amazing, and his leadership has been amazing. We are just happy to have him on our team.”

(On what went through his head when he decided to shoot a hook shot in a clutch fourth quarter moment tonight...)

“That I am going to make it.”

(On his defensive performance tonight...)

“I think I have been very good defensively, but I know people aren’t going to say that. But my team knows that, and the coaches know that. I think we are improving. Not just me, but the team, too.”

(On what areas of his defensive game are improving...)

“Just all of it: energy, reading the game, IQ and using more hands. Just more energy.”

(On playing against Rockets forward Dillon Brooks tonight...)

“I love playing against him. I always say I respect him so much for what he does. I like playing against him. It is always fun.”

Derrick Jones Jr.

(On a win tonight after losing to the L.A. Clippers on Saturday…)

“[It was] very satisfying. I’m pretty sure my teammates hate losing as much as I hate losing. So, I know everybody had a sour taste in their mouth after losing that game. Personally, I lose sleep after losing, so I’m just glad we got a win. I can go to sleep tonight.”

(On adjusting to coming off the bench in tonight’s game after starting in every game this season prior…)

“For me, there’s no adjustment. There’s no difference. I go out there and do my job. Whenever my number is called, I go out there and do my job. That’s it.”

(On the Mavericks playing small at some points of the game tonight…)

“If they want to switch the one through five, then I ride the small as well. Me in that pocket is different once I get the ball in my hands. D-Live [Dereck Lively II] is the same way. Young fella, he’s learning the reads. He’s doing a lot better than he was at first in the beginning of the season. I love his game and I want him to keep growing.”

(On how motivating it is when Mavericks guard Luka Doncic is grabbing a loose ball on the floor…)

“For those that are not him, I hope it motivates them to let them know that our number one guy is diving on the floor for loose balls. If he’s not too good enough to do it, then nobody is. Everybody needs to get on the floor and get on the ball.”

(On how he is playing and fitting in so well with the Mavericks…)

“It goes back to just the trust and the chemistry I have with the guys. From when I first got in here, he (Coach Jason Kidd) told me to play my game and be who I am.”

(On his family being so important and carrying them with him)

“Every second of the day, my family means everything to me. That’s just how I am. These guys on this [stat] sheet with me, on the Dallas Mavericks, they are my family as well. Like I said, my family means everything to me. When I’m on the floor with them, whatever they need me to do, I’m doing it. Whatever I’ve got to do, I’m doing it. Whatever it takes for the team to be successful. If I’ve got to dive on the ball, dive out of bounds like Dennis Rodman used to do, I’m sure I’ll get it done. My family means everything to me, always.”

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