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Quote board: Luka, Kyrie, and Kidd talk after holding off the Sixers

Hear from the sources after a much needed Mavericks win

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks beat the 76ers at home on Thursday night, earning a much needed win via the two huge performances from Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Dallas kept pace with Philadelphia for the first half, blew the game open in the third, then nearly gave it away again in the fourth before finally closing out the Sixers. Hear straight from Luka Doncic, Jason Kidd, and Kyrie Irving from the post game.

Luka Doncic

(On playing with Kyrie Irving…)

“I mean yeah, like I said we always talk about the team. The only thing, the offense I don’t think is a problem … just on the defensive end. We play a team like Philly who is one of the best in the NBA and showed them what we can do.”

(On Kyrie Irving’s performance tonight…)

“He was great, he had 40 (points). I mean not just today, he’s been great since the trade. Like I said, we gotta get stops, and playing with Kai [Kyrie Irving] is so easy so it helps me a lot. So it’s way easier.”

(On the pressure of playing in the NBA…)

“There’s always pressure basketball-wise, the amount of contract we get, there’s always pressure. People expect you to have 40 points every game, if you don’t have that, they’re going to text ‘oh you’re so bad’ or something like that. So there is always pressure, I would tell him [Kyrie Irving] just to enjoy it and have fun. It’s basketball, since being a kid, like me, you always want to play basketball and make money out of it, a living. There is always going to be haters, but I just enjoy playing basketball.”

(On Reggie Bullock’s performance tonight…)

“He was very big, that’s when we built the lead. Just rebound, give it to Reggie and he was knocking them down. He was a big reason for the lead.”

(On what he has learned playing with Irving…)

“Like I said it’s way easier. It’s unbelievable the things he does on the court, some movements I have never seen in my life. I think if I would have to play with somebody it would be him for sure, because those movements and shots are incredible.”

Kyrie Irving

(On his emotions walking off the court and who he talked to first…)

“I just embraced my teammates. It was a hard-fought game, and we did everything to make sure we were poised down the stretch. We were just paying attention to the gameplan. There’s been a few losses over the last week where we felt like they could have been winnable games. It was definitely a different approach tonight, for us as a team, because we really wanted this. I wanted this. But I think, like I said, last time I was sitting up here I just had to join the party and make sure my teammates were going to follow along. Luka [Dončić] was ready for the party. I was ready for the party tonight, and it was one of those games where we had some special performances and I’m just grateful that the work translated because it could’ve gone either way.”

(On if he was more in “attack-mode” tonight…)

“Yeah. Yeah, just being more assertive and just playing ball at a high level. I’ve been doing it my whole life, so there’s nothing really to overthink. I just wanted to show how I could just prepare and just come ready to play a game, and my teammates know that they can depend on me.”

(On what he and Luka Dončić have figured out in terms of their dynamic…)

“It’s one game. I think a lot of people would like to make a bit of an emphasis on how many games we’ve lost, but I think, for us right now, we’re just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. When we’re out there playing, it’s not going to look perfect all the time but when we’re aggressive and we’re making quick moves and being decisive, our offense flourishes.”

(On his recent GoFundMe donation to assist children in Ghana and Nigeria…)

“There’s just so much going on in our world that I just try to do little acts of kindness every single day. There’s so much going on at times that it could be very confusing and emotional, especially growing up as a melanated man. Over in Accra and Ghana, it was my family members over there. I have brothers and sisters that live in the Accra, Ghana, and I’ve helped out one of my other young kings from New Jersey who is from one of the tribes over there and I have uncles who have gone over there and been initiated into the tribe. It’s more of a family atmosphere that I’m really investing in: our village and our tribe. The messages really go a long way, just because I know it’s making an impact. I’ve donated to a lot of different causes throughout my life and some of them have been complete bullshit. The people running it have been not the best quality of people, so I do my best to have determent of reading people’s foundational messages, their missions. It’s not just going to GoFundMe. I actually go to their websites and try to do research on who is on the GoFundMe pages because it’s a public platform. Anybody could get got at any time. I just do my best to do research and be a beacon of light for humanity as best I can outside of the court.”

Jason Kidd

(On Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving both eclipsing 40 points tonight…)

“I thought our leaders when you talk about Luka [Dončić] and Kai [Kyrie Irving], they were great on both ends of the floor. Offensively, both having 40 and 42, but those guys set the tone from the first quarter. You know those guys were trying to lead their team to victory and you know Kai’s sub pattern kind of changed. I was asking ‘do you want to come out?’ And he was like ‘no.’ We let him go a little bit, but you can see those two working together was at a high level against a very good team.”

(On Luka Dončić, and trying to get Kyrie Irving going early tonight…)

“Yeah, I think just those two understand they’re leaders of the team. They set the tone, not just finding each other, but playing off one another. Their gravity being able to find their teammates. I thought Reggie [Bullock] there in the second half with the wide-open 3s was big for us. Defensively, in this league right now everybody’s scoring and you’re talking about one of the best teams, in Philly. I thought again we did our best with [Joel] Embiid and he still ended up with 35. That’s how good he is and so this is a big for us after the last two, but again we still have a long way to go. Maxi [Kleber] again was big for us. You know had the five fouls, but I thought DP [Dwight Powell] did a really good job too.”

(On if he agrees with Doc Rivers mentioning it is hard adjusting midseason adding another superstar…)

“I think it’s just – I agree with Doc. It is basketball, but anytime you can acquire someone like Kai [Kyrie Irving] you know Kai is coming in to be a pro. He’s not going to step on anyone’s toes. He’s trying to fit in and do the right things on both sides of the ball and I think it’s just a matter of time that Luka [Dončić] and Kai spend time off the court at dinner, for coffee, so that they can get to know each other better. We’re doing this on the fly on the court, but I think the relationship off the court is big too. It’s hard. As much as we play the game on paper, it’s still played on the court. You know they have to work through the kinks, but I think at the end of the day we’ll be happy with what we have.”

(On his thoughts when Irving and Dončić don’t play at the same time…)

“I think we play a little different. I thought tonight was more of the same where Kai [Kyrie Irving] took advantage of the pick and roll and the pick and roll defense with [Joel] Embiid or with [Paul] Reed. I thought the gameplan those guys executed. They were aggressive from the start. They didn’t wait and so as we continue to talk as a team we can’t wait. We’re not in that position to wait and those guys understand that, and they set the tone. Just understand we’re getting wide open looks and our shooters have to be able to make them and so this is an exciting time of basketball because everyone is positioning themselves, but I just enjoy watching those two work off of one another. Turnover-wise, let’s see we ended up with 12 and last game we only had seven. If we can take care of the ball, we believe we’re going to get good looks.”

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