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Quote board: Luka Doncic, Jason Kidd, Kyrie Irving and Tim Hardaway talk after Dallas beat the Kings

A big win meant players happy to talk

NBA: APR 05 Kings at Mavericks Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks got a key home win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night, walking away with a 123-119 victory. After the game, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Jason Kidd, and Tim Hardaway spoke to the media about the game. Here’s what they each had to say following the game:

Jason Kidd

(On the win...)

“Tough win. It was a good win, much needed win. I thought everyone participated. I thought the energy was good. But I thought the second half was very similar to what it was in Atlanta – our defense was at a high and then offensively, LD [Luka Dončić] and Kai [Kyrie Irving] created a lot of opportunities for us.”

(On the difficulty of Kyrie Irving’s shot-making...)

“It’s just normal. That’s what he does. Here of late, Miami, Atlanta, he’s come out of the gates, he hasn’t waited. Tonight, he didn’t get off to a great start, but just knowing ‘Kai’ [Kyrie Irving], he’s going to compete. I thought in that second half, he controlled the game.”

(On Kyrie Irving’s fourth-quarter rainbow corner three...)

“He made it rain. Uncle Drew. The difficulty of shots he makes look easy. But that was a big three.”

(On the halftime message to the team...)

“You’ve got to ask them what was said. It was more or less being able to be connected. I thought defensively, we weren’t connected … We just watched the ball go down into the paint. We talked about it at halftime, and I thought they responded to it in a positive way. I thought being able to win that third quarter, it started on the defensive end. That group got us off to a good start. Being able to bring in the subs, those guys continued to push defensively. And then offensively, being able to share the ball. The talk at halftime was being connected. Some of us weren’t connected, and we got connected there at halftime.”

(On the team’s confidence in making the play-in tournament...)

“It’s no different than before tonight’s game. For the last two weeks, we’ve been in this situation – the ball just hasn’t bounced our way. We haven’t been able to make the little plays. The team, no matter what’s been said outside of that locker room, that group in there has been connected and trying to do everything to win the game. Some seasons the ball bounces the other way. But they’ve been together. They still believe that they can get in. We all understand what the situation is, we need a little help. But we have to take care of our business, and this was part of that process. We needed to win this game, there was no room for error. We couldn’t lose this and hope that Oklahoma City loses two games. Now, we just wait and watch, but we still have to take care of business on Friday.”

Luka Doncic

(On how it felt to get the win tonight…)

“Great. Like I said yesterday, we’re going to believe until the end.”

(On if he thinks this team can do damage if they make the Play-In Tournament…)

“Well, yeah. Where we’re at, we have to win two really tough games, but yeah. We’re confident, for sure. But we’ve got to get there first. We have a lot of special players and we’re confident.”

(On Kyrie Irving’s fourth quarter performance…)

“It was amazing. It was amazing to watch. When we most needed it, he showed up. It was amazing to watch.”

(On if he feels like there is less pressure to close out games with a teammate like Kyrie Irving…)

“Yeah. For sure. The caliber of player that Kyrie is, is insane. The plays he made – insane, especially down the stretch with some of the really tough shots he made. But, he’s been known for that. It’s amazing to watch.”

Kyrie Irving

(On his mindset throughout this game…)

“Yeah, the first half wasn’t really good for us. We had a talk in the locker room [about how] we have to be more physical and more united, and I think in the second half, we were more physical and more connected.”

(On what allows him to perform so well in the fourth quarter…)

“I think it just starts in the summertime, just getting ready for a long, grueling season. Just having some good sparring sessions. I call them sparring sessions – [working] with some of the best in the world and pushing myself to the brink of exhaustion to see how far I can last in those deep waters. It starts in the summertime, and not every fourth quarter is like that for me. If you look back over the last few games, I wish I could have played as well as I did tonight, just staying aggressive and settling our offense and defense. Tonight, it was just working well and I was just staying in attack mode no matter what. We really needed this win tonight, so just desperation basketball and playing smart. It’s not like it’s the first time I’ve been in must-win games, so it felt good.”

(On if he knew his high-arching three-pointer in the fourth quarter was going in…)

“Yeah absolutely. I was practicing and working on it before the game.”

(On what keeps him motivated to perform…)

“Throughout my career, there have been times I have had to learn from very harsh lessons, losing and being defeated. I think that’s prepared me for now, no matter what we have in front of us game-wise. Control what I can control. If I go in trying to overthink and I try to prove other people wrong and come in with the wrong mentality, then I feel like I’m in an even worse place out there as a player. I’m doing my best to find balance and just try to chop wood and carry water everyday and keep that consistent mentality [of] just being at peace. Being at peace doesn’t mean leisurely going after your goal, it just means eliminating all distractions and just having fun with it.”

(On how he has developed his skillset…)

“I think the most simple answer to that is just watching the best of the best that have ever played the game. Specifically at the one guard and two guard position. Even the centers, you’ve got Hakeem (Olajuwon). Michael Jordan, Kobe (Bryant) – I watch pretty often. Just study their footwork and how they have moves on top of moves and combinations on top of combinations. You just never know when you have to go to the toolbox to use something against a defender. That’s how I work on my game, just segment by segment – and if it works out then great, but if it doesn’t, just got to get back in the gym.”

Tim Hardaway Jr.

(On the Mavs defensive effort tonight…)

“We’ve got to do better. There’s always that one quarter that tends to fall off when you need a full 48 [minutes], but we’ll take it. We showed what we could do best down the stretch and the start of that second half. It’s a great offensive team, so we just try to do a great job at compacting the gaps and making sure we’re shrinking the floor. Just be out there communicating and giving all our effort.”

(On Kyrie Irving’s 4th quarter…)

“I’ve said it before, you have two of the best players in the world on the same team. You have to utilize them down the stretch. They’re going to put you in a position to win ball games. It just takes us three other guys to score, do our part, and on the defensive end cover them because we know they’re going to do a fair amount of work on the offensive end. It was an all-out team effort. They played a heck of a game. Kyrie doing what Kyrie does in the fourth (quarter). Happy we all came together and got the win.”

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