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Quote board: Kyrie Irving, Tim Hardaway, and Derrick Lively talk after the win over the Pelicans

A number of players spoke after the big win by the Mavericks

New Orleans Pelicans v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks pulled out a wild win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, beating the Pelicans 125-120. That win came primarily as a result of some incredible scoring by Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kyrie Irving; the pair shot so well that the two players combined for 83 points!

After the game, both players, along with head coach Jason Kidd and rookie center Derrick Lively, spoke to the media.

Jason Kidd

(On intentionally fouling Pelicans forward Zion Williamson at the end of the game...)

“Yeah, that was the plan. One, if you let him get going, it’s hard to foul him when he can get a continuation. Maxi [Kleber] did the right thing and fouled him. We believed [that] if he made both, we have the ball with 15 seconds left to win. It was playing the percentages here a little bit if he missed one. Then the goal was if he did miss both, we would have to come up with that rebound. I thought the guys did a great job of executing late on both ends, defensively and offensively.”

(On the play of Mavericks guards Kyrie Irving and Tim Hardaway Jr....)

“It’s the second time in franchise history that two guys scored 40 points. Last year, Kai (Kyrie Irving) and Luka [Dončić] did it. This afternoon, Timmy (Tim Hardaway Jr.) was huge for us — he kept us in there, he made some big shots. But Kai was steady the whole afternoon; he just took what they gave him. He’s been doing this on this homestand. He’s leading us and guys are following. He puts us in a position to win.”

(On the return of Mavericks rookie center Dereck Lively II...)

“We didn’t run him into the ground this afternoon. But his offensive rebounds — they gave us second opportunities — and then his defensive rebounds were huge for us, which we missed in that first game. I thought late in the game, he came up with some great opportunities for us to get second or third opportunities at the basket, which we needed. Just his presence on the floor — the guys trust him. For his first game back for a while, I thought he did great. We missed him and we’re happy that he’s back.”

(On the play of Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. this season...)

“He’s the substitute teacher right now in the starting lineup. He’s being a pro about it. We’ve asked him to come off the bench. We’ve asked him to start. We’ve asked him to guard Zion [Williamson]. We’ve asked him to guard everybody. He’s just a pro. This afternoon was a perfect example of that. He took his shots. He was aggressive. We need that no matter if he’s starting or coming off the bench.”

(On going 5-2 in the seven-game homestand...)

“It was a hell of a homestand – 5 and 2. That’s a positive. That’s big no matter who you beat or who you lose to. When you protect home like that, that’s a good sign — especially with the health that we have. It’s whoever can play, next man up. I thought we protected home. As much as we can talk about games and the past, we can only learn from those. We can’t change the win-loss column. But to protect home the way we did; we’ve got to be proud of that.”

Kyrie Irving

(On what he thinks about Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr.’s play recently…)

“He’s having an incredible stretch right now. He is making a lot of right reads. He is taking some tough shots for sure. I think he is right in his wheelhouse of allowing the work to translate into success on the court. You are watching him make a lot of opportunities for himself and be highly efficient at it. I’m happy for him.”

(On his evaluation of the team halfway through the year…)

“In terms of a personal evaluation, I’m not too deep into it. It is the early portion of the season. We aren’t even at the All-Star break yet. You never know how things could change in the next few weeks.”

(On Mavericks rookie center Dereck Lively II’s performance in his first game back from injury…)

“He just needs reps. He is coming off a college season where he’s only played 30 games. He’s coming into a man’s league where, like tonight, people are getting ready to play against him.”

Tim Hardaway, Jr.

(On the Mavericks’ bouncing back after a loss against the Pelicans last game...)

“I think it shows a lot of maturity. Also, when we are in games like — no matter who is on the floor — that you have to respect your opponent. We didn’t do that, and it bit us in the you-know-what and we took the L[loss]. I think maturity [was key] to come back out to be able to produce. Play to win. Trust. It all showed today.”

(On what he saw out of Dereck Lively in the fourth quarter…)

“The fourth quarter? The whole game. Jesus. I mean, he means so much to this team and this organization. He does an amazing job of clogging up the paint, talking on defense, blocking shots. He is a really great anchor for us down there on the defensive end. He helps us tremendously, especially working with T.Y. [Tyson Chandler], Dwight [Powell], who has been a running mate with Luka [Dončić] during his time here in Dallas. DLive [Lively] has been a sponge, really listening to those two. He is really doing a phenomenal job.”

(On what does it mean to have Dereck Lively II protecting the back line...)

“I think for the most part, it was more of us guards, and everybody just locking in and being physical no matter who was on the back line. I feel like they were feeling our presence. The whole game last game [with Pelicans], so just doing a better job of us guards getting to the ball, picking up full court, doing the best we can to get them in their sets late.”

Derrick Lively II

(On how it feels to play again after returning from injury…)

“It feels great. It was terrible to sit on the sideline throughout the injury. Just working it [his ankle] back and working my body back ... It feels good to be out there with my family. It just feels great to be back out there building that chemistry again.”

(On what it was like watching Tim Hardaway and Kyrie Irving do what they did today…)

“Man … Give them the ball and find the hot hand. Having players like that on the floor makes it that much easier to play offense, and that much better whenever we get the transition going or anything like that. You just got to find the open man. Just find the hot hand.”

(On how it feels to be active with rebounding…)

“That’s my job, do the dirty work and clean it up. I know my team missed me, so my first game back that was definitely a star on my head – bring second chance opportunities or just try to find the open shot. I felt like we did a great job of moving the ball around and did a great job of bringing physicality and bringing energy.”

(On how his ankle feels after the game…)

“I feel good. I’m not at my peak movement. I can definitely say that I’m definitely not going to be a hazard out there. You don’t have to worry about me. I’m going to be able to back everybody up and move my feet, talk [on defense] and cover the rim.”

(On working through playing when in foul trouble…)

“This definitely isn’t the start of that process, either. There have been a couple of times that I’ve been in foul trouble during a close game. He [Head Coach Jason Kidd] has let me into a game, let me finish it out. It is being able to have that trust with the coaches and with my teammates to know that if I’m in foul trouble, I need to have a little bit more help or I might not be able to ‘show’ as much, but that just kind of changes the coverage a little bit. But having that IQ makes us a better team.”

(On playing with Maxi Kleber particularly on defense.…)

“Love it. It gives me some help too. Being able to know that I have another person to back me up if I can’t get down the floor on a fast break, he’s there. He got a great block today. He’s always talking, and he brings a lot of energy.”