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Quoteboard: Jason Kidd and Kyrie talk after Dallas destroys Portland

Dallas gets a needed big win and we hear directly from two of the key reasons that win happened

Portland Trail Blazers v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

As you know by now, the Dallas Mavericks ran the Portland Trailblazers off the floor Wednesday night, 126-97. They needed a win like this after falling to Utah, so it was great to see Kyrie Irving play great basketball and Luka Doncic look engaged on the court.

Let’s get right to what Kidd and Kyrie had to say:

Jason Kidd

(On the injuries to Mavericks center Dereck Lively II and Mavericks forward Grant Williams...)

“Ankle sprains. Mild. Getting treatment. We’ll see how they feel tomorrow.”

(On the team’s quick start to tonight’s game against Portland...)

“[It was a] great response to what happened in Utah. [It was] just what we talked about this morning and being able to be focused. I thought the ball movement was great. Defensively, again, [it] was really, really good. We were locked in. A lot of great performances by our two stars to get us started. Kai [Kyrie Irving] didn’t wait tonight. He was aggressive. And then Luka [Dončić] was Luka.”

(On the dunk by Mavericks guard Luka Dončić...)

“That was a dunk? (laughing) I’m joking. He was flying like Mike [Michael Jordan] tonight. He was up there pretty high. He’s going to tell you he double pumped it, too, or he cradled it. One of the two. He passed me [in dunks]? I thought Luka [Dončić] was great – [it was a] great response from the last game [from] everybody. But again, I thought the two leaders set the tone early and took control of the game on both ends, defensively and offensively. I thought our ball movement and player movement was probably at its best tonight.”

(On forcing eight turnovers in the first quarter...)

“Deflections. We were active. Everyone had deflections or were coming up with steals. Understand [Anfernee] Simons is a tough cover and trying to make it tough on him. Our guys did a really good job of trying to keep him in front. It’s not easy to stay in front of Simons because he can go either way, and his range is deep. I thought the guys did a really good job.”

(On the play of Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving...)

“I thought Kai [Kyrie Irving] was great. When you look at the shots that he got, he wasn’t hesitant. Any time he starts off the game by looking for the three, you know that he’s in a different mindset. Again, we’re going to need that on Friday. This baseball schedule is not easy. It’s not easy to beat a team twice and we understand that. They’re going to give us their best on Friday, so we have to be prepared and also, we’ve got to try and get healthy here.”

Kyrie Irving

(On tonight’s win...)

“I think it started at the tip of the game in setting the tone, setting our mentality in how we wanted to play for the rest of the game. I feel like when we played against the Jazz, including myself, I didn’t get off to a good start, so I just wanted to take it upon myself to galvanize the group and stay aggressive in those first few possessions and really get a good feel of where my body is and where my mind is and just live with the results.”

(On returning from his heel injury...)

“24 days. 24 days, man. That’s a long amount of time in the NBA season to miss games, especially when I felt like I was in a great rhythm before that happened. I played one time - one pickup game - and then two days later I was in an NBA game. I just had to trust the hard work that I put in in the summertime and the work I put in day-to-day and let the results speak for themselves. Tonight was one of those games where I felt like I had to inject myself into the rhythm and kind of force myself to get up-and-down, get a good sweat going and be able to exemplify the pace that we should be playing at. I feel like we did that.”

(On how he felt coming back from his injury tonight...)

“I felt great. My foot was feeling great. Again, I couldn’t even get two socks on to put in my shoes for about two-and-a-half weeks and it was just achy walking around, carrying my kids, and you realize how much you’re on your feet day-to-day. There isn’t really a lot of ample time to rest and recover. I tried to find my balance and I think that’s what took me so long to come back to playing, is that I was just pushing it and then in the weight room, doing things to put my body in a better position, I had one or two setbacks where - there was one time where I even hit my heel when I was doing the lift bar in the weight room and that achy-ness comes back. But tonight was one of those nights where I wasn’t thinking about it. Mentally, I felt great from the start, and you saw the results, so I want to continue to build on my consistency, find my rhythm, continue to be aggressive, and do the right things for our team to win.”

Chauncey Billups

(On the game tonight…)

“It was rough. It was rough. [It was] tough going all night. I mean the foul trouble really hurt us. They’re going to the free throw line every time [so] you can never really run and get into a rhythm. It’s just tough to kind of get in any rhythm to play that way every single time. It just seemed like they were stopping the game, but we could never really get going. Luka [Dončić] had a special night. Kai [Kyrie Irving] had a special night. Dude just hit some incredible shots man. Then getting easy buckets from the free throw line just makes it tough.”

(On having players in foul trouble and Trail Blazers center Duop Reath getting ejected…)

“Yeah, I mean, shoot, I was so happy we were getting so many guys back tonight. Even with restrictions, and then you lose Duop [Reath], you lose Jabari [Walker] and you’re back to being short, you know? Short man again, but we got to be better. I thought the biggest thing, we talk about the free throws, but we turned the ball over too much in the first half. You come in at halftime committing 14 turnovers at the half for 21 points. This team is hard enough to guard in the halfcourt, then you give them easy ones in transition and then turn it over. So, that compounds things and just make it tough.”

(On dealing with all the minute restrictions and different lineups tonight…)

“It was a lot. I definitely don’t want to make excuses, but it was a lot to overcome in the game tonight. I was trying everything. I was playing lineups that I [have] never even seen. The truth of the matter is; because we haven’t had bodies, you can’t practice. So, you end up practicing in the game.”

Anfernee Simons

(On what he took from this game...)

“Kyrie [Irving] got it going early, and Luka [Dončić] got it going early. It’s going to be a long night if those dudes are playing and firing on all cylinders like that. Obviously, we kind of struggled offensively a little too, and that doesn’t add to it. It’s one of those games we have to watch and look over and see how we can adjust the next game we play. You know, just go back, and adjust to the things we can do and try and take away.”

(On overcoming turnovers, fouls, and players coming in and out of the game…)

“Obviously, it’s a lot of things. Miscommunication and, sometimes, a little bit of overthinking. It’s hard to get [into] a rhythm. Players come in and out and they got to react and see how they play on the fly. That can be tough. The 14 turnovers [we gave up], when they have it going like that offensively, gives them extra possessions. That just killed us.”

Jabari Walker

(On how he felt like they played tonight and dealt with foul calls…)

“Yeah, the foul calls, it’s always tough playing against Luka [Dončić]. I’m kind of getting used to it. It’s like a ticky-tack game. It’s a bummer because you feel like you can’t play. We like to get stops and then run, and once that happens it particularly messes with our team because of how we play. We couldn’t really get out in transition as much. I think the game slowed down, and that worked to their advantage. It was like that all night. That was kind of the story for us.”

(On if anything is going on with this team that’s causing them not to go on their normal runs after falling behind...)

“There’s a couple of injuries still. Aside from that, we just have to go back to the drawing board and figure it out. It’s not just one thing, it’s a collective effort. I believe it can be fixed though.”

(On playing the Mavericks again on Friday…)

“For sure, it’s like the [San Antonio] Spurs situation. We get a better look at who we’re playing against. It’s about adjustments and I think we definitely have an edge on our shoulders after that one, so we’ll see how we come out this next one.”