Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Mavericks
On the game: “The biggest thing is what we’re doing on the defensive end is not carrying over from practice to the game. I thought for three quarters it was okay, but in the fourth quarter they shot 59 percent. That’s pretty much the game. We can’t allow teams to shoot that way and then we only shoot 38, 39 percent and expect to win. Just too many break downs on the defensive end.”
On if his team’s experience is a concern: “We’re still learning. I don’t want to use being young (as an excuse). I think everybody in here knows that we’re young, but young is also a cop out. We’re still basketball players. It’s just a matter of guys learning to pick it up quicker. You know, all of the things we’re doing on both ends of the floor.”
On communicating with each other out on the floor: “Communication is our biggest problem, but it has been for the three years I’ve been here. We’ve been talking about that on a day-to-day basis. Again, we keep preaching about guys talking and communicating with each other… With all of our guys we want more consistency on the defensive end first. The problem isn’t scoring. We’re averaging 97, 98 points per game so that’s not the problem. The problem is on the defensive end.”
On what the team needs to do to close out games: “It’s comes down to getting stops, honestly. I really felt good at the end of the game because we got a few stops and cut the lead to three, but they just hit big shots from there.”
On how to get the bench to step up: “We just have to continue to be supportive of them. We’re going against great teams with great benches, so they just have to take it as a challenge. I think they’re doing that, but it’s a learning process.”
On the final minutes of the game: “We were making multiple efforts out there and we stuck with our defensive principles, but they just were making shots. Every shot that they took at the end was either contested or a tough shot, so you’ve just got to give credit to them.”
On how the team avoids getting frustrated with losses: “It’s definitely tough, especially when you’re in the game and you lose a close one. We’re competing and not letting guys walk all over us, but we’ve just got to put in a good 48 minutes and close it out.”
On what the team needs to change at the end of games: “There are a lot of things we’ve got to work on. One thing in particular is our half-court defense; we’ve got to continue to pressure guys, stay in our coverages, and not get lost. We’ve got to keep going at it and keep working hard.”
Dallas Head Coach Rick Carlisle
On the game: “I thought we played a very good game. Our game plan was good and we stuck to it. We had a lot of guys step up from the bench and we needed everybody. This was a big win for us.”
On Dominique Jones: “My owner gets an assist on that one. He talked to me last night after the game and said he thought Dominique could bring something tonight. He’s had good games in here before and he gave us a big lift. Mark (Cuban) gets a big assist on that one.”
On Cavaliers’ Anderson Varejao: “We have a lot of respect for him, as a team. He is one of the most difficult guys to match up with in the entire league because he brings non-stop activity and his energy is high. His arms are long and his anticipation is great.”
On Cavaliers backcourt play: “We know how good they are and how dependent they (Cavaliers) are on their playmaking. We gave them a lot of respect and the guys put a lot into the effort. That’s the only way you can slow those guys down.”
On importance of win: “This was really big. Despite Cleveland’s record they are a still really good team. They have really good players on their team. It came down to the wire with making right decisions. It came down to whoever made the right decisions was going to win.”
On importance of stopping Cleveland’s backcourt: “They’re good players and those are the guys (Irving, Waiters, Gee) you need help on (defensively). They are going to get their numbers but if we can force them into tough shots then we did our job.”
• The Cavs outscored the Mavs 40-32 in points in the paint.
• Cleveland collected 13 offensive rebounds, which led to a 19-7 advantage in second chance points.
• The Cavs had a season-low 11 turnovers tonight.
• Dion Waiters added 16 points, including 7-8 (.875) from the foul line, four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 28 minutes.
• Tristan Thompson recorded his third double-double of the season (12th of career) with 10 points, a season-high 12 rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes. Thompson has scored in double figures in five straight games. Over that stretch, he is averaging 11.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 33.2 minutes per game.
• Kyrie Irving recorded 26 points and one steal in 34 minutes. For the season, Irving is averaging 24.4 points, 5.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 34.9 minutes per game.
• Daniel Gibson has now scored in double figures in four of his last five games. Tonight he tallied 16 points, including 4-8 (.500) from behind the arc, a season-high five assists and a season-high three steals in 27 minutes off the bench. Over his last five games, he is averaging 12.6 points on .537 shooting, including 14-29 (.483) from beyond the arc and 1.6 steals in 23.4 minutes per game.
• Alonzo Gee added 15 points, seven rebounds (a season-high four offensive) and a season-high four steals in 35 minutes. Gee is averaging 11.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 32.3 minutes per game.