“I thought we put ourselves in trouble a little bit because of not getting back on defense, and rebounds. Then we had to make some big plays. Kobe made some unbelievable big plays coming down the stretch. Just different big plays we hit. They kind of responded play to play, but at the end we made more. They played well and I thought it was a great game.”
“All he needs is the ball. Just throw it over to him and that’s how he likes to operate. We just need to make sure the spacing right so he can have some outlets if he does get stuck.”
Do you like what your team gave you on the defensive end?
“Yes, that’s how you win a game anyways. On the other end we’ll find a way to score when we have guys like Kobe, Dwight, and all those other guys we’ll find a way to score. Defensively we made some big plays. “
“Every game is critical on the road. We just have to keep it going. We’re playing better and we just have to keep on going.”
What did you like in the second half that this team did to get that win?
“Our defense is a little grittier. I think our bench is playing great for us. Jodi Meeks, Jamison, and Steve Blake come in and lengthen the lead a couple of times. They give a lot blows to Kobe and Steve Nash that allows us to keep them out a little longer. Our bench is crucial to what we’ve been doing that last couple of games.”
On the execution down the stretch:
“Well, I mean they knew I was going and they tried to sag in and crowd me a little bit, I saw [Steve] Nash out of the corner of my eye fading for a three and I just hit him.”
On having to carry the team the last few games:
“It’s just what I’m supposed to do. It’s about that time, I’m kind of going through a process of facilitating and things like that but now it’s time to put the whole thing together.”
On what the team needs to focus on to make the playoffs:
“We just have to be solid and continue to open up the offense and get movement. We have to allow our guys to get on track.”
On his mindset being on the floor late in games with Kobe Bryant:
“I’m always looking for the ball late in games and I try to step up and make shots for my team and have confidence. I think [Kobe Bryant] believes in me and he found me for an open shot, I got my feet set and knocked it down.”
On guarding Kobe:
“It’s difficult, it’s obviously difficult. He hit some very difficult shots. We ran at him a few times… one time we ran at him and (Steve) Nash hit a three. It’s tough when he has it going like that, but I think when we look at it on film, we had a lot of missed opportunities offensively.”
On last possession:
“We were trying to get a good quick two if we could and if the three presented itself, we wanted to step into it. I don’t even know if he (O.J. Mayo) got behind the line. There were too many other things that we hadn’t done well to put us in that position leading up to that point through three quarters.”
On Dirk Nowitzki:
“I mean, look at him the last seven games…he’s playing great at that high standard level. Today, I didn’t want to play him 38-and-a-half minutes, but with national TV and long timeouts, he looked like he was fresher and I think that’s also a good sign.”
On Chris Kaman:
“Kaman did well and I’m very pleased with how he did in the game. Earlier in the year when he missed some games in the preseason, he came back and did well too. He has been working hard…he’s a good player and him being healthy is certainly a plus.”
What do you do when Kobe has it going like that offensively?
“There’s a few things you can do, a couple things you can do, you can double or you can just send him to another defender on your team just to make it easier or vice versa. He hit some tough shots and that’s what it boils down to. And don’t have anything else to say. It was a close game, we were right there and a couple calls here or there, a couple baskets here or miss there and we would have won the game. They (Lakers) came up with some big stops in the end when they needed them and hit some big shots.”
Seemed like a playoff game out there:
“It was a good game, it was exciting and it went down to the wire. What more can you asks of both teams and that’s what you’re looking for right now.”
How much was this an opportunity lost since both the Mavs and Lakers are both chasing down the last playoff spot?
“Yeah you can look at it that way, but we still have a ways to go and we’re right there. We’ve got to take the positive stuff from it and just try to get better and learn from it.”
Were you surprised that you weren’t guarding Kobe more?
“Oh no, not at all and it just depends on what lineup is out there. I got a couple minutes on him, but it didn’t matter. We have a variety of guys to throw at him and once he gets it going and gets that grove going its kind of hard to turn that fire off.”
“That was a big 2 game swing against us with the loss today and we needed this one with so much at stake.”
What did you guys need to do differently defensively on Kobe today?
“Maybe just trap a little more and get it out of his hands because he caught fire for four or five straight shots, tough shots thought, in the 4th. They were on him. Marion was on him, but he just hit some tough shots which he’s done his entire career.”
Do you guys feel like you played Dwight Howard pretty well?
“Yeah he was 2 of 7.”
How do you guys regroup now?
“We’ve got to regroup and we’ve got to keep fighting. We still have time so it was just a disheartening loss. Another close, tough loss and we feel we let one slip away again.”