Even in the face of a trio of last-second losses, even in the face of b2b defeats in LA, Mavs owner Mark Cuban is trying to keep his eyes on the prize. "You've got to recognize who you are, what you need to accomplish and where you're trying to go,’ Cuban says. ‘We've got a plan and we're sticking to it.’ That’s just a slice of the locker-room talk from Clips 91, Mavs 89. Here’s Mavs Quoteboard:
Instead of the “They Are Who We Thought They Were’’ LA Clippers, we got the “Maybe The Best Team In LA’’ LA Clippers. Without much going on offense thanks to Dirk and Jet's ongoing shooting woes, the Dallas Mavericks had all they could do just to stay in the game. And as good as the defense was in spots, it failed at the most critical moment. AGAIN. The Clips take it 91-89, and it's on to the house of horrors in Salt Lake City for a Thursday nighter.
We're getting rather sick of this -- on the game-stealing three-ball from Chauncey Billups ...
"We had to stay on our toes, and we defended the first play pretty good. It went out of bounds again, and they got another look at it. They ran a good play, Chauncey took the ball out, then the handoff, and he hit a big shot." - Dirk Nowitzki
“The Clippers drew up a good play. We knew Billups and Griffin were going to have the ball at some point, and Billups made the shot. We were in a position to win the game, and we just couldn’t get a stop." -Jason Kidd
“I was so open, I was able to take my time and shoot the shot. They got a contest on it late, but by that time it was gone. I got a great look at it and it felt good for it to go down.” -Chauncy Billups
"We’ve lost now on three 3-point shots, so we’ve got to get that corrected." -Jason Terry
About Blake Griffin -- 14 points and 17 boards, but shot 6-15 and bricked 6 free throws ...
"Griffin is very explosive and always looking to attack. He's the future of the league and he's fun to watch. We actually thought we did a decent job on him tonight. We didn’t give them a lot of lobs and we ran with them in transition. We tried to stay between him and the basket. I thought our bigs did a good job." -Dirk Nowitzki
A side-note on Chris Paul, who didn't dress because of a hamstring injury ...
"He’s feeling better. He’s doing all his therapy, and he’s headed in the right direction. But we want to make sure ... We are fortunate. We got Mo back, and hopefully we can get Chris back and just keep the process going. Winning these close games just gives us confidence as we continue to improve in a lot of areas." -Coach Vinny del Negro
Regarding Dirk's knee, which is apparently bothering him and has been since the season started ...
"I’m having trouble bending my knees. I’ve just got to get my legs stronger, get my base back. I’ve got to use my legs in my shot and hopefully they’ll come back soon ... It's okay. Actually, it's better than it was three weeks ago, so that's very good. It's still just stiff and I can't really move the way I want to." -Dirk Nowitzki
The Big-Picture Guys ...
"That’s basketball at its best. It can reward you and also it can upset you. We’re a veteran ballclub, and we have a game tomorrow, so we have to be ready." -Jason Kidd
"It's tough when this happens. But, for me, it points to the fact that there's a lot of other things we can do during the course of a game to avoid those situations, and that's how we're going to have to look at it." -Coach Rick Carlisle
What We Need versus What We Got ...
"Some practice days, some lift days would be nice, but we just don't have it. This way you've got to just adjust on the fly." -Dirk Nowitzki
Life Lessons from The Boss ...
"You've got to recognize who you are, what you need to accomplish and where you're trying to go. We've got a plan and we're sticking to it." -Mark Cuban
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