Looking at the action in the first few minutes, one would've guessed the Dallas Mavericks were the ones playing 24 hours after an overtime game.
The Rockets came out on fire, getting on top by as much as 16 and ending the first with 30 points. The Maverick starters couldn't hit shots to save their lives and let Luis Scola score at will. But as they have so often in the past, the M.O.B.s saved the day. Houston cooled off in the second quarter, and after halftime they froze solid. Dallas took the lead with four minutes left in the third, and kept it for a final of 90-81. Houston's road to the playoffs is going to have to find an alternate route; I-45 is closed.
The flow of the game; we'll start it off slow then we'll pick up the pace ...
"We’re showing some good signs in some areas -- our second half was tremendous, it was playoff caliber. Our first half, we played like a lottery-type team; we were not solid, we were not together ... This is another very good win against a team that’s a fighting team. They came at us from the very beginning of the game with a nasty toughness about them and we had to really respond, not only by putting the ball in the basket, but by being patient and deliberate to a certain degree and by chipping away and working the game in the second half. There’s no five-point baskets or eight-point plays. You’ve got to play a possession at a time and we did that in the second half." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"They were letting us play, letting us do the things we do best, then they adjusted. They played better in the second half, we didn’t have what we wanted to do. We needed to change a little bit, we were not able to find a way to be effective, in the second half, and we started missing those shots, because they were worse shots, because we weren’t being that fluid in the second half. I don’t know exactly what it was, if it was our fault or their adjustment, I don’t know. The thing is we were playing worse, and everything was less fluid, and that leads to bad shots." -Luis Scola
On the third quarter -- DAL 23 (including seven straight from Jet), HOU 12 ...
"We just needed a spark. We needed some energy. I saw us kind of lagging there and I saw an opportunity for us to kind of take control of the game. I just went for it." -Jason Terry
"That third quarter, we just took the doors off them." -Shawn Marion
Neutralizing Luis Scola, who started 7-9 and ended 9-14 ...
"We double-teamed him in the post in the third quarter. It got us aggressive, got us scrambling, got us into the game better and guys did a good job with it." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Scola was having a great game and playing good so we had to do something. We got everyone involved on defense and we scrambled well. It’s always good for us when we scramble because we can run and get into the fast break so doubling Scola was a good call by the coaches." -Rodrigue Beaubois
"I think I made a couple mistakes when they double-teamed me and that affected us. If that was the whole thing, I don’t know. Maybe if those plays turned into something good, maybe they would have stopped doing it and changed the game. I don’t know if that was a turning point or not, but I believe that I made a couple of mistakes that hurt us." -Luis Scola
Regarding the Mavs Off the Bench, which outscored the Rocket Reserves 48-17 ...
"We came out slow and started the game off not how we wanted and us bench guys came in a picked the team back up. That’s what it is about a whole team effort and we came in and picked the guys up and kept going from there." -Brandan Wright
"We got off to a tough start but everyone bounced back and the second unit did a great job to get us back into the game and then everyone got into it so it was good tonight." -Rodrigue Beaubois
"The bench was tremendous. It’s gonna be key for us down the stretch to continue to have consistent effort off the bench and offensively especially." -Jason Terry
"You know, we were down quick 12 or 14 points and the bench really came in and changed the game for us. Picked up the energy, got the crowd involved and got some stops." -Dirk Nowitzki
Brandan Wright -- we're gonna need another clever nickname ...
"He gets above the rim, but he can’t only just dunk. He’s got a nice touch around the rim and I like that little jump hook he’s got over the right shoulder. He can make some teams pay if they don’t pay attention to our fives." -Dirk Nowitzki
"He’s trying to do anything and everything to keep himself on the floor. We need that. That’s a good sign. It’s a great sign." -Shawn Marion
"He’s an energy player and he needs to continue to bring that bounce. We need it. That’s something that we miss with Tyson not being here. He’s providing some of that." -Jason Terry
"Guys are starting to have confidence in me and coaches have confidence in me so that makes it really easy to go out there and produce and they believe in me." -Brandan Wright
Lamar Odom -- we don't want to boo and be ugly, we JUST WANT MORE OF THIS!!!
"We all know what he’s capable of doing and when he plays like that it’s great for the team. He’s an incredible player so when he feels it and plays this way it’s a plus for us for sure." -Rodrigue Beaubois
"He played great. It was great to see. I don’t know about the headband, but it was definitely fun to see him in attack mode. We all want to make this work. We’re behind him. Hopefully there’s going to be more of that." -Dirk Nowitzki
"He played his game. That’s how he plays. It was big because we needed a lift and he was one of several guys that gave it to us. He was terrific all night long. I like the way he played tonight, and this is a great step in the right direction. This is how he plays. I’ve said all along we believe in the guy. Fifteen games doesn’t sound like a long time, but in this particular case, it’s almost a quarter of a season. It’s half of a college season. It’s a long time and there’s a long way to go, but it’s obvious that we need him and everybody else." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I felt comfortable. I'm finally getting to the point where I'm getting my second wind. I can finally count on my body, which in this game is what it's all about. All you can do is take it game by game and not get too excited." -
"Dunk that s---, Odom!'' - Khloe, on Twitter.
On revelations of character ...
"I was talking to one of my friends and we were just talking about tough times and he was like maybe it was meant for you to start off slow. And I was like, 'What are you talking about?' And he was like so you can really know how people feel about you. And it goes to show that we got great guys on this team that are loyal, that are pulling for me, so it’s good to know." -Lamar Odom
About getting folks back and getting healthy ...
"We want [West and Haywood] to both get back into it but we're not at that green light moment ... I am going to be optimistic and say we can and will get healthy. You can't assume anything, especially in a season like this. Each day you have to respect all of the forces you are dealing with. You have to hope you have a roster deep enough to absorb those. To this point, we have absorbed a lot. We've had our share of good moments and our share of struggles." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"We’re going to be a very dangerous team. When we get full strength the sky is the limit. We really haven’t been at full strength the whole year so when we get all the guys back and we get rolling we’re going to be real scary in the playoffs." -Brandan Wright
Oh look, it's the Heat Who Stole Christmas up next, Thursday in Miami ...
"The way they put a number on us Christmas Day, you know, we don’t forget. We’ll see what happens, but I can only imagine, it’s gonna be fierce. You know, they’re coming off of two losses and we’ve still got that taste in out mouth from opening night. The only thing I remember is Christmas Day. The feeling I felt after that game wasn't good at all." -Jason Terry
"We’ve got to great ready to lace it up and come at them. We’ve got to think back to Christmas Day, because that was a miserable experience for us. That was really tough. I was watching some of it today. They played terrific and they were great that day and we weren’t. We’re going to have to play a lot better." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Yeah, it'll be nice to go back to the scene of the crime, but we've got to move on and we've got to win a ballgame." -Dirk Nowitzki
For some of us, aught-six will never die ...
"'06 is part of who I am and part of who we are as a franchise. I think it made a better player. You can’t totally forget about your past. All of that made me stronger. It made me a better closer down the stretch." -Dirk Nowitzki
"No, because there's another finger on my hand that feels lonely. So that will never change." -Mark Cuban
Life in the West; situation normal, all futzed up ...
"Because of how close the standings are in the West we have to take every game seriously because we have to win every game that we can and we have to approach every game like it’s a playoff game. We have to be focused from the beginning to the end." -
(h/t FoxSportsSouthwest, ESPN, DMNews, DB.com 75-Member Staff)