It wasn't a special game. But it's a special Mavs Quoteboard from Phoenix 102, Dallas 91, what turns out to be the Mavs' playoff-race ouster night. We're in the locker room with Video Visits with Dirk, Carlisle, Vince Carter and Shawn Marion, who says, 'We lose as a team. We're all at fault.'
The Dallas Mavericks had another chance to reach .500 on Wednesday night, but once again they came up short.
They faced a Suns team that had lost 10 straight games and were on the second night of a back-to-back. You might be able to say it was the worst loss of the season, but then again, you would have a lot of losses to choose from.
After the game, the locker room was especially somber. There was no optimistic spin to put on the game or the season. The Mavericks didn’t sugar-coat anything. ... and later into the night, a Lakers win meant elimination. No playoffs for Dallas this year, for the first time since 2000.
Reality had set in and it was clearly a nauseating feeling.
Here are our Video Visits (with the help of DB.com staffers Jonathan Auping and Willie Martin):
Vince Carter: 'We can't quit.' ...
“This is a game we felt we should win,” Vince Carter said. “We can’t quit. I’m not going to quit if I can help it. I think more than anything we need to finish it out on a positive note.”
Dirk Nowitzki: 'We laid an egg.' ...
“We’ve had a couple chances now and every time we’ve laid an egg,'' Dirk Nowitzki said of trying to climb back to beard-shaving .500. We’re just not good enough in those games when we’re right there. We obviously wanted to finish the season on a positive record, I think we owe that to the organization and the fans.”
“It was just a terrible, terrible, disappointing loss. ... Every loss has been a microcosm of our season.”
Dirk said that this loss wasn't singularly "hope-crushing'' because there have been a culmination of crushes leading up to this. But during his walk-back to the locker room he looks pretty dipleased to us:
Rick Carlisle: 'An opportunity lost' ...
“It was just another opportunity lost,'' Carlisle said. "We just weren’t good enough from start to finish. We didn’t win a single quarter. It was a decisive win for them and we played poorly. ... It was a disappointing night. ... We all came up short tonight. I’m at the top of the list.”
Shawn Marion: 'We are all at fault there.”...
“When you become a professional athlete you set standards for yourself and your team,'' Shawn Marion said. "You try to leave it all on the floor. I don’t know any other way to play. You can’t control the ball going in the hoop, but you can control your effort. If you’re not able to go out there and give it your all and give it 110 percent then something’s wrong. Maybe you need to go sit down. There’s no reason we should have lost this game tonight.”
“We lose as a team,'' Trix also noted. "We are all at fault there.”