What the Spurs and Mavs said after Thursday’s game

The Spurs media service people were ready with their tape recorders after the Spurs’ victory over Dallas Thursday night.

Here’s a collection of comments from the Mavericks and the Spurs.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich:

(Opening statement)

“They (the Mavericks) were four in five nights, we were three in four nights and neither team was very sharp.  We happened to shoot well.  We’re thrilled to have the win; we’re not going to give it away.  Our guys played hard and we ended up with a good win. But both teams have a long way to go.”

(When asked if he had a good look at some of his players tonight)

“I thought T.J. (Ford) was great.  T.J. was really good again.  He was aggressive and energetic.  He did a real fine job for us.”

(Comments on the job DeJuan Blair did on Dirk Nowitzki tonight)

“That’s a big challenge. You didn’t see the real Dirk (Nowitzki) tonight, that’s for sure.  As the season wears on, all the teams will get into better shape and get sharper and look better.  DeJuan is working hard at it and it’s an education no matter what the situation is to guard Dirk Nowitzki.”

(When asked if he liked what he got from Richard Jefferson on both ends of the court)

“I think Richard (Jefferson) was more aggressively minded tonight.  We know he can shoot the basketball.  I thought he was better at going to the board and getting down on defense all those sorts of things; that’s good to see.”

Spurs guard T.J Ford

(Was this a lockout game…)

“No, today I thought we were mentally tough coming in on a back-to-back against the defending champions. Our starters did a great job, they came out and set the tempo and carried us the whole game.”

(On winning back-to-backs…)

“We’ve got to dig deep. This season is about mental toughness. How can we prevail with mental toughness. It’s only going to get tougher. We have a lot of games this month. Tonight was a good test. We got to get ready for an up-tempo game against Denver with a lot of athletes, a lot of young kids and a lot of speed. They’re playing well. It’s going to be a tough stretch. We got one day to rest up and then prepare for them and get to playing again.”

(On playing with the second unit…)

“We know all the plays but for me, it depends the on the flow of the game. The coaches do a good job of helping me when we need to run a set. For the most part, we try to create our offense through our defense and get out and get easy buckets.  We just run the motion offense and there are so many options with our early offense, everyone has an equal opportunity and that’s a good thing about it.”

Spurs forward Matt Bonner

(On hitting 3-pointers …)

“They felt the same. Just open shots and taking them like I have been all year. Tonight they were going in, which is a good thing. Just going to stick with the process and hope I can keep shooting like I did tonight.”

(On grinding the game out…)

“We were both coming off back-to-backs, they had to travel, but we had the homecourt advantage and tried to come out with energy and use to get us going. We made a lot threes in the first half and it got contagious. We did it with defense in the second half, because we didn’t shoot to well in the third quarter.”

Spurs forward Tim Duncan

(On winning in ugly fashion..)..

“Its kind of a change, we’ve had guys like Monta and K-Love come out and really light us up in the last couple games, the ones that we’ve lost. It was great to come out tonight where somebody didn’t make every shot out there. It was great to win. We did enough early on to get a lead and kind of put the pressure on them and they weren’t able to get back in to it.”

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle:

(Was it just one of those nights where everything just went wrong for you?)

“San Antonio’s energy was better to start the game and in the first half and that was the difference in the game. We struggled, but their competitive level was higher and really the decisive part was the first half. We responded much better in the second half. We won the second half and that’s a positive, if you’re looking for positives. It’s a hit-first league, they hit us first, and we didn’t respond well enough in the second half.”

(on the Spurs 3-point shooting)

“Their shot making was there and we struggled all night with ours. You got to give them credit. They throw in sixteen threes and that’s shooting the heck out of it. Some of that is obviously we made some mistakes, but they put us in those positions so you give them credit.”

 (on the Spurs hitting three field goals in the 3rd quarter, but still up by 24.)

“I’m looking at that saying our defense is finally looking like it should. It’s a tough loss, it’s disappointing, and I don’t know if there is a lot of analysis beyond that. We got our butts kicked. That’s alright, we will take it like men and get ready for the next one.”

(on Jason Kidd’s back.)

“Lower back injury, we will evaluate it tomorrow, the next day, and see where we are.”

Mavericks guard Jason Terry:

(on tonight’s game and what happened to his team)

“They came out early and ran at us as we couldn’t recover from it. In the third quarter we did a better job but it was tough when you’re playing on the road in a tough environment. They came out and made shots early and it gives them a lot of confidence. There were guys tonight making shots that wouldn’t ordinarily make those shots.” 

(on the Mavericks poor shooting tonight)

“It was tough. When they’re making shots and we’re not, it’s going to be a long ball game for us. Again, we’re a team that prides ourselves on getting stops defensively and making them pay on the offensive end. That didn’t happen tonight.”

(on if tonight was a lack of shot or the influence of the Spurs)

“Well again, defensively we didn’t get the stops we wanted early and offensively we definitely didn’t make the shots that we wanted. Anytime you do that it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, you’re not going to win, especially when you’re playing a tough San Antonio Spurs team.”

Mavericks forward Shawn Marion:

(On his team lacking momentum tonight against the Spurs)

“They came out aggressive as they hit their first seven shots, as most of those were threes. When you play a team that hot, we were able to finally slow them down. They came out playing with some high energy and hitting some shots but for the most part I think we were trying to get some stops. Together we weren’t able to capitalize on the stops as for us it seemed like the basket got smaller tonight. It was a rough stretch for us as it’s hard for us. This is our sixth game in eight days so that was tough stretch for us. Once we get down in the hole like that it’s too hard to pick yourself back up when you’ve been playing that much. At the same time, it is what it is, they struck first and they were able to pull out a good win.”

(On the toll of playing these six games)

“My body feels O.K. besides me feeling under the weather and my broken left finger. For the most part I’m cool as I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team by being effective.”

(On if comprised NBA schedule will lead to cold and hot streaks)

“Yeah, definitely as you’ve seen some already. There are going to be some games that don’t go our fans way. There is going to be some nights where it is just not going to go in, but it is what it is. We just have to stay out there and get better.”

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