It’s time for the games to get real. Dallas survived a late push by the Charlotte Bobcats to secure a 99-82 victory in the preseason finale on Friday night. The Mavericks ended the game on a 14-0 run. Dallas never trailed against Charlotte and the game was never tied at any point other than 0-0. It was the second time in the last three games that Dallas recorded a victory without trailing at any point, never trailed vs New Orleans on 10/22 but the game was tied 2-2.
Six Mavericks scored in double figures in the win, including all five starters. Nine of the 10 players that saw the court for Dallas recorded at least six points. Shawn Marion led the way with 24 points and O.J. Mayo was one assist shy of a triple double as he finished with 13 points, a preseason-high 10 rebounds and a preseason-high nine assists.
Eddy Curry, who was waived by San Antonio on 10/23 and joined Dallas on 10/25, started at center and had 11 points to go along with seven boards and three blocks in a season-high 26 minutes of action. Bernard James finished the game with four blocks.
Here is your full quoteboard from the victory in the preseason finale.
- On Eddy Curry
“I thought he did okay. He’s a really good offensive player around the basket. Defensively, there are some things we have to work with him on. In the pick-and-roll defense he tends to stay back and zone up and our coverage is more aggressive. It’s a mindset; just something he’s got to get used to, but he did some good things.”
- On finishing the preseason on a good note with a win
“I don’t know how good it is; Crowder got hurt, pulled a hamstring. We’ll see how bad it is. There were some positives in the game. I wasn’t really worried with looking at the score – I’m just kind of looking at how we’re playing. I don’t like the way we’re not moving the ball; we should be moving it better. We did better in the second half, but we’ve got to be better for the whole 48 minutes. Again, the rebounding, 14 offensive rebounds in the first half. We cut it back in the second half again, but some of that was they weren’t missing as many shots. That’s going to be an area of continued attention and we’re a long way away from where we need to be.”
- Commenting on what he saw from the backup point guard position
“I could if there was anything. Our backup guard position struggled tonight, but we’ve just got to stay at it.”
- On Darren Collison’s play
“Collison was terrific. He’s had a tendency at times to get a little out of control. Tonight he was completely in control…I thought his handle on the game was really good.”
- On O.J. Mayo’s performance
“I thought his aggression was tremendous. Some of the decision-making he knows has got to be better. He went so hard tonight from start to finish that you can’t fault the mistakes that he made. If we all go as hard as he went tonight, we’ll be successful.”
- On the team holding team’s shooting percentages down
“We’re doing some good things and sometimes they miss, to be honest. Either way, we’ve got to go get the ball. That’s a big thing. We’re going to stay after that and keep talking about it. We’ll get better.”
- On if Curry has shown enough to stay with the team
“We’ve got a couple more days to analyze that situation. He’s an intriguing prospect…It was good to see him out. I thought he did some positive things.”
- On the possibility of Vince Carter being a huge part of the offense at the end of the games.
“He’s going to be one of the main guys…Vince, in crunch time, is going to be a focal point for us.”
Jae Crowder (he mentioned that his hamstring will be fine and that he should be fine for practice on Sunday):
- On his hamstring
“I’m fine. I’ll be ready and to practice on Sunday.”
- On where the team is at heading into the regular season
“We have a lot of upside and we have a lot to learn, but I think we can compete at the highest level. We’ll be ready come regular season time.”
- On his excitement for opening night
“I probably won’t be able to sleep the night before.”
- On what he saw out of Eddy Curry
“I saw a big who knows how to play basketball. He had one shootaround practice today and he was ready to play. That shows how good of a professional he is on his end. With time and him getting comfortable in the system, he’ll be fine.”
- On his first game
“I felt pretty good. I feel like there’s some things I can do better at there.”
- On if his performance earned him a job with the Mavericks
“I think so, but we’ll see what happens.”
- On if he can help this team
“I feel like I can help as long as I stay healthy and do my part when called upon. I feel like I can be very productive for this team…Just play basketball and just try to make the easy play. Don’t try and be a hero and just be myself. That’s all I really focused on.”
- On improving on defense
“I’ve never really been considered a great defender anyway. It’s a constant challenge for me, but it’s something I’m willing to work on. I think I’m going to pick it up.”
- On where the team is at as they move toward the regular season
“We’re getting better, more familiar. I think Eddy Curry will help us…We’re ready to ride.”
- On his performance
“I just wanted to play a solid game…It was good. I thought we were all in rhythm today. We played our hearts out.”
- On playing more point guard
“In this league, you’ve got to be a total guard. You’ve got to be able to shoot it, pass it and defend. That’s what it’s about.”
- On what the team
“We have a little fight in us. We’re a scrappy team. We’re going to need our scrappiness and our energy and our swarminess to really impose our will on teams. That’s how we are going to win.”
“It’s over now. It’s time for the real for the real season now…It’s time to buckle down now. It’s time to get serious. Real serious.”
The Mavericks will practice on Sunday and Monday before departing to Los Angeles to take on the star-studded Lakers squad on Tuesday night.
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.