The Dallas Mavericks refuse fall below .500 on the season. They used a 29-10 run from the 5:27 mark of the third quarter through the 9:16 mark of the fourth period to turn an eight-point deficit, 72-64, into an 11-point advantage, 93-82. That was the run that allowed the Mavericks to secure an impressive 114-111 victory over the hot Knicks squad. With the win, the Mavericks handed the Knicks just their second loss of the season (New York moved to 8-2 on the year).
O.J. Mayo led all scorers with nine points in the first quarter against the Knicks on Wednesday. Mayo finished with a game-high 27 points in 36 minutes against the Knicks. Vince Carter appeared in his 999thcareer regular-season game against New York on Wednesday and tallied a season-high 25 points in 23 minutes off the bench. His previous high scoring game this year was 19 at Charlotte (11/10). The most points Carter scored in a game in 2011-12 was 23 (vs. Houston 4/18/12). In a bounce-back performance, Darren Collison went 7-for-11 from the field and tallied 19 points and a team-high seven assists in 34 minutes against the Knicks. After recording his first DNP-CD (Did Not Play – Coach’s Decision) of the year, Jae Crowder recorded 12 points and four rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench against New York. He matched his season high for points and rebounds.
Here is the quoteboard for the win against the Knicks.
The final stretch: “They did a good job, especially on that last play. I tried to get them off Carmelo, but they played excellent defense. They really forced us into some tough shots down the stretch.”
A different look with Dallas versus the earlier game: “They got transition points in New York, but we were able to cut them off and get the win. Tonight, for whatever reason, we left our foot off the pedal. We started trading baskets and gave them momentum. You really can’t give a good team life like that.”
The game: “Dallas was a good opponent tonight and we’re coming off a back-to-back tonight. Dallas really came out with energy tonight and we fell short.”
Coming back to Dallas: “I love Dallas. What we accomplished here will always be special to me, but now I’m in New York and we’re trying to win a championship here.”
The fans of Dallas: “Dallas has the best fans and this is a great sports town. A warm welcoming is always appreciated, but I know they were cheering for us to lose. It’s always good to come back to Dallas.”
Meeting Mark Cuban: “I didn’t have a chance to talk to Cuban, but somewhere down the road we’ll hopefully talk.”
On O.J. Mayo: “He played great. We had a lot of guys play really well but right now he’s our leader, especially at the offensive end. During the course of the whole game, he was either making shots or making plays or helping other guys get shots. He is getting better and better and that’s exciting.”
On Shawn Marion’s defense on Carmelo Anthony: “I always like Shawn’s odds in those situations where he can play a guy one on one. He’s the best we have. He did a great job on that.”
On Vince Carter’s performance: “Vince was terrific with shot-making and play-making…His shot-making and play-making were timely all night.”
On Darren Collison’s performance: “He played a lot better. He was 7-for-11 and his turnovers were all in the first half. The key to the game was that we didn’t turn the ball over in the second half…New York is a very opportunistic team and one of the smartest teams you’ll find.”
The team winning against a good team: “It means we’re making some progress. I don’t get too excited about wins and I try not to get too down about loss. I try to see things for how they are and gain whatever perspective what we can. This showed toughness, grit and guts. To get where we want to get and to stem the tide until Dirk gets back, this is how we’ve got to play. There’s never going to be an exact formula for how to get that rebound or that loose ball. We’ve just got to do it. We’ve got to be tied together on that basis.”
On his game: “I felt like I came off (the bench) and gave us a spark at both ends of the court.”
Did not playing against Golden State spark his performance: “No doubt. That’s part of my motivation. That’s what drove me to come in and play hard like I always do and just try to prove myself again.”
What did his performance off a one-game absence show: “I think it showed my maturity. It sparked me…I feel like it really showed I’m a professional. I try to take my craft very serious. I hope I got the point across.”
On not being told by Carlisle what led to not playing in Golden State: “That was the toughest part…I just took it upon myself to have to do something better.”
What was working for him: “Just confidence and in my opinion, I’ve kind of been in a shooting slump. I just went back to work in the gym, get my shots up and keep believing. Tonight my shot felt good and my body felt better. I’m a little banged up, but at the same time I felt a little better and just let my shot fly.”
On if he still has some Half Man, Half Amazing left: “Sometimes. As long as they make ice tubs, I’m good.”
On Darren Collison: “He’s very hard on himself and a lot of people don’t know that and he really doesn’t show it. When he comes into the locker room, he’s very hard on himself because he wants to win and that’s what I like about him. If he stays aggressive, our team is a lot better.”
The finish: “We knew were going to come around and we did and stuck with it tonight. We kind of had a little letdown towards the end of the game, but what I’m proud of is that even though we had a letdown we still grinded it out and got the win.”
His eagerness to play versus the Knicks: “I circled this game on my calendar and I wanted to make sure that I brought it this game. I really just wanted to come out tonight and play aggressive and it worked out well.”
On knowing Anthony was going to get the last shot: “They knew, we knew and everyone in the building knew they were going to Carmelo, but Shawn Marion did a good job on him and Shawn has been one of the best defenders in this league for a long time.
On his final possession against Anthony: “I just tried to make it uncohttp://www.thetwomangame.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpmfortable for him. That’s it.”
On learning how to win the close games like tonight: “We’ve got to learn from it. We’ve got to start recognizing when coach changes a defensive strategy, we’ve got to do it. We’ve got to hear him, understand it and don’t second-guess it.”
On his knee: “It’s better…I’m okay. It’s getting to where I want it to be. I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
The win against New York: “It’s a great confidence booster. Today during walk through we really focused and understood that we were back at .500 and didn’t want to go under the water. We focused up and got the win.”
The difference: “I thought our defense really triggered our offense…When you kind of play with that kind of pace and get stops defensively, it’s going to make it a lot easier on the offensive end for us.”
On Vince Carter: “In my eyes, he’s still Half Man, Half Amazing. He still has some stuff left in the tank.”
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.