Escaping a three-game losing streak, the Dallas Mavericks bounced back on Wednesday night, defeating the Indiana Pacers 124-112.
“After three straight losses, this was a game we had to have,'' coach Rick Carlisle said.
Kristaps Porzingis shined, putting up season-high numbers (27 points and 13 rebounds) in his fifth game since his post-injury return. Luka Doncic also contributed to Dallas’s win, "quietly'' posting yet another triple-double (13/12/12).
And finally, Willie Cauley-Stein was awarded the Defensive Player of the Game Heavyweight Champion of the World Belt by coach Rick Carlisle.
Now let's hear Mavs talk:
Carlisle on the bounce-back win:
“After three straight losses, this was a game we had to have … We went from fifth place in the West to 10th place. We needed to get back on track.”
Carlisle on WCS receiving the ‘Heavyweight Champ Belt’:
"We have a new award, only in wins - the Defensive Player of the Game Heavyweight Champion of the World Belt … He was spectacular.''
Doncic on the Mavs success in the paint:
“Obviously I couldn’t do much because every time I [had the ball] they were box-and-one and they were double-teaming, so I had two or three players on me every time,” Doncic said. “But that’s why the paint was so open.
"I think they forgot we had five players on the court.”
Porzingis on the Mavericks’ potential:
“I feel like tonight we showed that we have to be a mentally strong team to bounce back from losses and [bad] moments. We’re missing a lot of guys. We know that. But that’s something we cannot be thinking about. ... And we have enough. We know that.''
Tim Hardaway Jr. on his shooting confidence (19 points):
"It starts with your teammates, them encouraging you to keep on shooting."
The Mavericks (7-7) will travel to San Antonio to face the Spurs on Friday night with the hopes of awarding yet another (in-wins-only) defensive belt.
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