New head coach Jason Kidd and Dallas Mavericks earned their first win of the season on Saturday night, defeating the Toronto Raptors 103-95.
Saturday’s win follows a disappointing opening-night loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Big-man Kristaps Porzingis, who finished with a solid stat line of 18 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks, emphasized that this is only the beginning for the team:
“We’re just getting started playing together,” said Porzingis. “Everything’s not going to be perfect now. But the more we play together, it’s only going to get better with time.”
Dallas also received major contributions from Tim Hardaway Jr. (25 points) and star Luka Doncic who almost notched a triple-double (27 points, nine assists and 12 assists).
Now, as we prep for Tuesday's home-opener, let's hear the Mavs talk:
Kidd on the Mavericks’ chemistry:
“A famous player said: 'This isn’t instant oatmeal … This is going to take some time to cook.” (We think, by the way, that Kidd is quoting LeBron James.)
Kidd on the difference between Mavs' first and second half offense:
"With [Luka] at the top and being able to read who’s open, he gives us a great quarterback. Guys were setting screens higher, trying to give him some air space, and he was aggressive."
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Doncic after the Mavs' first win:
"That first game, we didn’t make shots. Our energy wasn’t there. That shouldn’t happen, and I think today, like I said, we stick together. We push each other."
Hardaway Jr. on his performance:
“We just wanted to come out of halftime (in Toronto) and set a tone,” said Tim Hardaway Jr. “We were in this situation before, down at halftime (at Atlanta). We wanted to come out and have a really great third quarter.”
Dorian Finney-Smith on anticipating returning to the AAC:
“I expect it to be turnt up."
Raptors coach Nick Nurse on Doncic:
“I’m just saying it’s not a speed and quickness, athleticism, thing. It is in a different way. It’s tremendous strength, balance. It’s a rhythm. He gets you out of rhythm. He gets you off balance.”
The Mavericks will now return home and face the Houston Rockets in their home-opener on Tuesday night.