On Tuesday night, the Dallas Mavericks earned their second straight win of the season and defeated the Houston Rockets 116-106.
Using a rare 15-man rotation (as urged by the team's leadership council), the Mavericks suited up every player, playing each them for at least three minutes during the home opener.
After the Rockets took a 60-57 lead into the half, new head coach Jason Kidd stressed that part of the journey remains not taking weaker teams for granted.
“It’s the journey of growth — mental growth and being able to not play down to the competition because of the record,” Kidd said. “There’s too many talented players who can beat you on any night, no matter what their record is, for a team that’s won two games or a team that’s won 50 games.”
Mavs MVP candidate Luka Doncic played his part, scoring 26 points and 14 rebounds. Newcomer Reggie Bullock also played a significant role and contributed 16 points.
Kristaps Porzingis didn't have his best showing, shooting poorly from the field before eventually exiting the game due to lower back tightness.
Now let's hear the Mavs talk:
Kidd on 15-man rotation:
“Talking to those three guys before, they wanted to do it. We always talk about 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 as part of the team and they tend not to get to play. But they come to work every day just like the starters or the rotation guys. This just shows what kind of character, what kind of guys we have in that locker room, which is really cool.”
Kidd on the exceptional defensive performance to start the third quarter:
“There was a three or four-minute stretch there to start the third and we held them scoreless. Everybody talks about offensive runs, but we’re talking about defensive runs – how many can we have in a game and how long can we maintain those. And that third quarter, I thought our defense was very good.”
Kidd on KP’s status:
“KP’s fine – back tightness. They just held him (out), so we’ll see how he feels (Wednesday). The rest of the bigs played great.”
Doncic on getting everybody playing-time:
“We all agreed. We have 15 guys that are able to play. I think it shows that we trust them. I think it was a good idea. All 15, they can play. And we got a win, so that’s what matters.”
Jalen Brunson on all 15 players playing in the home opener:
"Let's go. It got everyone fired up. I don't think it's ever happened before, something like that. ... It's something that we needed."
Boban Marjanovic on the ovation he got from the fans:
"I really get goosebumps. I really appreciate it."
Bullock on his promising performance:
"It was good, it was a great confidence builder to see some shots go in."
The Mavericks will aim to extend their win streak on Thursday night when they face the San Antonio Spurs at home.