RAPTORS 110, MAVERICKS 107 QUOTES: RICK CARLISLE: “It’s pretty clear what happened and it’s an aggression thing. Give them credit, give their fans credit, they kept a lot of energy going. But when you get hit with that kind of force you’ve got to respond with equal or greater force, and we just didn’t do it soon enough.” TIM HARDAWAY JR.: “They played hard and their bench guys, (Rondae) Hollis-Jefferson and (Chris) Boucher, and all those guys did a phenomenal job of coming in and giving them that spark. Hats off to them.”

(19-10) DALLAS MAVERICKS, 107 VS. (21-8) TORONTO RAPTORS, 110 SCOTIABANK ARENA SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2019

TORONTO RAPTORS QUOTES

NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH)

On Kyle Lowry in the fourth quarter … He was unbelievable and he really didn’t have a good game going until that point. He started firing, making and driving and and-oneing, he was doing it all. I am not sure I have seen anything like it.

On the swarming, trapping defence in the fourth quarter… We stayed with it a long time, we probably called it off a little bit early, to honest with you. There wasn’t really any reason, I think they had one quick dunk out of it, early on it, right when we got in it. They were pulling back so we really were at no risk to try and steal in the backcourt, because when they crossed they were waiting for us to get re-matched up anyway. It is usually a (more) little short-lived than that though, normally.

On the length of Chris Boucher and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to run the press … They played with tremendous energy, I think, more than anything and when you are doing that, we just said anything but the rim. If the ball started heading to the rim, we wanted to swarm it and make them kick out and then try to do our best to get back out there. Other than I think it was the second possession, where they came down and dunked it, I think we did a good job. All the other ones were fouls that were almost good defensive plays at the rim anyway. Rondae and Chris, Rondae at the front and Chris at the back was a good combination there.

On why Kyle Lowry and the bench work so well … I think in that scenario, you know I am always talking about going through your primary guys first, and then those guys have to be opportunity scorers and I think that’s really what it turned into. Kyle makes the play, take the shot or find the cutter, or find the kick out or whatever. I think that just organizes you, they were all like, do your thing and we will chip in where we can and we had just enough cuts and Terence (Davis) makes a three, Rondae here, Chris on a tip in, just enough plays off of Kyle’s initial actions I think would be my answer to that.

On most teams shutting it down, being down 30 with a game tomorrow … I think I would say historically we have always been a team that fights. In my time here, we hardly ever mail it in and it is a good characteristic to have. That thought barely came into my head there, and I said ‘we are going to give it a go to start the fourth’. The game is too long and there have been a lot of leads this year that have disappeared on people. We do it sometimes ourselves, it happens so you might as well take a shot at it sometimes.

CHRIS BOUCHER (21 points, seven rebounds, four blocks)

What’s it like to be part of a game like that? It’s one of the craziest games I’ve ever been in. I’m still realizing we were down 30 and what we had to do to come back. I’m definitely going to go watch the game again, just to see how exciting this game was and how the fans helped us so much just cheering with us. We feel it down to the court.

At what point did you think the comeback was possible? I don’t know. Me and Rondae, we’re talking on the bench and he was saying how he just wants us to be a plus because we were at minus something. At this point all we could do was bring energy and try to get back to this game. Every time we kept chipping in, we were like let’s make another push and Nick Nurse did a good job of keeping us doing different defensive drills. The schemes were pretty good for us, especially me and Rondae. The way that we play, he really helped us out with that.

On the trust from Kyle Lowry… When somebody gets hurt, we all know that we have to step up and it’s easier when you have somebody like Kyle, that’s been there for years and always has a way to tell us what to do or what he needs from us and he was exceptional today, with all the plays he did and all the shots that he hit. A lot of people have been hard on him this year. We always had confidence in him and always knew he would lead us some way, somehow and today he just showed to everybody how he does it. For us it was a way to follow the leader and do what we are capable of doing to help the team.

TERENCE DAVIS II (nine points, five rebounds)

What was it like watching Kyle in the fourth quarter? It’s amazing. I kept telling him that he hit some big shots. Just staying in his ear and I mean he’s a vet, he’s a 14-year pro. That’s what he does.

KYLE LOWRY (32 points, eight rebounds, 10 assists)

Did you feel like you had to take control in the fourth? No, because I didn’t do it. We had a great team effort and Malcolm (Miller), Terence, Rondae, and Chris Boucher, I give them all the credit, they won that game for us. Malcolm got a few steals, TD hit some big threes, Chris with his deflections and shot blocks, Rondae with his putbacks and hustle effort. Give those guys the credit, seriously.

At what point did you think the comeback was possible? When he (Kristaps Porzingis) threw that last shot and he missed it. Honestly, that’s one of those games where you just can’t take anything for granted, because we used so much energy to get there. You just have to hold on until that last buzzer goes off and once that ball went sailing right, I was like wow, that was a fun game.

(19-10) DALLAS MAVERICKS, 107 VS. (21-8) TORONTO RAPTORS, 110 SCOTIABANK ARENA SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2019

DALLAS MAVERICKS QUOTES

RICK CARLISLE (HEAD COACH)

On tonight’s game… Very disappointing loss. I take full responsibility for it. We got to a point where we lost our aggression. Give them credit, they did a great job with the trap but we didn’t respond well enough to it, and that’s on me.

Was there a point in the comeback where you started to feel uncomfortable? I’ve told you what I’m going to tell you about it. It’s pretty clear what happened and it’s an aggression thing. Give them credit, give their fans credit, they kept a lot of energy going. But when you get hit with that kind of force you’ve got to respond with equal or greater force, and we just didn’t do it soon enough. I liked the way we got it back together at the end, gave ourselves a chance, had a shot to probably win the game. It’s a disappointing loss and we got to learn from it.

On the recent rough schedule and coming out of it in pretty good shape… We’re not looking to be a little better than expected; we’re looking to do exceptional things. So that’s why this is really disappointing. We’ll learn from it. I don’t know that we’ll see a situation quite like this – Toronto’s unique with the guys they can put out there, the speed and this part of what they do. There’s always things to learn from difficult situations and that’s what we’ll do.

DWIGHT POWELL (17 points, nine rebounds)

How tough is a loss like this after so much momentum coming into tonight’s game? It’s really tough. Hopefully we can learn something from it and not let it be for nothing.

What did you see defensively from Toronto in the fourth quarter? They picked up the intensity, they pressed full court. They did a good job of getting us to throw ill-timed passes and getting in the lanes. They turned us over a little bit. They also executed well on offense. They got to the free throw line and knocked down a lot of their shots.

What went wrong for the Mavericks? We didn’t defend to the level that we needed to in that period of time. They made some tough plays, but we obviously needed to make some more stops during that stretch while they were making their run because we weren’t able to execute as well as we wanted to offensively.

On the Toronto press… We work on it. It’s part of the game. Whether it’s done in long stretches or not, I think every team has a press. Every team has the ability to put players out there who can get in the passing lanes, so that’s something we prepare for. We just didn’t execute well in that situation tonight.

How do you feel overall about how the team played tonight? I think we have look at the film and learn from this game. This is a great team and they have some great players and they definitely proved that tonight. We need to figure out a way to maintain the good things that we have been doing through 48 minutes.

TIM HARDAWAY JR. (16 points, eight rebounds, five assists)

Does today take away at all from what the team has accomplished recently? I think today was actually the best thing that could’ve happened to us. It’s a tough loss, being up as much as 28 or 30, but it shows that whenever you’re up that much you can’t let up. You can’t back down from the competition. You can’t ease yourself into the win because the game isn’t even over yet. I think that moving forward this will put an anger and a killer instinct mentality even more into our guys. We’re going to move on from this, learn from this. I think this is the best thing that could happen to us, especially earlier on in the season.

What was it about their press that bothered the team so much? Just like when we go into the zone and the other teams get tentative, I think that’s what happened to us. We didn’t attack it like we should have. It helps when they’re making baskets and the crowd is getting into it, the court starts to shake a little bit, so it gets pretty intense. Most importantly, we have to learn from this. We have a young group of guys. Like I said, I’m happy it happened early on in the season more so than later on in the season when we will be fighting for our lives. I’m happy if we learn from it and move on.

Rick Carlisle said, “it’s on me” and he said he told you guys that. Do you buy into that? No, no. BS. BS, man. It’s not on him at all. It’s all on us. We’re going to take it on the chin, move on from it. It should leave a sour taste in our mouth moving forward cause we know we should’ve had the win, but we have to credit them. They never stopped playing. They played hard and their bench guys, (Rondae) Hollis-Jefferson and (Chris) Boucher, and all those guys did a phenomenal job of coming in and giving them that spark. Hats off to them.

KRISTAPS PORZINGIS (19 points, 12 rebounds)

What can you learn from that fourth quarter and improve? Maybe that we folded a little bit under pressure. That zone defence that they did maybe caught us off guard a little bit, but it was really good. They have long guys. They got the crowd into it, high energy, got a few steals, got a few buckets and I don’t know what happened. It’s kind of weird. It is what it is.

What got you the lead after a slow start? Just playing our game. We didn’t really do anything special, just played our game. We played good defence, got out, got some shots. We got ourselves into the game. We did what we do. Then we didn’t react the right way to their pressure and their energy. That was it. They made their huge run and we didn’t respond.

Are you surprised that you didn’t respond? Every game is different. Tonight was a weird, weird game, honestly. I still can’t process what happened.

What was so weird about their zone? It was good. Honestly, it was good. We were on our heels a little bit. Against an aggressive zone like that your mindset has to be attack first, don’t take your time. You also have to stay aggressive. We got a hit a little bit and then were like, “I don’t want to make a mistake. I don’t want to rush it or turn the ball over.” That got us out of our rhythm a little bit and it took too long for us to start playing better against it. With five minutes left they’re already back in the game. At the end of the game it could’ve gone either way. It’s a championship-level team. They know how to play. They have experience and they were able to close the game.

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