Postgame quotes and notes: Blazers 114, Mavericks 112 OT

Official postgame quotes and notes following the Portland Trail Blazers’ 114-112 road victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday evening.

Mavericks vs. Trail Blazers
Trail Blazers Point Guard Andre Miller

“I’ve had a few heated nights in my career, but I think this was one of those nights where I just didn’t stop shooting. The other nights when I was hot I stopped myself from shooting the ball.”

(How important was it to establish that from the start?) – “Well, the shots were there early. My first shot went o
off the other side of the backboard. The shots I’ve been taking have been ‘gimme’ shots but they haven’t been going in so I just buckled down and just stayed aggressive and just stuck with the shot.”

(Did you feel like you had to pick up some of the scoring burden with Roy out tonight?) – “I didn’t look at it as that. I just wanted to stay aggressive. I didn’t look at it as scoring the ball, but just going out and making plays and being the point guard. The shots game and I since they were going in I was just going to keep shooting.”

(Were you surprised you could continue to get to the basket like that tonight?) – “Well, that’s what I’ve been doing my career – just out there taking my mid-range shots. Being aggressive, getting to the free throw line, making plays, and tonight was the night where I just kept doing it, I just didn’t settle.”
Portland Head Coach Nate McMillan
“We talked about the little things, we’ve been talking about making plays to win the game making your breaks, and tonight we did that. We made the shots when we had them. We got the stops when we needed them, and we won the toughest game out of the last five games. Back-to-back game in Dallas, tough team, we’re struggling to go into overtime. It’s just a credit to these guys for continuing to believe. We were close in a lot of these games, but we needed to make it happen, make the plays and we did tonight.”
(On Andre Miller’s performance) “Andre was great. He looked like he had his legs. I felt like in the last couple of games he looked a little fatigued and tired, and we had to go other places. Tonight we put him down in the post. We felt like we could get that matchup. Right off the bat, right from the start, he established a score for us a go-to guy. I thought he and LaMarcus, and the whole team – it wasn’t just one or two guys – stepped up tonight. But he and LaMarcus established that we had some guys we could go to tonight.”
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle
(on Andre Miller) “He got going early. We had some blown coverages that enabled him to get open. Guys in this league, when the get in a groove, can have special nights like that. We tried a lot of different guys on him. We had Shawn Marion guard him for a lot of the fourth and overtime, he backed up and hit a 3 on him. He played a phenomenal game. On nights like tonight, guys like him get the rolls. A lot of those hung on the rim and went in so, you have to give him his due. It was a phenomenal effort. We obviously didn’t do a good job on him.”
(on game coming down to last shot by Nowitzki) “You’re going to have nights when it comes down to the last shot and you don’t make it. But the question you’ve got to ask is, ‘Is that the play to reflect on or is it a total of a lot of other things going on that put you in that position?’. In my view, it’s a lot of other things going on. A poor start to the game defensively, really only one good defensive quarter. Fifty-nine points given up in the second half before overtime. We got very soft defensively as a team. We were a tough-minded team the first quarter of the year and it’s gone by the wayside. It’s an attitude adjustment we’re going to have to make to get it back and right now we aren’t there.”
(on defense) “I think as coaches, we have to facilitate it through film sessions, practices where we can have quality practices, tomorrow is not one of those days. If our team is able to go it for a 25 to 30 game period to start the season, there’s no reason it can’t become a priority again. They have to make it a priority. I can talk about it being a priority all I want, but it’s a two-way street. We’ve got to have the effort and the commitment. You can’t let teams hang around at home, you can’t turn it into a shot-making contest. We can’t be adrenaline junkies and take it down to the last possession every night. We should be a better basketball team than that. If this is continuing to happen, maybe we aren’t. The tough-mindedness we exhibited the first portion of the season, I happen to believe is still there. I don’t believe it was Fool’s Gold. We put the work in training camp. The team was energized by defense. Repeatedly, on night’s we weren’t shooting it well, we were hanging around and finding ways to win.”
• TONIGHT’S KEY RUN: Dallas led 112-108 with 2:23 to go in overtime. Portland then went on a 6-0 run through the 44.9 second mark to take a 114-112 lead.
• Josh Howard scored 14 2nd quarter points – the most he’s had in a quarter since scoring 13 in the 3rd period of the season finale vs. HOU last year (4/15/08). He finished the game with 17 points and 5 rebounds in 26 minutes.
• JJ Barea came down with a season-high 7 rebounds to go with 13 points and 3 assists in 26 minutes. His previous high was 6 rebounds (2 times)
• Dallas’ bench, led by Howard and Barea, outscored POR’s bench 44-18.
• Dirk Nowitzki, who averages 6.7 4th quarter points (4th among all NBA players), scored 14 points (5-8 FGs, 4-4 FTs) in the 4th period tonight. He finished the game with team-bests of 28 points (9-19 FGs, 10-10 FTs) and 9 rebounds in 45 minutes.
• Jason Kidd recorded his 14th double-double (team-high) of the season with 10 points (4-8 FGs, 2-5 3FGs), 4 rebounds, 10 assists and 1 steal in 40 minutes. It is his 11th game with a points-assists double-double.
• Eduardo Najera saw his first action since the Jan. 11 trade that brought him back to Dallas. He had not played in 9 games since the transaction. Najera played 2 minutes and scored 3 points in his debut.
• Andre Miller scored a career-high 52 points (22-31 FGs, 1-1 3FGs, 7-8 FTs) with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 42 minutes. His previous season-high was 28 at BOS (1/22). His previous career-high was 37 (2 times). Miller is the 6th player in Dallas history to score 50+ points on the Mavericks. It marks the 3rd-best individual effort against the franchise. His 22 FGMs mark an American Airlines Center record (previous was 20 by PHO’s Steve Nash (20-28) on in a playoff game 5/15/05).
• The Mavericks played overtime for the 6th time this season (3-3) while the Blazers went into OT for the 4th time this year (1-3).
• Tonight’s attendance was 20,078 fans (19,200 capacity). The Mavs have sold out 339 consecutive regular season games at AAC. Dallas currently owns the longest running sellout streak in the NBA. Dallas has sold out all 41 games in each of the past seven seasons.

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