Here's what Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle had to say after the loss to the Lakers on Tuesday night.
How devastating is this loss? I'm not going to say it's devastating. It's a disappointing loss. But it's by far the hardest game we've played. Everybody did what they could do physically. We made some mistakes and so forth. But from that standpoint, there was something that came out of it that was positive. We ran great in the first half. In the second half, they played better. We just didn't get the same kind of opportunities. That played a part.
On the Lakers bench: Their bench played a pivotal role in the game. They were able to cut the lead in the end of the third, which I thought was critical for them. And it allowed Kobe Bryant to only play for 35 minutes. He was really fresh at the end of the game.
On what's stopping this team from finishing: It's execution. I thought that tonight was a case that we exerted so much energy that we a little bit ran out of gas. But there are no excuses. This is a veteran team that's been there. That's won tons of games. And you've got to be able to close against no matter who you're playing.
On Nowitzki tonight: I thought he got tired early in the game and that he had one foul when we originally got him out. Then I was going to put him back in in a couple of minutes. He ended up sitting at the scorer's table for three or four minutes straight because the whistle didn't blow. And at that time, it was a blessing for us. We were able to get him back in. We still were in good position and he was fresh. But again, the guys put a lot of emotional energy into this game that probably sapped us a little bit. This is the kind of situation where we've got to bring this kind of performance every night in terms of the physical disposition, aggressive at both ends, just laying it out there. That's the one thing we can build on from this. This group's not into moral victories and neither am I.
On the play of the centers tonight: Our center position tonight gave us a real presence on the inside. We didn't make every play. But Ghana was much more active and reacted to everything much better than he has been. Damp's very capable of having these games. He's ha dmore than a few. He's played well. But I guess if your question is 'is it disappointing to waste this effort?' The answer is yes.
On 22 turnovers: You get into a higher possession game, you're running up and down, you're playing against a better defensive team, more turnovers become a possibility. But the 22-for-26 points is where, if you look, that's probably where the game is lost. A lot of those are uncontested. It's a turnover and then it's a layup. And in some cases, we gave them a couple of 'and 1s' and those were momentum plays. You play an opponent like this, the margin of errors is not going to be great to begin with. But 22's a lot.