Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.

BRAD STEVENS

RE: On tonight’s game:

“I thought we were a step slow all night. I thought they put us on our heels. They were moving the ball, they were whipping it around. They were running their stuff with great pace, and so I thought we were just hanging on there, a little bit. Then, at the start of the fourth they had a few things go their way. They made a ton of effort plays, they got a bunch at the rim, and then we couldn’t contain the drive. On the other end, I did not think we played how we needed to have a chance to win.”

RE: On the fourth quarter:

“Obviously you saw them discouraged at the end. As far as in the huddles, being together, and talking about it, they weren’t discouraged towards each other by any means. We got a couple 50/50 balls to take the lead in the third, and then they turned it around, but then those drives really hurt us. They just turned the corner and laid it in, had a couple of lobs. Those are just killers. They played really well- credit Dallas.”

RE: On the team’s fight back:

“Almost every time, we’ve fought back with the exception of maybe the Utah game. The Knicks game, we gave ourselves a chance to win. Multiple games on the west coast trip, we gave ourselves a chance to win. I think that we’ve been able to do that and fight back. Today, I didn’t think that we played as sound as we needed to on both ends at the start of the fourth quarter and well into the fourth quarter.”

MARCUS SMART

RE: On the frustration behind the game:

“Words can’t even explain it. It feels like déjà vu all over again. We keep saying and doing the same thing after every game. It’s getting real annoying. I don’t even know what to say to you guys at this point.”

RE: On how the team moves forward from a loss:

“That is the adversity we have to deal with. Times like this, guys and teams tend to point the finger at one another and go their own way… but this is a tight knit group and we care for each and every one in that locker room. We are going to stick together. Right now, we are all trying to put our heads together and find out what we have got to do to change it around.”

RE: On what he thinks is causing the inconsistency right now:

“It’s just a lack of effort. It’s a lack of fear. We don’t impose our fear and will on teams. Last year, when they came in, when they played the Celtics, they knew they were in for a fight. This year, teams can’t wait to play us. That’s a problem. Like I said before, when guys aren’t scared of you anymore, there is nothing you can do about that. We have to change that. We have got to come out and be the first ones to hit guys in the mouth. We have to get that swagger back.”

RICK CARLISLE

RE: On J.J. Barea’s performance off the bench:

“He’s aggressive. He’s a master at the pick and roll, very experienced, and he’s a winner. He played a huge part in the last three wins and really all year he has just been terrific.”

RE: On getting back to a .500 record for the first time in a month:

“I’m really happy for the players. It was a rough start. It was a good start but then it was a very rough stretch and they have fought hard to earn their way back to even. Now we go on the road and it will get tougher there. But, they are doing a lot of good things. We just have to keep accentuating that stuff and work on the things that give us problems.”

RE: On the different starting lineup:

“I like the size. It’s certainly different. We were able to see it a little bit in practice yesterday. Dennis [Smith Jr.] was not at practice yesterday due to a personal issue back home. There are a lot of things to like about it. I like our team in general. I like our depth. I thought that tonight was great with [Jalen] Brunson being able to come in and play big minutes in the fourth, with the steal and the finish and the huge momentum play…all of those things. That is a kid that is a professional…Salah [Mejri] as well. These guys played short minutes, seven or eight minutes, but they came in and helped hold the fort against a team that is dynamic, very dangerous, and can strike quickly, as we saw last year.”

RE: On Luka Doncic’s performance:

“There were highs and lows. There were a lot of positives, and there were some situations where he is maybe a little over his head trying to do too much… but that’s how you learn. He stayed with it, like all our guys do, and in the end everybody had some kind of positive impact on this win.”

WESLEY MATTHEWS

RE: On tonight’s game:

“Obviously you know me, sitting out was terrible…but you got to see us come together and stack together some wins and play the right way. Even in this game, for the most part, for three and a half quarters we played the right way… and that’s a positive sign. To be able to come back tonight, I just didn’t want to mess it up so that is where my mentality was.”

RE: On his return from injury:

“It was just a matter of time honestly… it was just a matter of time. We had a couple of tough losses, a couple of bad losses, but the team is comprised of very young men in the back court, probably our two most important positions… they are still learning the game. When we went over to China we didn’t have two starters in that position. Harrison [Barnes] wasn’t playing, Devin [Harris] wasn’t playing, and we were never at full strength. Even now I’ve been out a couple of games, Dennis [Smith Jr.] has been out a couple games, so it was just a matter of time for us to come together and start picking back up and really focusing on the defensive end.”

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