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NBA Finals, Mavs Vs. Heat: Rick Carlisle Talks About Dallas' Game 5 Win

On what the Mavericks did offensively in Game 5:

We made more shots. We did a lot of good things defensively, which led to offense. Did Chicago score over 100 in Game 1, and that was the only time in that series? You never know when games are going to go that way. The thing we have to do is make sure that our defense is consistent.

On Jason Terry’s game:

He played great. During periods where Dirk was out of the game, we were going to him and he was delivering. Those are tough stretches of minutes for us, because it’s just tough when Dirk’s out of the game. But it’s the total game that we’ve all been preaching to JET since the playoffs began, and tonight he did a terrific job.

On being just one win away from an NBA Championship:

Well, we have to just continue to work the process. For us the process is just being in a stance, being tied together, being really tight defensively, because their great players put unbelievable pressure on you. So we understand where we’re at, but we also understand what got us here, and that is making sure we stay in the moment.

On what he said that propelled his team to finish strong:

We have to get penetration and get the ball in the basket, and then we have to get some stops. And they were able to do that. Miami keeps coming at you. They have guys who really attack, and their bigs are very versatile, so they’re very tough to guard.

On J.J. Barea’s performance:

Barea’s penetration was terrific. He got going with his outside game and his inside game, which really helped us. We threw in some difficult shots, but when you play as hard as we’ve been playing, the basketball gods tend to be kinder to you. We’ve had some tough luck shooting the ball, and tonight, the way we hung in and the wherewithal we played with helped us get over the hump.

On 13-19 from three-point range:

Both teams are shooting the three well. Thirteen is a big number. You get hot, you get on a roll. They don’t happen very often. Last time we had a shooting night like this was Game 4 against the Lakers. But that’s why you just keep working your game. That’s why you stay persistent. You keep defending, you keep systematically stepping into the shots that are there, and you’re going to have some breakthrough games. Persistence is our game. We’re an old school team. We’re not high flyers. Our game is near the ground, and we have to play with brains and guts.

On why Dallas’ halfcourt was so effective:

I think that a lot of times we got stops that led to those situations. But, look, we made some tough shots, and we had some good momentum in our offense, and that helps.

On whether Dirk was fully healthy for Game 5:

He may not be 100%, but he seemed to be ok.

On Brian Cardinal’s performance:

Terrific. He’s really a unique player, so resourceful defensively, always around the ball. He’s always going to be there taking charges, and he’s going to be making contact with people. I thought the block that was called on him may have been the wrong call. I thought he was in position and that Wade came right through his chest. But he’s going to be there. And when he’s on the floor we become a more active defensive team for sure.

On Ian Mahinmi’s performance:

He did a terrific job for us. With Haywood out, I wasn’t sure where those backup center minutes would come, whether it would be Marion with some hybrid lineups or whether I could get Ian out there. I really believe that he can help us because he’s very active and he played a lot of good minutes for us during the regular season. He helped us tonight.

On whether Dwyane Wade seemed slowed by injury:

Not to me, he was still driving well and got to the free throw line. I’m not sure what happened to him, but the guy who started for him hit two threes to start the half, so it wasn’t like they lost a whole lot.

Elaborating on Jason Terry’s ‘complete game:’

He’s been playing well really the whole playoffs. With a great player like Dirk, everyone wants to find who the number two scorer is, which guy is going to score the second most points. Look, JET’s a great scorer and a great shooter, but he’s a terrific all-around player. He used to play point guard exclusively, so he has a lot of experience as a playmaker. In situations where a guy like him draws attention, he’ll have to facilitate and create openings for other guys. The play where he got Kidd the open three up top, that’s a monster play. That happens because he draws attention and he sees the floor. It’s that and it’s the defensive end. Look, he was sensational tonight, especially in the fourth.

On how important it is to avoid a Game 7 in Miami:

Again, I would just say to you that we’re going to stay in the moment and we’re going to keep studying how we play our best. We’re going to play whistle to whistle. I heard that term watching the hockey series. A lot of people in the hockey world use that term, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to try to win each possession and take it one at a time. An NBA Finals is a 16-day deal. It’s very long, but somehow it goes by fast. By staying in the moment and focusing on what works for us, that helps us.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.