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May 17, 2011

Scott Brooks


Dallas Mavericks – 121
Oklahoma City Thunder - 112

SCOTT BROOKS: Well, I thought Dirk was pretty good tonight. He made some tough shots. We thought we defended them as close as we can, obviously a little too close, put them on the line 24 times. That's too many times. We've got to do a better job on him, and we definitely will come back and make some adjustments. We watched the film, but he played well. He played well. Jason Terry played extremely well, and Barea came in and impact the game, 21 points in 16 minutes.
I thought we came out good in the first quarter, and then the second quarter our offense kind of went south on us pretty quickly, but it's something that this team always had an incredible ability to bounce back, and it's what we expect in the next game. We will look at film, watch some film, practice tomorrow and come back better hopefully.

Q. Why specifically was Dirk so hard to defend in this game?
SCOTT BROOKS: He's been doing it for many years against a lot of great players. He had good rhythm. He got off to a good start. He was making shots. He was making shots, and then we were fouling his jump shots, 24 times free-throw line, and he's a terrific jump shooter, but that's too many fouls. We've got to do a better job guarding him, but we will make some adjustments. He's one of the best players I've seen at that position offensively. He scores just a variety of shots. And a lot of shots, you don't think he has a chance of making it, but he does.

Q. Could you talk about Kevin Durant's 40-point game and the struggles facing Russell Westbrook?
SCOTT BROOKS: Kevin was good offensively. He had a nice rhythm tonight. His jump shot was falling. He was attacking the basket. I don't know how many assists he had, but I thought he was passing the ball very well. Russell missed some shots. He's going to come back better. He missed some shots, but he was attacking the basket. That's what we want Russell to do.
Offensively I thought the ball got -- we were taking too many quick shots. We weren't having enough ball movement. We weren't moving that team at all in that second quarter, but the rest of the game, offensively we were fine. Defensively we just have to do a better job of stopping their players, their starters. I don't know how many points they ended up with, but one guy had 48 points, and our starters played well, but we have to figure out ways to stop those three guys. They impact the game.

Q. Can you talk about the lineup you started with in the fourth quarter putting Nate Robinson in the game and also the fact that Dallas had 53 points off the bench?
SCOTT BROOKS: Well, Nate, I felt we needed a spark. That's one of the things that he does. He brings energy, he brings some toughness. I thought we would have a spark. We had a little spark, but it wasn't enough. They came out and made some shots. Barea is a handful. He's a terrific player. He breaks the defense down with his toughness, with his play-making ability, and he was stepping back behind the pick and he made two threes tonight. He was good.
Their bench was -- Terry comes in and Barea comes in. We understand that's the strength of their team, one of the strengths. We have to do a better job of guarding those players.

Q. You had everyone but Nate on Dirk it seemed. What realistic adjustments are there out there except hoping to maybe keep him from going to the free-throw line so much?
SCOTT BROOKS: Well, just to keep it very general and to myself, we just can't foul him as many times. 24 free throws, that's a lot of free throws. But he earned them. We fouled him. We have to do a better job of guarding him. Hopefully he misses a shot every now and then, but tonight he had a rhythm. He had a rhythm that I don't know if the ball even hit the rim.

Q. Is there any consolation in the fact that even though Dirk goes off like he did, you guys in the end don't get blown out?
SCOTT BROOKS: Well, we cut the lead to 5. I thought we had a chance, and I think they missed the ball. The ball was hanging on the rim. We could have got that rebound, would have made it very interesting. They got the rebound, put it back in, put them up 7. We played well offensively.
We can't complain about 112 points on the board, but defensively we have to get better. That's what we pride ourselves on. That's what we talk about every day in practice and in our film room and before games, at halftime, during timeouts, but 120-something points is tough to overcome.

Q. Start of the third quarter, Ibaka picks up the fourth foul instantly and then Collison picks up a fourth foul. What was going through your mind there? And then talk about Serge.
SCOTT BROOKS: He made shots. When I say that I didn't think he was going to make as many shots. But Dirk, I have a lot of respect for him. The guy comes back every year and continues to improve and get better. He put our bigs in some foul trouble early, and hopefully we do a better job of guarding him, guarding him without fouling, which is tough to do. Like I said, he's one of the best players at that spot all time.

Q. Do you think you guys got tentative guarding him, the simple fact that he's seen so many free throws?
SCOTT BROOKS: No. I just think that he had a terrific game. You can't hide the fact that he was on -- had a nice rhythm going offensively. He was making his jump shots. He was making his free throws, and he played well.

Q. J.J. Barea was able to get into the lane at will against you guys. Did that have something to do with you guys focusing in on Dirk Nowitzki or how was he able to get to the rim so easily?
SCOTT BROOKS: Well, he's a very good player. He's very good. He's a talented young player that has improved every year he's been in the league, three or four years. He gets in there because he has a great handle, he has great quickness and he's crafty and they set great screens for him. He was able to collapse the defense and he made the threes. He's good. I read the paper yesterday, Jason Kidd compared him to me, but that's way off; I'm nowhere near as good as that kid. He's not going to be a good general manager. (Laughter.)

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