DALLAS -- Jason Terry skipped past a question asking if he felt the need to apologize to teammates and coaches for such a public display of anger during Friday night's second-quarter tirade. He also said he doesn't regret that the screaming match that also involved J.J. Barea and coach Rick Carlisle landed Terry on the bench for the better part of the final three quarters.
"I don't think it became public at all," Terry said. "Again, Coach made a decision, we all rolled with it, you seen me on the bench, I'm cheering on my guys to win the game whatever happens. I don't think it was public at all. ... Again, it happened, it's over with and we're moving forward."
Terry confronted Barea when the players reached the bench during a timeout. It appeared both were annoyed by the other after the preceding play in which Terry turned the ball over and Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Gordon scored on a driving layup. After Terry and Barea exchanged words, Carlisle became agitated and shook his finger emphatically at Terry and then booted him from the timeout huddle.
Terry didn't go quietly while being escorted by assistant coaches and teammates to the end of the bench. Owner Mark Cuban then leaned over a seated Terry and managed to calm him down. Terry said after Saturday's practice that at this time in the season, emotions run hot.
"It's playoff time. Emotions are going to be high at this time of the season," Terry said. "The last couple of years we've kind of been real lax and kind of went through the emotions. But this year is totally different. As you can see these games are intense. Positively or negatively, something's going to spark off and happen. And last night I let it become negative and so going forward it's just not going to be that. It's going to be all positive, but we're going to channel our energies in the right direction. But as you know, again, these times now are very intense and it's going to be like that for the next two or three months."
After the game, Carlisle said the team planned no further discipline for Terry, who played just shy of eight minutes and was scoreless. This is the third incident in the last 10 days in which Terry has lost his cool. He received a flagrant foul for shoving Steve Blake in the blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on March 31 and was hit with a technical foul late in Wednesday's loss to the Denver Nuggets.
After the Nuggets game, Carlisle said that Terry knows the game plan of every playoff opponent will be to try to rile him and throw him off his game. He said Terry has to play smarter and must keep his composure. On Saturday, Carlisle said he's not worried about Terry's emotions getting the best of him.
"He's fine," Carlisle said, "and he's going to be fine."
At the time of the tirade, the Mavs trailed the lottery-bound Clippers, 39-25 with 9:54 left in the first half. Dallas outscored the Clippers, 82-57, the rest of the way. Whether the incident sparked a team going through the motions to that point or it was simply coincidence is debatable. And, how it affects the team moving forward will be seen.
Jason Kidd, who did not play in the game but was on the bench, said ultimately the ugly scene was a good thing.
"Everybody's going through that, being upset, frustrated," Kidd said. "I think it was a good thing that it happened. We came with a little bit of fire in our belly in that second half. We were just walking around in that first half, and we had a great practice today. So, sometimes things like that that happen, nobody takes them personally, it's just that we want to win and we all want to pitch in and help."