DALLAS -- If Vince Carter had a $100 bill for every congratulatory text message and phone call he received after his Game 3 winning shot, it might match his $3.2 million salary this season.
The buzz about the buzzer-beating, tippy-toeing, deep-in-the-corner 3 continues, but Carter and the Mavs have moved on.
If Carter and the Mavs were still floating in the air, they’d be setting themselves up for a crash landing. Their focus is firmly on trying to maintain home-court advantage in this series against the top-seeded Spurs, not celebrating Saturday’s miraculous win.
“It’s over with,” Carter said of Game 3. “We’ve gotten over it because it’s still a playoff game. It’s an important playoff game. We’re playing the best team in the league, in my opinion. We have no choice but to come ready or else we’re going to get our doors blown off tonight.”
Carter saw his shot several times while watching SportsCenter. Dozens of friends sent him links to the video, too.
However, Carter did not see the game-winner during the Mavs’ Sunday film session run by coach Rick Carlisle.
“He got to everything but that,” Carter said, smiling. “That’s cool.”
By the time the Mavs returned to the American Airlines Center on Sunday morning, the focus was on cleaning up the mistakes, especially on the defensive end, they made to put them in position to need a spectacular shot in the final second.
The Mavs have immense respect for the Spurs, a franchise that has battled through plenty of playoff adversity during the Gregg Popovich/Tim Duncan era. The Mavs are also well aware of what happens when they relax, regardless of the quality of competition.
“We’ve always got to play like we’re down,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “It seemed like all season long, we never played well with leads, we never played well coming off an emotional win. We almost always played better coming from behind. When we lost a tough game, we come back. It kind of humbles us.
“We had an emotional win and we’ve got to come back and have defensive intensity and focus and be better again.”