Vince Carter: Game 4 would’ve been different had Mavs played harder

San Antonio Spurs' Patty Mills (8) is fouled on a break-away play by Dallas Mavericks' Vince Carter (25) in the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Monday, April 28, 2014, in Dallas. The Spurs won 93-89.  

Tony Gutierrez/AP

The Dallas Mavericks were outscored 32-13 in the second quarter Monday night. They didn’t match San Antonio’s intensity during that stretch and that might have been the difference in the 93-89 Game 4 loss.

Dallas erased a 20-point third-quarter deficit and were in great position to take a 3-2 series lead, however, the Spurs did just a little more in the final minute.

"To tell you the truth, I think we know what we need to do," Mavericks guard Vince Carter said. "We need to play better. That stretch where they just outplayed us and built a 20-point lead, we can’t be in that hole against them.

"We fought like heck to get back, but if we were down 10 instead of 20, it’s a different outcome, in my opinion, because we played harder in the second half, which gave us a chance and we got back in the game. Those are the things we can’t allow."

Carter explained how a skilled veteran team like San Antonio is going to make things tougher the longer this best-of-seven first round series lasts.

On multiple occasions, Carter pointed out how the Mavs focus, intensity and level of execution has to continue to get better to match their rivals.

"We realize we have to play as hard as them," Carter said, "if not harder, to win."

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