Rick Carlisle got it right when he said the Mavericks’ win over Atlanta Monday night was a ‘defensive pillow fight.”

But you know what? If you want to salvage the season, you have to win those games, too. You can’t just win on the nights when you get stops and grind out points offensively.

You need to win the slugfests, too.

So the Mavericks did, 127-113, scoring a season-high for a game and for the first half, when they had 68.

It was a resounding offensive showing in the fourth game in five nights, when a team is usually dead on its feet.

“We’ve been bouncing back all year,” Carlisle said. “We got 15 left and we’re going to throw the kitchen sink at all 15.”

They will, of course, have to play better defense on the upcoming, six-game home stand. Allow Dirk Nowitzki to analyze that.

“It was a great offensive night for us,” he said. “We were shooting the ball, sharing the ball and it was fun. And we couldn’t get a stop to save our lives.

“I don’t think we’re happy with the defensive outing, but offensively, this is about as good as we’ve played all year.”

Then, thinking back to the early portion of the season, he said: “There are games even when our offense was rolling for two or three quarters, the next thing you know, we got cold or the defense slipped up and we lost those games. At least we finished this game. We got a big home stand coming up and we got to be better defensively.