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"This was a very tough game in a very hostile environment. Tonight we had two warriors refusing to lose or allow the other to walk away with an easy victory. The Spurs played great tonight but our team played better and maintained great basketball for four quarters, digging especially deep in the fourth. This is defiantly a great win but there is still plenty of work left to do."
- Avery Johnson
You know what the final play of that game reminded me of? The way Bruce Bowen defends Dirk on every possession. Stand so close to the man that he can't even lift his arms or jump. I find the fact that it worked against the Spurs and they are now calling foul hilarious.

Credit to Gregg Popovich though, he's not blaming the officials.
Although Duncan and Finley both felt the officials missed the call, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich refused to pin the loss on the final sequence. Instead, he focused on what happened before halftime.

"We gave up a lot of points," he said. "That's what happens when you don't take care of business yourself."
Popovich and Michael Finley both think the Mavs were helped by their cold start.
Popovich wasn't the only one in silver and black with an opinion on the Mavs' early-season skid. Guard Michael Finley understands the rivalry from both ends.

"It made them more focused, knowing that they are the team to beat," he said. "They probably didn't believe that going into the season, but once the season started and it started like that, it opened their eyes. The guys woke up, Dirk [Nowitzki] in particular, and they've been on a roll."
David Moore thinks last night was a glimpse into the postseason.
But anyone who watched Friday's game between the Mavericks and Spurs knows these teams are destined to stage another classic playoff series. One of them will represent the Western Conference and be favored to win it all.
He also thinks it's a shame the Mavs and Spurs only meet 4 times during the regular season.
Now, tell me again why these teams meet only twice more?

The league needs more of these games to give fans an escape from the regular season grind and tease them with what's to come in April and May. Instead, the Mavericks play Seattle and Minnesota as many times as they play the Spurs.

I don't know about you, but Nowitzki vs. Chris Wilcox doesn't do it for me.

The NBA is the only professional league where there's little, or no, distinction between division and conference. The Mavericks and Spurs face each other four times. Why not six times to give a division title the weight it deserves?
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But enough on the Spurs, the Mavs take on the Hornets tonight and you can't sleep on them even though they are currently on a 17 game losing streak to Dallas. They didn't have Paul, Stojakovic, and Chandler in those previous 17 games.

The Mavs can't afford to come out tired tonight after last nights fight. The Hornets are one of the best first quarter teams in the league.

Devean George will miss his fourth game in a row tonight, but fortunately for the Mavs, NOK won't have their second best player, David West, available.

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Josh Howard on his return:
"I couldn't really cut going left to right, but other than that it felt OK. I just take it and roll with it. I've played on a bad ankle before."
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And from the offices of David Stern. The Mavs bench needs to stop getting excited.
It was to inform the Mavs that they needed to limit their players from showing so much exuberance on the sidelines during the game. The league is cracking down on players standing in front of the bench, which of course blocks the views of customers in the not-inexpensive seats near the bench.