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End of 2006 Links

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Tough second half of a back-to-back tonight -- At Denver and the Mavs plane probably didn't land until around 1:00 AM.

Fortunately no Mav had to play more than 33 minutes in their easy win over the Hornets last night.

Barely three minutes into the third quarter, they were up 66-43, and that was that. The lead reached 26 at its zenith and hovered in the high teens through most of the fourth quarter, although New Orleans got within 11 once, which only ignited a Mavericks surge to stash the game.

"I don't want to take anything away from any of their guys who were out there, but when you know their main guys aren't there, it's a tough thing because you don't want to play down to their level," said Josh Howard, who had 15 points and six rebounds.
It was the teams ninth straight win and 20th straight against the Hornets franchise. Avery Johnson appreciates the streaks but not that much.
"It's just knowing that you're capable of running off some games," said coach Avery Johnson, whose team enjoyed a 12-game winning streak after its 0-4 start.

"For me, more than game streaks, I look at quarter streaks. Like tonight, we had three pretty good quarters and one not-so-good quarter. If you can start playing five quarters of good basketball in a row and seven quarters in row, then I think it adds up to good games."
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LA Times article on Mark Cuban. Standard fare.

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Mark Cuban speaks for Michael Heisley. Heisley bought the Grizzlies when Cuban bought the Mavs and is now looking to sell.
"I told him it would be a sad day for the NBA if he sells, because he just doesn't take the nonsense," Cuban said. "He's as much in tune with a lot of the business practices as I am, and he doesn't agree with them.

"He's just not as vocal about them. His way of speaking out is by selling the team. I mean, I don't want to speak for him, but that's the sense I get."
Interesting if true.

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Injury Update: Jerry Stackhouse's ankle just won't heal. Originally slated to miss just one game, he is now not expected back until Thursday at the earliest.
"It's still been kind of tender, so Avery just told me to take my time and make sure it's right," Stackhouse said. "We've got some tough games coming back this week, so I want to get back in and get a few minutes before we play San Antonio [on Friday] and the Lakers [on Jan. 7]. But it's really just kind of day-to-day seeing how it goes. It's definitely better, but it's not there yet to where I can really cut off of it and move."
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Down in the D-League: Pops Mensah-Bonsu continues to play well. He led the Flyers in rebounding for the fifth straight game with 11 rebounds, five offensive. He also contributed 13 points on 6/10 shooting and blocked two shots.

Maurice Ager was scoreless off the bench in ten minutes of play. His only number in the box score was 3 and it was in the turnover column.

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Around the NBA: Miami conjured up only 68 points against Orlando without Dwyane Wade last night. The scored 10 points in the second quarter and 11 in the fourth. Jason Kapono was their leading scorer with 15.

And Memphis won a game!