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Just a quick post today...

Mavs try to tie a franchise record with a 14th straight win tonight. They're in LA to play the 22-11 Lakers (15-4 at home), winners of three in a row.

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Art Garcia has some quotes from Devean George as a newcomer to the Dallas/San Antonio rivalry.

Garcia's also got another article about the Mavs being good.

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Gil LeBreton has a confusing article in which he seems to think it would have been better for the Mavs to lose on Friday.

The Mavericks are wasting their A-material on these early January games. Dirk Nowitzki scored 36 against the Spurs on Friday night. The Mavs' defense held San Antonio to 34 second-half points.

After the game, Spurs star Tim Duncan complained that Johnson tried to trick him during the second half by yelling "Double! Double!" Duncan expected a double-team but, he claimed, Avery had told the Mavericks to ignore his shouted instructions.

Ah, the old hidden defender trick... in January.
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Sefko writes about Harris improving with his left hand.
"You want to keep teams honest, and you always want to be a threat," Harris said. "Guys said I couldn't go left. In the playoffs last year, that's all they did - take away the right and try to force me left. It's been that way for two years now.

"Now, I think I go left more than I go right."
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Sefko also writes about Dirk's clutchness.

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And Marcus Thompson from the Contra Cost Times has a good article about why Dirk is so good.
This is why Nowitzki is special. Instead of coming out with a point to prove after being relatively overlooked for MVP consideration last season, Nowitzki is voluntarily decreasing. Many stars complain about their lack of help, but don't accommodate the help when it arrives. But Nowitzki is hungry enough for a title to sacrifice his desire for dominance, because he knows he can't bring Dallas a title by himself. He's savvy enough to know he needs to preserve himself for the playoffs, especially coming off the World Championships this offseason.

But don't get it twisted. Nowitzki's willingness to defer is not passivity. Take Friday night for example. He lit up the Spurs for 36 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks won in San Antonio for the second time this season.

He still can take over a game when needed. He just realizes he doesn't always have to.
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Down in the D-League: Mensah-Bonsu had some foul trouble last night and played just 21 minutes. He had seven points and seven rebounds in that time.

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Around the NBA: Kobe Bryant doesn't care if he makes kids cry.
Bryant signed a deal with Upper Deck Authenticated in which he would no longer sign No. 8 jerseys, only those with No. 24. The last No. 8 Bryant officially signed was recently auctioned off for an undisclosed sum, with part of the proceeds going toward Bryant's Vivo Foundation.

Bryant is serious about sticking to the terms of the deal.

"They understand," Bryant said of his fans. Then he added, jokingly, "They should have got a 24 jersey."