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St. Patricks Day Links

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Just throwing some links up real quick before I head off to the parade...

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Love this quote from Dirk after the game.

Thanks to Dirk Nowitzki, who brushed off an un-MVP-like first three quarters and rescued the Mavericks when they were hanging by their fingernails. He either scored or assisted on 14 of the Mavericks' final 16 points as they eked out a 106-101 victory at American Airlines Center to stop their two-game skid and calm any serious fears that they had lost some mojo.

"It was a weird game for me," he said. "I couldn't really get going. I had a tough time getting over the Phoenix game. I didn't sleep well the last couple nights and was sleepwalking out there for a while.

"We know we're not playing our best right now. But we don't want to be at our best right now. Hopefully we're building toward the playoffs."
Avery hasn't been pleased with the defense lately, but seems to think everything will be fine.
"In a funk?" Mavs coach Avery Johnson was asked.

"Funk ... rut?" Johnson replied. "We're just not getting after it, defensively."

In the first half, the Celtics shot 58 percent, including 62.5 percent in the first quarter. Paul Pierce had 17 of Boston's first 21 points.

"We're just a step slow, defensively," Avery said. "A lot of the things that we didn't tolerate [earlier this season] we're tolerating now. That's easy looks for certain shooters."

Exhibits A and B: Pierce and reserve Gerald Green, who led the Celtics with a combined 54 points on 20-of-40 shooting.

"But our guys are competitors," Johnson continued. "This might just be a little cycle in the season that we need to break out of. We'll keep watching video ... and right now, the video is not pretty.
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Injury Update: Greg Buckner says he isn't going to rush back from this knee sprain like he did the last time. He missed two games last time.

And Devean George hopes to return practice soon and that he could on play defense "straight-legged".

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Around the NBA: Kobe -- 65 points with a 10% eFG%. Wow.

Chis Paul is going to play the rest of the season but will have to a screw placed in his left foot afterwards.
"He's going have to put a screw in there, period," Scott said. "If we did it tomorrow or a month from now, he'll be all right for training camp next year."

Paul will be held out of practices and shootarounds to avoid additional pounding on his foot that could lead to a stress fracture. Hornets trainer Terry Kofler said the team will evaluate Paul at the end of the season before any surgery plans are finalized.
Hey Hornets, you're eight games under .500 and 25 games out of first - maybe you should consider having the future of your franchise get the surgery over with...