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Sunday Roundup

Dallas Mavericks' defense looks to tighten up when quarters reach final seconds | DMN
Look only as far as their last two losses for proof. Five times out of eight quarters, the Mavericks were burned by 3-pointers on the opponent's last possession of a period. Three times, it cost the Mavericks the lead. Included in that bunch is the Peja Stojakovic 3-pointer that forced overtime in New Orleans. "They're always important," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of end-of-quarter situations. "Closing quarters is a big part of success in this league, particularly when you give up a 3-point basket when you've really fought to hang in.

PISTONS: The PRE Report -
Defensive intensity will be key against the high-powered Mavericks, who are averaging 100.3 points per game and have the third-highest point differential in the NBA (plus-7.3). Saturday’s win was Detroit’s first time over the century mark in 2009-10, and it would be unlikely (not to mention unfair) to expect Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to post identical 10-for-21 shooting nights for 29 and 25 points, respectively,

Dallas Mavericks sideline Howard | DMN
"This decision is about my health," Howard said. "I want to be 100 percent. There's no in-between with me. I tried in-between, and it wasn't best for me or my team. I just want to get healthy and help this team win." Owner Mark Cuban said the timetable for Howard's return is uncertain. "Anybody who puts out a date is guessing," Cuban said. "It could be a week or a month."