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Wednesday Morning Roundup: Dirk Nears 20,000

Nearing 20,000 points, Dirk recalls first two | ESPNDallas
"I was like 0-for-3 or 0-for-4 from the floor and I made two free throws, so those were my first points in my NBA career," Nowitzki siad. "Looking back, it was probably one of the worst games I ever played."

Dallas Mavericks' Nowitzki set to join 20,000-point club | Eddie Sefko - DMN
"It's an unbelievable milestone," Nowitzki said. "Looking back 11 years ago, I don't think any of you guys thought I could score a thousand. But my main goal now is a championship. All the individual goals will be nice when I'm done, but as for now, it doesn't mean that much to me. I'm still chasing my dream and that's to win a championship." Being in the 20K club is only the start for Nowitzki's personal portfolio. It almost guarantees that he will end up in another elite club: the basketball hall of fame. Of the 33 players who have reached 20,000 points before Nowitzki, all of them that are eligible to be in the hall of fame are in it, except for Mitch Richmond and Tom Chambers, who each barely squeaked into the 20,000 club.

Mavs dealing with injuries | ESPNDallas
Josh Howard, nursing a left thigh bruise that kept him out of Saturday night's home loss to Utah, practiced for a second consecutive day Tuesday and appears on track to play Wednesday night when the Mavericks welcome the Los Angeles Lakers. That's the good news. The bad news is starting center Erick Dampier and reserve forward Tim Thomas are questionable, and newly acquired forward Eduardo Najera is doubtful.

Comfortably numb: Dallas Mavericks seem to lack focus at home | DMN
"We're too comfortable and going through the motions," Nowitzki said Tuesday. "The next thing you know we got a ballgame on our hands. We got to approach the game a little different. Maybe [on the road] you got a little edge knowing you got to bring your 'A' game or you're going down no matter who you play. "At home, I guess the mindset is we'll be all right, our fans will carry us through and you kind of ease into it and the opposing team gets confidence."

Mavs' Najera Is All Smiles; Should We Be Open To An Ensuing Feel-Good Move?
Now that the Mavs have an open roster slot, what if they choose to fill it? What if they can they create a better filler trade chip than Humphries-at-$3.2M? This is speculative on our part, but we are armed with full knowledge of the rules, some knowledge of what might be available, and our usual glass-is-half-full approach to the possibilities (we smile almost as much as Eduardo does, you see

Kobe Bryant's back problems are Lakers' biggest pain in 105-85 loss -
He [Kobe] did not play in the fourth quarter, spending it in the locker room with longtime trainer Gary Vitti. "I couldn't walk. I literally couldn't walk," he said. "So that's the only way I don't play." Will he play tonight? "I think so," said Bryant, who is usually much more optimistic about playing with an injury. "Pretty sure. If I can walk, I'll play."