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January 19, 2008 5:40 PM

Dallas game thread

Posted by Jayda Evans

WALLY'S WORLD: Szczerbiak is leading a late run. Don't think it's possible to overcome a 104-86 deficit with 3:55 remaining, but it's nice to see the Sonics playing harder as a whole. Szczerbiak has a team-leading 22 points.

DURANT RETURNS: KD is at the scorer's table, getting ready to check back in the game. Dallas seems to be running a practice against the Supes, leading 99-79 with six minutes remaining. Collison also is back in the game.

DURANT SITS: Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said he was going to shorten the rotation, didn't know that involved benching the rookie. Durant is a horrid 2-for-10 from the field, but has shot poorly before. He's only played 18 minutes and isn't in foul trouble. Right now vets West, Luke Ridnour, Collison, Wilcox, and Szczerbiak are on the floor and the team did chop the deficit to 14 points. The Sonics are down 89-72 at the end of the third quarter.

WEST CHECKS IN: G Delonte West, who missed the past two games due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot, just checked into the game. He's playing SG with Watson, Wally Szczerbiak, Thomas, Green, and Collison.

GANG GREEN: Green just got filthy with a dunk right on top of Dampier's head to open the third quarter. The Sonics are still down 68-46, though.

AT THE HALF: Durant just went up for a block at the rin against Brandon Bass, committing a foul. But at least the Sonics didn't give up the breakaway dunk and are showing some hustle. Yet, Bass just missed his second of two free throw attempts, grabbed his own rebound and scored at the buzzer to make the score 66-44. The Supes are shooting 41 percent from the field while The Mavs are just as hot as every other oponent this month, shooing 57.1 percent from the field.

DURANT CHEERED: KD received a loud applause from the Dallas crowd during player introductions. Folks of course remember him from his days last year playing at Texas.

BENNETT IN THE HOUSE: Sonics chairman Clay Bennett is in attendance, but denied requests to speak with media. His only words uttered to our group were, "don't eat too much."

YOU'RE THE PROBLEM: Reporters spoke with Mavs owner Mark Cuban while he worked out on the stair climber and although he didn't know much about the latest with Sonics ownership's attempt to relocate the team to Oklahoma City, Cuban basically did say it's Seattle's fault. "It should never come to legal strategy," he said, noting the lack of outcry. He's not on the board that will evaluate the Sonics' application to move, but appears to not be breaking ranks with NBA owners. Cuban also noted that what's going on in New Orleans is sad, too. He believes there are enough people to fill the arena -- owner George Shinn just isn't doing enough to sell tickets. Anyway, we're moments from tip-off and this one could be scary. The Mavs have been off for four days and Coach Avery Johnson said his veteran team is itching to play. Good times.

Here are tonight's starters:

F Jeff Green
F Nick Collison
C Kurt Thomas
G Kevin Durant
G Earl Watson

F Josh Howard
F Dirk Nowitzki
C Erick Dampier
G Eddie Jones
G Devin Harris

The officials are Bob Delaney, Michael Smith, and Zach Zarba.

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