Mavericks roll past Magic
Caron Butler scored 20 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 17 as the Dallas Mavericks became the latest team to topple the reconstructed Magic in a 105-99 victory Tuesday night in Orlando.
Tyson Chandler added 16 points to help the Mavericks pull away in the fourth quarter for their 16th win in 17 games. A night after winning at Miami, they shot 50 percent from the floor, including 46 percent from three-point range.
The Magic again looked like a team that hasn't had time to hold a practice since Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu were acquired Saturday. They have lost the first two games since the pair of blockbuster trades.
The latest came on another monster night for Dwight Howard, who had 26 points and 23 rebounds but got no help from teammates. Howard has had at least 20 rebounds in three straight games.
Elsewhere: Brook Lopez scored 26 points, Sasha Vujacic added a season-high 16, and the New Jersey Nets snapped a 10-game road losing streak with a 101-94 victory over the Grizzlies in Memphis. Lopez was 8 of 14 from the field, and missed only one of his 11 free throws as New Jersey won its second straight and third in the last four games. . . . Kevin Durant scored 32 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame a poor shooting night by dominating the fourth quarter in a 99-81 victory over the Bobcats in Charlotte, N.C. The Bobcats missed their first 11 shots, threw the ball away five times, and didn't get their first field goal of the quarter until 2 minutes, 52 seconds remained, producing sarcastic cheers.
Rockets ask for Yao exception
The Houston Rockets asked the NBA for a disabled-player salary cap exception because of Yao Ming's season-ending ankle injury.
Yao has been out since Nov. 10, and the team said Friday that he had a stress fracture in his left ankle. The seven-time all-star, who missed last season after reconstructive foot surgery, appeared in only five regular-season games this year before going down again.
The disabled-player exception would allow the Rockets to acquire a free agent, or trade for a player without having to match salaries, up to the value of the midlevel exception (about $5.75 million).
Clippers lose Smith for 2 weeks
Los Angeles Clippers forward Craig Smith will miss at least two weeks with a herniated disk in his back.
Suns release Barron
The Phoenix Suns released center Earl Barron after a brief stint with the team.
Barron signed on Nov. 16 after starting center Robin Lopez went down with a sprained knee. The four-year veteran appeared in 12 games.
Bobcats call up point guard
The Charlotte Bobcats recalled point guard Sherron Collins after his five-game stint with Maine of the NBA Development League.
- Associated Press