Eddy Curry is your opening night starting center for Dallas

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Go ahead and rub your eyes if you want, but you read the headline correctly.

Eddy Curry, he of the checkered NBA history who was waived by the Spurs a few days back has not only been claimed by the Dallas Mavericks but also apparently he is jumping straight into the starting lineup.

Remember that next time you read a quote from Mark Cuban about how well he thinks this team is going to do.

Dallas opens the season Tuesday against the Lakers and their massive front line anchored by Dwight Howard. Dallas is without Chris Kaman who is still injured. So, Curry to the rescue? That’s the plan, if only because the Mavericks have no other options. From the Dallas Morning News.

“He’s doing OK,’’ Carlisle said. “He’s a force in the paint offensively. We’d like to get him more active defensively and rebounding a little bit more. But his attitude has been good, and he’s worked hard to get himself in pretty good shape.’’

Curry admitted the defensive end of the court will be his biggest chore.

“Every team has a different scheme,’’ he said. “And I’ve never really been considered a great defender anyway, so it’s a constant challenge for me. But it’s something I’m willing to work on. I’m still learning everybody’s name around here. I think every day it’ll get better.’’

Just as an aside, the Mavericks will also be without Dirk Nowitzki for the opener.

So to recap: no Nowitzki and no Kaman so Dallas is going with Curry against the Lakers with Howard and Pau Gasol. Make any wagers accordingly.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)