Dirk Nowitzki has advice for Tony Romo: Ignore the haters

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Tony Romo is getting hit harder by Dallas fans Monday than any time he did Sunday. The Cowboys choked away a 24-point lead against the Lions and the Dallas quarterback is taking fire from his own people like he he was a South American dictator. Romo has no friends in Dallas.

Well, he has one.

Dirk Nowitzki tweeted this out Monday:

Dear tony romo. Don’t worry abt all the critics. I heard that same garbage for a long time. Keep working hard and keep improving.

Nowitzki certainly had been called out as not being able to close — as if he could have stopped the referees love affair with Dwyane Wade in the 2006 finals — although the passion around the Mavs is at the level in Dallas it is around the Cowboys. That said, Nowitzki did get his ring after years of hard work and continually improving his game. But Dirk also finally had the right help around him.

Is Jason Garrett capable of being Rick Carlisle savvy? Tyson Chandler was the defensive stopper the Mavericks needed in the paint to get a ring, do the Cowboys have any stoppers on defense? And who on the Cowboys provides the heady, steady leadership of Jason Kidd? I’m fairly sure it’s not Dez Bryant.

It’s not a good day to be Tony Romo, but the big German has got his back.

Final minute of Celtics-Wizards featured five-possession, 10-point, no-stoppage stretch (video)

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Crunch time of a close NBA game is awesome.

It’s exponentially better when nobody calls timeout.

The Celtics and Wizards finished with a flourish tonight, Boston coming out ahead in a frenetic final minute. The last minute included two Kyrie Irving 3-pointers (one tightly contested, one extremely deep) and a sharp drive by John Wall (who had just returned to the game from an injury).

After a flow-killing foul in the final few seconds, the Celtics won, 130-25.

More games should be like this.

Jeremy Lamb hits game-winner despite Bismack Biyombo, others Hornets prematurely running on court to celebrate

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The Hornets sure were excited for Jeremy Lamb‘s game-winner against the Pistons tonight.

Too excited.

After Lamb hit a jumper to put Charlotte up two with 0.3 seconds left, several Hornets ran onto the court. Bismack Biyombo was nearly at halfcourt as Detroit tried to inbound! He was so far onto the court, I’m not even sure officials noticed him when dinging Malik Monk – closer to the bench –for the violation.

Ashley Holder:

The Pistons made a technical free throw to cut their deficit to one, but they still had to inbound from under their own basket. Their desperation pass was intercepted, and Charlotte held on for a 108-107 win.

Several Hornets were certainly relieved.

Crazily enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this.

Suns’ T.J. Warren fined $15k for inappropriate language toward official following ejection (video)

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Everyone on the Suns seems frustrated.

In Phoenix’s loss to the Clippers on Monday, T.J. Warren got ejected. And his outburst will cost him extra.

NBA release:

Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren has been fined $15,000 for directing inappropriate language toward a game official following his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

This wasn’t a lengthy exchange. Warren didn’t linger on the court complaining. He must have said something extremely harsh to warrant two technical fouls and a fine that quickly.

(Despite confusion, the foul preceding the ejection was called on Deandre Ayton, not Warren.)

Pacers star Victor Oladipo returns from 11-game absence

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When the Pacers ruled Victor Oladipo out indefinitely a couple weeks ago, it seemed gloomy.

But Indiana weathered the storm, going 7-4 without its best player.

Now, Oladipo is back. He started against the Bucks tonight.

I still think the Raptors, Celtics, 76ers and Bucks will comprise the Eastern Conference’s top tier by the end of the season. But the Pacers (17-10, fourth in East) have a chance to crash the party. They acquitted themselves well without Oladipo, and it should get only easier with their offensive focal point/top perimeter defender.