Mavs 121, Hornets 89: You-Need-To-Knows
ITEM: The assertive win from Dallas Mavericks ("assertive'' not counting the 61 first-half points allowed) puts them in position to be the No. 2 team in the West. ... OKC's loss means the Mavs clinch at least third. Now we watch as if LA loses, Dallas will be No. 2. Possible foes? Still wide-open, with No. 6 Portland the most likely, but with Memphis and and this same NO team still in play.
ITEM: An interesting decision involving Roddy Beaubois -- not starting -- was only the start.
Beaubois apparently sustained a sprained left foot during the first half of the game, and while X-rays are reportedly negative, this was not a pleasant night for the struggling prospective standout.
As our man Mark Followill noted earlier today, Roddy B's confidence seems shaken. On Wednesday, he wasn't a starter for the first time in 25 games. Combine that with the fact that a foot injury is what caused him to miss the first half of this season and ... not a good night. ITEM: Shawn Marion got himself a twin milestone: Marion reached 1,500 steals and 1,000 blocks -- and when it was announced, received an ovation from the appreciative Fan Appreciation Night crowd.
ITEM: Peja was absent for the evening.
"He's been excused for a personal situation, but he's expected to rejoin the team tomorrow," coach Rick Carlisle said.
ITEM: One Mav clearly ready for the next step (as usual): Dirk Nowitzki, who retired from the blowout with 6:22 to play, and with 32 points with under his belt.
He's ready for the weekend ... which we'll tell you more about as soon as we know more ...