Sports Morning Headlines - Monday, 4/9/12

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Monday, 4/9/12.

How Do We Enjoy Basketball? - Here we are, friends. At, I think it’s fair to say, the lowest regular season point in the Dirk era. How do I know that? Because the Mavericks would have to go 9-0 the rest of the season to get a winning percentage equivalent to their usual 50+ win seasons. And other teams are better—even when the Mavs only won 52 games in 2003-2004, they were still 5th in the West, and only one other team was within four wins of them. Boy wouldn’t be that nice.   READ MORE

Odom barely plays this time - The odd season Dallas Mavericks forward Lamar Odom has put together took another step backwards turn Saturday when he barely played against the Memphis Grizzlies.  Odom entered the game with 4:15 remaining in the first period as a replacement for Dirk Nowitzki. Now in his first year with the Mavs, Odom played the rest of the first quarter, which ended with the Mavs trailing 29-10.  But by the time the second quarter started, Odom was back on the bench. And he stayed there until the game ended with the Grizzlies winning, 94-89.  READ MORE

Dragic’s breakout does not surprise himself, Rockets - Somewhere between his goals and potential, Goran Dragic believed all this would happen.  He had glimpses. He had put up 23 points in a playoff fourth quarter against the Spurs. He finished last season on a roll as a fill-in starter, capped by his first triple-double. But he has gone beyond all that, from possibilities to reality and now expectations.  With Kyle Lowry out for the past month, the 6-3 Dragic has become the Rockets’ most reliable force, among the league’s most productive point guards and soon, one of the most coveted free agents of the summer.  He doesn’t pretend to be surprised.  “I always expected this,” Dragic, 25, said. “I believed I could do it.”   READ MORE

Rockets 104, Kings 87: Lowry returns in third straight road win - Late in the first half on Sunday, with the Rockets tearing through the Kings’ approximation of defense, Luis Scola went for an exclamation point. He decided to treat DeMarcus Cousins the way Blake Griffin treated Pau Gasol.  Given Griffin’s mood of late on the topic of the Clippers’ flying forward, it would have been a particularly insulting bit of hubris.  Cousins would not allow it, plastering Scola to the floor before he could finish his attempt at a fast-break slam. The Rockets, however, had no complaints. They were sufficiently entertained. They brought back Kyle Lowry a month to the day after he was hospitalized. And after a rocky third-quarter, they rolled past the Kings, 104-87, for their third consecutive road win.   READ MORE

Spurs 114, Jazz 104 – final - Tony Parker scored 28 points and Manu Ginobili added 23 to lead the Spurs to a 114-104 victory over Utah Sunday night at the AT&T Center and stretch their NBA-best winning streak to 11 games.  The victory also matches their previous 11-game winning streak from Jan. 30-Feb. 20 as the longest in the league this season.  It enabled the Spurs (40-14) to keep pace with Oklahoma City, maintaining their slim lead for the Western Conference’s best record.  It was San Antonio’s 28th victory in their last 33 games in their first game back after clinching a playoff berth Saturday night for the 15th consecutive season with Dallas’ loss at Memphis.  Parker scored the Spurs’ final six points as the sellout crowd chanted “MVP, MVP” in his honor late in the game.  The loss was the fifth in the last seven games for Utah (29-28), which is locked in a tight battle for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.   READ MORE

Spurs in elite company with two 10-game winning streaks - The Spurs are among only five teams over the past  four seasons who have notched a pair of  10-game winning streaks in the same season.  Those regular-season streaks aren’t typically a harbinger of post-season success, at least if the previous history is considered. Only one of those four previous teams claimed a championship or even advanced to the NBA Finals.  Here’s a list of teams with a pair of 10-game winning streaks over the past four seasons.   READ MORE













Astros rally to victory over Rockies - Brian Bogusevic drove in the go-ahead run after Jose Altuve scored on Jordan Pacheco's throwing error to tie it in the eighth inning and the Houston Astros beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Sunday.  Altuve singled with two outs in the eighth inning before J.D. Martinez hit sharp groundball that bounced off the glove of reliever Rex Brothers (0-1) for another single.  Pacheco's bad throw to first base from third allowed Carlos Lee to reach and Altuve to score. Bogusevic's grounder to right field put Houston ahead and chased Brothers.  Brothers' breakdown spoiled a solid effort by Juan Nicasio in his return from a broken neck. He allowed five hits and one run in seven innings in his first start since breaking his neck when he fell after being hit in the head by a line drive on August 5.  Former staff ace Brett Myers pitched a scoreless ninth for the save in his first appearance as Houston's closer.   READ MORE

Astros rally in eighth to take series from Rox - With the music thumping in the home clubhouse following Sunday's game, the Astros were able to revel in the satisfaction of a rare season-opening series triumph. Sure, the campaign is only three days old, but this winning thing is kind of fun.  "This team has been slow starters for a few years, so it's nice to come out and win a series early," right fielder Brian Bogusevic said.  Indeed. Bogusevic capped an eighth-inning rally with a two-out, tie-breaking single to bring home the winning run and send the Astros to a 3-2 win over the Rockies at Minute Maid Park -- Houston's first season-opening series triumph since 2006.   READ MORE

Final: Rangers 5, White Sox 0 - Matt Harrison threw six scoreless innings, and David Murphy and Adrian Beltre delivered home runs. But it was the Josh Hamilton Show on Sunday night.  Hamilton launched a massive home run into the rightfield home-run porch and made two diving catches in the Texas Rangers’ 5-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Rangers Ballpark.  The Rangers took the season-opening series, 2-1, and recorded the team’s first shutout of the season.   READ MORE

Harrison, home runs highlight Rangers' shutout - Lefty tosses six scoreless; Beltre, Hamilton, Murphy homer.  Matt Harrison pitched six scoreless innings and the Rangers finished their first series with a 5-0 victory over the White Sox at Rangers Ballpark on Sunday night. The Rangers ended up taking two of three from the White Sox to start the season.  Harrison, a 14-game winner last year, allowed four hits and two walks while striking out three. He threw 103 pitches. The White Sox were 0-for-4 off him with runners in scoring position and 0-for-7 in the game.  The Rangers only had five hits off White Sox starter Gavin Floyd over 5 2/3 innings but all five -- including three home runs -- resulted in runs.   READ MORE












Examining the Texans departures and the players who will take over - Headed into the offseason, I think most of us knew that the Texans were going to have some cap issues that would preclude them from even entertaining Mario Williams as a re-sign option if they wanted to keep Arian Foster.  What we didn’t know is that they were actually in a spot where keeping either player was going to cause a ripple effect throughout the roster.  What looked like a team with very few draft needs back in January now looks like a team that has a glaring need here or there, but issues with depth in many more spots than before.  Last year the mantra was “Next Man Up” because the Texans faced so many injuries but were able to utilize their depth to keep their heads above water.  With Eric Winston, Jason Allen, Mike Brisiel, Joel Dreesen and DeMeco Ryans all gone, depth is now a concern.   READ MORE

While the Gettin’ is Hot - While the trade of Ryans is unpopular and highly questionable, Houston Texans General Manager Rick Smith  more than likely knows what he is doing, and Texans fans should stand beside him in his moves, one sour note is the Texans did not get very much in return for Ryans, but faith must be held at least until the season arrives. Texans should believe in Smith solely for the reason that he is going into his sixth year on the job in Houston and seems to be more than knowledgeable when it comes to players being on the job this long, handling the “next man up” year of last season, alongside coaches Gary Kubiak, and Wade Phillips, and has been steadily on the rise in the last six years.   READ MORE

Will 2012 be a do or die season for Tony Romo? - With the NFL Season to start in a mere 5 month and the acquisition of Kyle Orton as the backup quarterback some fans are grumbling that it’s time to replace Tony Romo. This is nothing new for the quarterback of The Dallas Cowboys but it does make you wonder if it is going to be his do or die season with the Dallas Cowboys.  The Dallas Cowboys have addressed the offensive line as well as the secondary in free agency. The offensive line will not only help Tony Romo succeed and hopefully have an even better year than he did last year with an offensive line that, at times broke down.  A younger, quicker offensive line also aides the running game, something Dallas has sorely been lacking.   READ MORE

DeMarcus Ware Is Vital To The Cowboys Success - DeMarcus Ware will go down as one of the all-time great pass rushers in NFL history. Many forget that he almost wasn't drafted by the Cowboys. Then head coach Bill Parcells wanted to draft LSU defensive lineman Marcus Spears with the first of two first-round draft picks. Fortunately for the Cowboys, owner Jerry Jones intervened on behalf of the franchise in the war room.   READ MORE













Tom Gaglardi: Joe Nieuwendyk, Glen Gulutzan will return next season - Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk and head coach Glen Gulutzan will both be back next season, according to owner Tom Gaglardi.  Asked if he was ready to make an assessment on Nieuwendyk and Gulutzan, Stars owner Gaglardi said he supports both.  ``There is absolutely no chance that Joe and Gully aren't back,'' said the Vancouver businessman who purchased the Stars in November. ``Joe has his mandate, and he needs time to make it work, and I don't think he's had that time yet. I agree with Joe's strategy and vision, so there is harmony there.''   READ MORE

Stars assign four players to AHL - The Dallas Stars announced today that the club assigned defenseman Brenden Dillon, forward Scott Glennie, defenseman Jordie Benn and forward Tomas Vincour to the Texas Stars, Dallas' primary affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).  Dillon, 21, has played in 72 games for Texas this season, scoring 5 goals and 21 assists for 26 points and 91 penalty minutes. He was signed to a three-year contract as a free agent on March 3, 2011. The 6-2, 198-pound defenseman made his NHL debut on April 7 vs. the St. Louis Blues registering a team-leading six shots and four hits in 19:59 of ice time.   READ MORE




---Staff and Wire Reports contributed to this story

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