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Sports Morning Headlines - Friday, 4/13/12

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Friday, 4/13/12.

Rockets Sign Diamon Simpson - The Rockets have signed Diamon Simpson, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. The deal, which was first reported by Jarrod Waerea of, will be for the rest of the season, with a non-guaranteed year for next season, according to Feigen (via Twitter).   READ MORE

10 Keys for the Houston Rockets Heading into the Playoffs - The Houston Rockets are currently fighting for playoff positioning in the Western Conference and they figure to be a tough out come playoff time. They just rattled off four straight road victories and appear poised for the stretch run.  While they do not feature any superstar-caliber players, they have a host of quality pieces and coach Kevin McHale has energized this group.  For them to make noise down the stretch and into the playoffs, what are the keys?   READ MORE

Mark Cuban: Clash was 'the end' - Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, saying he hopes Lamar Odom's departure is "addition by subtraction," confirmed that a heated halftime confrontation between the owner and 13-year veteran was the breaking point that prompted the team and player to part ways.  During halftime of his final game with the Mavs, Odom and Cuban had the exchange in the visitors locker room Saturday night in Memphis.   READ MORE

Odom removed from Olympic consideration - In the wake of his banishment from the Dallas Mavericks' active roster for the rest of this season, Lamar Odom has been removed from being a candidate to represent the United States in this summer's Olympic Games.  According to FOX Sports Florida, Odom is no longer on the list of 20 candidates who were originally announced last January to play for Team USA when the Olympics are played this summer in London. That list will eventually be reduced to a 12-man roster.  The Mavs and Odom reached a mutual agreement to part ways this past summer after the team grew tired of his poor performances, lack of emotions, and inability to get to some team functions on time.   READ MORE

Spurs 107, Grizzlies 97 – final - Tim Duncan matched his season-high with 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 107-97 victory over Memphis Thursday night at the AT&T Center.  The Spurs’ victory snapped a two-game losing streak as they avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.  Manu Ginobili scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half and Tony Parker added 13 points and a game-high nine assists to lead San Antonio. The Spurs overcame a halftime deficit to pull within a half-game of Oklahoma City for the best record in the Western Conference.  When the “Big Three” have scored 50 points or more this season, the Spurs are 9-0.   READ MORE

Duncan scores 28, Spurs cool surging Grizzlies - Not since the old days does Tim Duncan remember having the ball run through him so many times.  But forget the old days. He was just relieved to get the San Antonio Spurs back to how they looked last week.  Making good on a guarantee that the West's second-winningest team would start playing like it again, Duncan had 28 points and 12 rebounds and the Spurs shook off their funk to top the surging Memphis Grizzlies 107-97 on Thursday night.  Duncan matched his season-high a night after the Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers humiliated the Spurs on their home court. Lakers center Andrew Bynum made Duncan look particularly outplayed while becoming just the second NBA player in the last dozen years to corral 30 rebounds in a game.  ''We got back on track. That was the key to the whole thing, getting back on track,'' Duncan said. ''Played awful against the Lakers. Got blown out, came back in there tonight against another good team. A much better effort.''   READ MORE

Rangers' Ian Kinsler: Changing positions 'was definitely brought up' during contract negotiations - Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler joined Ben & Skin on KESN-FM this Thursday. Here are some highlights:  On his new contract extension:  Kinsler: “It was definitely important for me to be a Ranger. This is the place where I was drafted. This is a place where I was developed and just learned and started relationships with a lot of people. It’s a place that I love and a place where I want to stay. After seeing the way it started in 2006 and what we’ve become, there no reason why I wouldn’t want to stay. It was a long negotiation, but it worked out in the end, and I just want to continue that success.”   READ MORE

The story behind the Texas Rangers opening day panorama - While at a planning meeting an idea was thrown out about shooting a 360 degree spherical panorama during the pre-game ceremonies for the Texas Rangers home opener. I was very skeptical as to how this would look. It had been a while since we tried one and we never attempted it with so many people around on deadline.  After doing some digging we realized the stitching software had been vastly improved since we last tried shooting one of these. The biggest improvement is the ability to mask out areas that won't stitch properly. This was a big problem in the past. Anytime something or somebody would move from a stationary position as we were shooting various frames, then we would get ghosting in the final image. This will still happen since it is impossible to shoot all 6 frames at one time. So to pull it off it takes a little luck.   READ MORE

Martinez returning home to face boyhood team - There might not have been a bigger fan of the Florida Marlins than J.D. Martinez, who grew up in the Miami suburb of Pembroke Pines and lived and died with his favorite teal baseball team. Martinez can name key players and moments in Marlins history, and he even attended the 1997 World Series as a 10-year-old.  Martinez was so much a fan of the Marlins that while in high school, he was assigned a current events project and decked out his display board in anything he could find related to the Marlins. The only problem was the fall assignment was late and his parents wouldn't let him attend a game in the 2003 World Series because he hadn't finished his homework.  "They said, 'You've got to finish your project. It's worth 50 percent of the grade,' " he said. "I had to stay home and watch it, and they went and left me. I would sit there in front of the TV and yell and go crazy and do my project at the same time."   READ MORE

Jose Martinez didn't take the easy road to Corpus - Jose Martinez has been very impressive so far this season for Corpus. Through the first 5 games this season, he's hitting .316/.381/.632 with 1 HR, 6 runs, and 5 RBI. He's also made a handful of outstanding plays on defense. So far, he's looking like a steal for Jeff Luhnow. Except he's already 26 and hasn't really played since 2008. So where did he go and how did he end up here?  Jose began his career as an international signing for the Cardinals and debuted at age 19 in the Appalachian League where he posted an .887 OPS. He reached AA Springfield when he was 21 in 2007 and posted an .811 OPS. This kid was going places. He tried to play through a stress fracture in 2008 and his production suffered. Despite the setback, there was an outside shot Jose would have a chance at replacing Adam Kennedy on the St. Louis roster.   READ MORE

Texans sign former Cowboys LB James - NFL sources told FOX 26 Sports the Houston Texans have reached a contract agreement with free agent linebacker Bradie James and will retain free agent linebacker Tim Dobbins.  James has played his entire NFL career with the Cowboys, joining Dallas as a fourth-round pick in 2003.  James flourished under Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips while he was head coach of the Cowboys from 2007 to 2010.  In 2008, while playing inside linebacker, James had a career-best eight quarterback sacks.   READ MORE

Texans Re-Sign ILB Tim Dobbins - The Texans have brought back ILB Tim Dobbins with a deal today. Terms were not announced.  Dobbins was a fifth round pick of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Iowa State by the Chargers.  In 93 career games, he has 210 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions with eight passes defensed.   READ MORE

Terence Newman and Bradie James Move On - If we had asked a couple of weeks ago where cornerback Terence Newman might sign, the Bengals would have been a good guess. That was, of course,  the same team that signed the Cowboys’ first-round pick from 2002 in safety Roy Williams.  Newman—the Cowboys first-round pick in 2003—signed with Cincinnati this week. The first comment on Pro Football Talk: “Boy they sure do love ex-cowboys…”  When the Cowboys were struggling in the early 2000s, Jerry Jones turned to former Bengals coach Bruce Coslet to serve as offensive coordinator. Dallas also signed former Bengals tight end Tony McGee and wide receiver Darnay Scott. Neither did much of anything with the Cowboys, and Dallas went 5-11 in 2002.   READ MORE

Commentary: Felix Jones is not getting traded, and Ryan Tannehill could be over-drafted - Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill is not a top 10-caliber quarterback. But he could go as high as No. 3 in the NFL Draft.  No, the Dallas Cowboys are not trading running back Felix Jones.  The unpolished, but potential-laden, Dontari Poe of Memphis and Michael Brockers of LSU are among the players vying for the Cowboys' pick at 14, and neither was brought in to visit.  Say what you will about Jerry Jones' personnel failures, including Quincy Carter, Joey Galloway, Bobby Carpenter and Roy Williams, he has never made a Lamar Odom-like mistake.  And finally, Brittney Griner should go down as Baylor's greatest athlete -- ahead of Robert Griffin III and Michael Johnson.  Now that I have your attention, let's attack them point by point.   READ MORE

No time off for Glen Gulutzan - Dallas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan usually takes a break after the season, but not this year. He’s not used to missing the playoffs.  Gulutzan’s teams made it both seasons he coached in the AHL and five of six years when he was in the ECHL. So, after missing the postseason tournament in his first season as an NHL head coach, Gulutzan and his staff will stay busy preparing for next season.  “Usually I’ve taken a little bit of a break, but this year we won’t. We’ve got to dig in to a few things. We’re asking the players to be better in certain areas and us coaches have to be better. We have to be held to the same standard,” Gulutzan said. “Chances are we won’t work on Fridays, but Monday through Thursday and at nights watching other teams play – we’re going to go through video here until we are ready to go.”   READ MORE

Brenden Morrow: "I Don't Think Health Is Going To Be An Issue" - It was a forgettable season for oft-injured Dallas Stars Captain Brenden Morrow. With just 26 points in 57 games, it was the lowest points per game pace of his NHL career, and it came at a bad time for a team that lacked scoring depth in the wake of Brad Richards' departure last summer.  "I'll wipe this one clean and start fresh next year," said Morrow Wednesday in Frisco.  With the exception of his torn ACL in 2008, the Stars have had the luxury of a very healthy Captain (82 games, 76 games, 82 games) in recent years, but Morrow missed 25 this season with neck, knee and back problems and was somewhat ineffective in the vast majority of the games he did play. He returned to skate in the final 14 down the stretch but wasn't quite himself yet.   READ MORE

---Staff and Wire Reports contributed to this story

MVPTEXAS RT @MLB24x7: Bold Predictions for Final Month of MLB Season
MVPTEXAS RT @SpearsNBAYahoo: Statement from the family of Darryl Dawkins
MVPTEXAS RT @ThemCowboysRR: Gosselin: History suggests Cowboys' Super Bowl hopes hinge on sack success
MVPTEXAS RT @TTU_TF_XC: Duffield only needed one attempt again to clear 2.26m/7-5! The bar will now move up to 2.29m/7-6. #WreckEm
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