NBA Mayo, rest of Mavs shooting the ball well without Nowitzki
O.J. Mayo and the rest of the Dallas Mavericks newcomers are getting into quite a groove while waiting for Dirk Nowitzki.
With what Mayo best described as organized street ball, the Mavericks have shot better than 60 percent from the field in consecutive games for the first time in franchise history. And that came in the first two home games for Mayo and eight other first-year Mavericks.
"It's crazy, man," said Mayo, who marked his 25th birthday Monday night with his second consecutive 30-point game. "We have spots that needed to be filled on the court. After that, it's pretty much where the ball goes — we react. It's constant movement, non-stop basketball. ... It's hard to scout stuff like that."
After decisive victories over Charlotte and Portland, the Mavericks (3-1) play their third consecutive home game Wednesday night against Toronto.
Against the Raptors, the second game in a row against a team coached by a former Dallas assistant, the Mavericks will be without Nowitzki and Shawn Marion. They are the only two players left who were on the floor when Dallas won the NBA title just two years ago.
The team said Tuesday that Marion would miss at least three games with a sprained left knee ligament. The forward, who left midway through the third quarter of Monday's game, won't play against Toronto or make the trip later this week for games at New York and Charlotte. He will be re-evaluated next week.
Nowitzki, the 11-time All-Star and former MVP, is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Oct. 19, the first surgery in his 15 NBA seasons.
"Obviously, he's our franchise player," Mayo said. "With him going down, we understand that all the guys have to step up and play that much harder and when he does get here, we're ready to roll."
The newbies are doing pretty good so far.
Darren Collison, acquired in a trade from Indiana to replace departed popular point guard Jason Kidd, has consecutive double-doubles, including 14 points with 13 assists and only one turnover in a 114-91 win over the Trail Blazers on Monday night.
New 7-foot center Chris Kaman, who missed the first two games with a strained right calf, has scored 16 points in both of the home games while making 16 of 19 shots. "We don't really have a set thing. We play off each other," Kaman said.
Hornets' coach fined for comments about league's policy on concussions
New Orleans Hornets Coach Monty Williams was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Tuesday for public comments criticizing the league's concussion policy. Williams made the comments Saturday night in Chicago before the Hornets faced the Bulls with first overall draft pick Anthony Davis sidelined by a mild concussion.
Williams blasted the NBA's protocols for determining when a player can return from a concussion, saying, "Now, they treat everybody like they have white gloves and pink drawers and it's getting old. It's just the way the league is now."
■ The Bobcats announced starting guard Gerald Henderson could miss approximately 2-4 weeks with a sprained left foot.
Breeders' Cup drug testing results clear
Drug testing of horses running in the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita came back clear. The California Horse Racing Board said testing was completed Tuesday after samples were delivered on Sunday to the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Laboratory at UC Davis. Testing began within 24 hours of the Breeders' Cup Classic, the final race of the two-day world championships that ended Saturday.
All horses underwent pre-race blood testing for total carbon dioxide levels, while post-race testing for prohibited drugs was done on the first four finishers in all of the 15 races, plus random horses selected by the stewards.
In addition to routine testing, 25 percent of all horses pre-entered in the Breeders' Cup were randomly selected for out-of-competition testing, and those samples cleared before the event.
Two Indiana players to miss nine games
The NCAA agreed to reinstate two Indiana freshman basketball players after they serve nine-game suspensions and repay a portion of the impermissible benefits they received before arriving on campus.
Hanner Mosquera-Perea must pay back $1,590 to a charity of his choice. Peter Jurkin will be required to repay $250 to a charity of his choice. Both players will miss the first nine games of this season, beginning Friday night against Bryant.
NCAA officials determined that Jurkin and Perea accepted approximately $6,000 and $8,000, respectively, in impermissible benefits from an Indiana University booster while they were in high school. The benefits included plane tickets, meals, housing, a laptop, cellphone and clothing.
Indiana is ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press pre-season poll.
Syracuse-San Diego St. game delayed
The basketball game between No. 9 Syracuse and No. 20 San Diego State on the flight deck of the decommissioned USS Midway was moved from Friday night to Sunday afternoon due to a strong chance of rain. The new tipoff time is 1 p.m. Sunday.
Officials said there was a 75 percent chance of rain Friday night, and that moving the game to Sunday was preferable to playing it Friday night at a sports arena.
San Diego State moved its scheduled game against San Diego Christian from Sunday night to Tuesday night.
The threat of rain is one of the biggest obstacles facing organizers of games on aircraft carriers. It began pouring less than an hour after last year's Carrier Classic between North Carolina and Michigan State on the USS Carl Vinson on San Diego Bay.
Mississippi St. freshman out for season
Mississippi State's Andre Applewhite will miss the upcoming season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee. The 6-foot-5, 217-pound freshman guard from Memphis injured his knee during a practice on Friday and an MRI late Monday revealed the extent of the damage. Mississippi State opens its season Friday with a road game against Troy.
■ Washington forward Shawn Kemp Jr. is expected to be sidelined six to eight weeks after tearing the patella tendon in his right knee. Huskies Coach Lorenzo Romar said that Kemp, the son of the former NBA player, doesn't need surgery and should be back in time for the Pacific-12 opener Jan. 5 against Washington State.
Sugar Bowl site of Big 12-SEC bowl game
New Orleans will be the site of the new marquee bowl game between the Southeastern Conference and Big 12.
The conferences made the announcement Tuesday. The game will still be called the Sugar Bowl and will be played in the Superdome. The agreement between the leagues and the bowl is for 12 years.
The SEC has a long history with the Sugar Bowl. Seventy-one times an SEC team has played in the game, far more than any other league. The very first Sugar Bowl in 1935 matched Tulane, then of the SEC, against Temple.
The new college football playoff begins after the 2014 season and the first Sugar Bowl in the new format will be played Jan. 1, 2015.
The last word
DeMarcus Cousins scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and the Sacramento Kings nearly blew a 16-point lead before holding off the Golden State Warriors 94-92 on Monday night to avoid an 0-4 start. Cousins said afterward:
"I've started the season off pretty rough. I know the way I play affects this team in a lot of ways. I knew I had to step up tonight."