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Mavs dump West; Curry could start against Lakers

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Mavs dump West; Curry could start against Lakers

DALLAS (AP) The Dallas Mavericks are moving on without guard Delonte West, and their starting center for Tuesday night's season opener on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers will likely be someone who wasn't even on the roster a week ago.

The Mavericks waived West on Monday, the eve of a second straight season with a major roster makeover. West was part of the first retooling a year ago, and figured to be a valuable role player again before two suspensions in as many weeks for conduct detrimental to the team.

Dallas had to dump West to make room for Eddy Curry, a journeyman center who was picked up last week after San Antonio let him go. Curry likely will get the start against the Lakers because Chris Kaman and backup Brandon Wright are battling injuries.

West, who has bipolar disorder, indicated in a series of tweets after the second suspension that his future in Dallas was in doubt. The eighth-year pro was involved in a pair of locker room incidents during the preseason. He was on his second straight one-year contract for the veteran minimum, which was $1.2 million this season.

Part of West's value a year ago came from being a younger, experienced player to help aging point guard Jason Kidd and another 30-something guard in Jason Terry. But the Mavericks have a much younger backcourt after getting Darren Collison from Indiana to replace Kidd when they missed out on Deron Williams and adding free agent O.J. Mayo to fill Terry's scoring role.

Dallas grabbed Curry last week after he was released by San Antonio, and he had 11 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes in Dallas' preseason finale against Charlotte on Friday.

The fourth pick of the 2001 draft by Chicago, Curry improved his scoring averages all four seasons with the Bulls before getting traded to New York. He averaged a career-high 19.5 points per game in 2006-07 but has played just 24 games combined the past three seasons.

With West out and Curry in, the Mavericks have nine new players on their roster and should have four new starters on the floor against the Lakers with Dirk Nowitzki recovering from knee surgery. The only holdover is Shawn Marion.

``This is what we got. That's the way it is,'' said Marion, now second to Nowitzki in Dallas tenure. ``We can't harp on it all day. We'll do what we gotta do.''

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3 stars of the game: Lightning strike 3 times in the first to burn Caps

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USA TODAY Sports

3 stars of the game: Lightning strike 3 times in the first to burn Caps

The first 20 minutes of Tuesday's game did not go well for Washington. The Tampa Bay Lightning scored three times in the opening frame and rode that lead all the way to the 4-2 win.

With the game heading towards a repeat of their blowout loss to Chicago, the Capitals rebounded in the second period to make a game of it as Lars Eller scored on a power play. Alex Ovechkin pulled Washington within one in the third period, but Nikita Kucherov slammed the door shut with a breakaway goal to extend the lead back to 2.

Here are the three stars of the game:

1. Brayden Point: Tampa Bay won this game in the first period when they took a 3-0 lead. Point scored two of those three goals. His first came at the 2:30 mark of the game. He retreated to the blue line on the power play believing Jay Beagle would clear the puck. When Beagle turned the puck over, he recognized it and immediately crashed the net, taking a Ryan Callahan pass in the slot and shooting it through the five-hole of Braden Holtby. On his second goal, Anton Stralman saw an opportunity on the Caps’ line change and passed the puck up to Point at the blue line. Point turned on the jets to get behind the defense and went five-hole again on Holtby to make the score 3-0.

2. Alex Ovechkin: After the first period, Washington slowly took this game over for much of the remaining 40 minutes. Ovechkin was a big part of that as he totaled an incredible 19 shot attempts for the game. Nine of those shots were on goal and he found the back of the net in the third period for career goal No. 594.

3. Tom Wilson: Through the first period, the Caps looked well on their way to a repeat of the 7-1 debacle they suffered Saturday in Chicago. They had nothing going in this game until Wilson drew a trip from Vladislav Namestnikov in the second period. Eller would score on the resulting power play giving Washington some much-needed life. The Namestnikov penalty was the 29th drawn penalty of the season for Wilson, which moves him into a tie with Matthew Tkachuk for the most drawn penalties in the NHL.

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

The All-Star break came at a good time for Wizards point guard Tim Frazier, who missed their last game before the week off due to nasal fracture surgery.

Frazier was back at the Wizards' practice on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena and expects to play on Thursday when the team returns to action on the road at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I feel good. I feel like I can go out there and help them compete," he said.

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Frazier, 27, had surgery to repair his broken nose on Feb. 11 after he was knocked out of the previous night's game between the Wizards and Bulls. Frazier collided face-first with the knee of Bobby Portis and was immediately ushered to the locker room with blood streaming from his nose.

Following the procedure, Frazier had to battle through pain and breathing issues. He feels much better now and had no complications after participating in a full practice.

The challenge now is adjusting to a fitted mask he will have to wear to return to the court. Frazier has never had to wear a mask before in his basketball career.

"[Sweat] was one of the issues today, trying to keep it dry when I'm sweating underneath," he said.

"He looked good," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I thought he would be a little uncomfortable with it, but he seemed fine."

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Frazier has been given advice from the Wizards' training staff, as well as teammate Bradley Beal who has had to wear a mask twice before in his career.

"Brad said that after a while you get used to it. Nobody wants to wear it for the rest of their careers besides Rip Hamilton," Frazier said.

Getting Frazier back is significant for the Wizards, who are already down a point guard with John Wall rehabbing from left knee surgery. Without Frazier against the Knicks on Wednesday, the Wizards had to use Beal and Otto Porter to bring the ball up at times. Now, with Tomas Satoransky and Frazier, they have a starting point guard and a backup who is used to playing the position.

They could have three point guards, as the Wizards continue to weigh their options in free agency. They have to add a player within the next two days to meet the league's minimum roster requirement. Most of the free agents they have evaluated have been point guards as they aim to compensate for Wall's absence, which could last well into the month of March.

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