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Mayo breaks slump, leads Mavs past Pistons, 92-77

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Mayo breaks slump, leads Mavs past Pistons, 92-77

DALLAS (AP) O.J. Mayo broke out of a shooting slump with 27 points and Dallas celebrated Derek Fisher's Mavericks debut with a 92-77 victory against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.

Mayo was coming off consecutive games with season lows and started 0 for 4 before taking over in the third quarter. He scored 16 points in a 17-4 run that eventually stretched into a 25-6 surge as Dallas snapped a three-game losing streak.

Fisher got the start a day after the 16-year veteran's first practice with the Mavs. His presence seemed to spark Darren Collison, the struggling young point guard he was brought in to help. Collison had eight assists and no turnovers.

Brandon Knight led Detroit with 20 points, including 18 in the first half. But the Pistons still fell to 1-10 on the road.

The Mavericks trailed 51-42 early in the third quarter when Mayo hit just his second 3-pointer in the past four games to start Dallas' decisive run. Mayo made three more 3s in the third, when the Mavericks outscored the Pistons 25-11 and held them to 20 percent shooting.

Once Mayo gave the Mavericks the lead, Vince Carter and Elton Brand made sure they held onto it. Carter hit four 3-pointers for all 12 of his points, while Brand matched his season highs with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Fisher's stat line was modest - two points on 1-of-8 shooting and three assists - but Collison looked much better. He hit a 3-pointer when the Mavericks were struggling in the first half, and assisted on dunks by Bernard James and Shawn Marion when Dallas was running away in the second half.

Mayo looked as if he was headed toward a fourth consecutive sub-par game when he took a pass in transition and saw a chance for an easy bucket - and his first points - late in the first half. He ended up with a three-point play.

He then scored the first 11 Dallas points in the third quarter, including a trio of 3-pointers punctuated by a timeout as disgusted Detroit coach Lawrence Frank stomped onto the court while signaling for the stoppage.

Mayo had shot just 32 percent the previous three games, including 1 of 10 from 3-point range.

Knight scored five more points than his average just in the first half. He hit a 3-pointer that started a 9-0 run for a 38-30 Detroit lead midway through the second quarter.

Chris Kaman led the Mavericks with 10 points in the first half despite going to the bench with 5:54 left in the second after his third foul. Brand, his primary backup, also had three first-half fouls while Detroit's Jason Maxiell and Greg Monroe combined for 15 rebounds before halftime.

NOTES: The Mavericks play six of their next seven on the road. ... Carlisle started his head coaching career with the Pistons and was there for two seasons. He was NBA Coach of the Year the first season (2001-02) and led Detroit to the Eastern Conference finals in 2003. ... Mayo is the only Dallas player to start every game. A season ago, he was a reserve for all 66 games with Memphis.

MLS postpones DC United match against Toronto FC amid health concerns

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MLS postpones DC United match against Toronto FC amid health concerns

D.C. United’s opening match of the MLS is Back tournament against Toronto FC on Sunday was postponed minutes before play was set to begin.

The league announced that upon testing both clubs for the coronavirus Saturday, one player received “an initial unconfirmed positive” and another’s test came back inconclusive. Citing health protocols that require all players to be retested before playing again, the MLS decided to reschedule Sunday’s match.

RELATED: FC DALLAS WITHDRAWS FROM MLS IS BACK TOURNAMENT AFTER 10 POSITIVE COVID-19 TESTS

According to The Washington Post’s Steven Goff, MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott told reporters on a conference call that the positive test came from a sample of a D.C. United player. Rookie forward Erik Sorga was originally slated to be on the team’s bench but was dropped off the game-day roster with no announcement coming from the club.

Goff also reported that the MLS cleared both teams to arrive at the complex in Orlando for the match Sunday. D.C. United did so while Toronto FC stayed back.

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Will another injury to Steven Stamkos put him in jeopardy for the game against the Capitals?

Will another injury to Steven Stamkos put him in jeopardy for the game against the Capitals?

Tampa Bay Lightning player Steven Stamkos is a superstar, but has not had great injury luck over the course of his career. Bad luck has sprung up again for the Lightning captain as he suffered a lower-body injury during the team's Phase 2 voluntary workouts and will be limited at the start of training camp.

General manager Julien BriseBois told reporters Saturday that Stamkos is expected to be ready for the return of the season.

"We don't have a specific timeline for when he will be a full participant in camp," BriseBois said. "But we expect he will be ready in time for games."

RELATED: 7 THINGS TO WATCH IN THE ROUND-ROBIN THAT WILL TELL US IF THE CAPS ARE CUP CONTENDERS

Tampa Bay will begin its postseason in a round robin tournament against the top seeds in the East. Their first game will be Aug. 3 against the Capitals.

Stamkos underwent core muscle surgery on March 2. The recovery timeline was six to eight weeks which he has clearly passed and it is believed this new injury is not related. Still, this will be a tough blow for Stamkos who will now have to be limited at the start of camp after missing the last seven games before the season was paused.

Washington was a perfect 3-0-0 against the Lightning this season. While Stamkos is expected to be ready for games, this is an injury the bears watching, especially if it drags further and further into camp.

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