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Hail grounds Mavs' planes, pinch-hitter called

DALLAS -- When the Dallas Mavericks fly to Miami on Sunday afternoon to begin preparations for Tuesday's Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat, they might not recognize the plane they're boarding.

The Mavs have had to call in a pinch-hitter.

The club's two luxury jetliners, a 757 and 767 owned by Mark Cuban, were both damaged by hail while parked at Love Field during the storms that hit earlier in the week, and are grounded for repairs.

The Mavs are calling in a plane from Phoenix that the Suns charter for a majority of their road trips during the season.

The word is that the charter plane isn't fully decked out in first-class seating like Cuban's two planes.

Suffice to say, however, 7-footers Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood won't be drawing straws to see who gets stuck in the middle seat.

J.J. Barea on the other hand might want to get to the airport early.