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Marc Stein ESPN Senior Writer 

Class of 1998 Reunion: No. 9 overall pick Dirk Nowitzki and No. 10 Paul Pierce have been guarding each other for a stretch of this tight second half in Dallas ...

Marc Stein ESPN Senior Writer 

Class of 1998 Reunion: Nowitzki and Pierce guarding each other here in Dallas late in the third quarter ...

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

This is a good opportunity for Mindaugas Kuzminskas to show what he can do in extended minutes. Tough start for both Kuzminskas and Billy Hernangomez on defense thus far; Knicks trail the Blazers, 10-4, and Portland has gotten easy looks after defensive miscues from both rookies.

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

J.J. Barea was called for a flagrant 2 and tossed after a push to the neck that sent Blake Griffin sprawling. Barea laughed at the ruling.

Zach Lowe @ZachLowe_NBA

DeRozan shot difficulty since Lowry injury has been ludicrous, but he and Raps making it work. Great D. Delon Wright getting interesting.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Starting tonight for the Knicks: Ron Baker, Courtney Lee, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Kristaps Porzingis, Willy Hernangomez

Michael C. Wright ESPN Staff Writer 

Spurs go into the half leading 51-42. They've got 16 assists on 21 buckets, and they're shooting 51.2 percent. LaMarcus Aldridge leads the Spurs with 11 points. Kawhi Leonard has 7 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

Michael C. Wright ESPN Staff Writer 

The Spurs end the opening quarter ahead 27-22 with LaMarcus Aldridge leading the way (9 points on 4 of 8). Kawhi Leonard took just three shots, and finished the first quarter with 4 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. San Antonio didn't turn over the ball at all in the first, while Memphis turned it over 4 times, good for 4 Spurs points. I

Michael C. Wright ESPN Staff Writer 

Military Appreciation night is always a big one here in San Antonio, aka Military City, USA.

Michael C. Wright ESPN Staff Writer 

According to Elias, heading into this game, only one head coach captured victories in his first three career meetings against Gregg Popovich, and that's John Calipari. Calipari accomplished the feat with the Nets over two seasons in 1996-97 and 1997-98. Memphis coach David Fizdale would join Calapari with a win here in San Antonio.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose and Lance Thomas sitting tonight is not entirely surprising because the Knicks playing the second game of a back-to-back and out of the playoffs. So it makes sense that they'd rest these guys, particularly because losing games is beneficial for them at this point. Rose suffered a foot injury last night against Utah. Carmelo & Lance Thomas' injuries are new.

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

Nerlens Noel is in the Mavs' starting lineup. Yogi Ferrell is not. Seth Curry slides over to point guard.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

The Knicks say that Carmelo Anthony (sore l. knee), Derrick Rose (sore r. foot) & Lance Thomas (sore r. hip) are unavailable tonight against Portland.

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

Mark Cuban: "I think Adam [Silver] was right in sending the memo in that, if you're going to rest somebody don't do it on a national TV game. You've got options. It's not like this is the only day you can rest and your science and doctors say this is the game that you have to rest them. There are any number of choices. … [Steve Kerr] has obviously got a point, but if you know that you're in a long, grueling road trip and you know you're playing a nationally televised game – it's not like they just sprung it on you that that game's going to be televised – somebody in the organization has got to pay attention to the business side of it. Say, ‘OK, Steve,' or me to Rick [Carlisle] if we're a primary team that's on TV all the time, ‘let's rest our guys game three so we're fresh playing on TV game five.'"

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

Doc Rivers on Dirk Nowitzki: "He's his own bird, is what I love about him. There's not been a Dirk. Ever. There's been a lot of great players in our league, but the great, great players are the ones where you say well there's never been one of those. To me that's Dirk. I don't know, who would you say was a Dirk before Dirk? No one. Now, there's a lot of guys trying to be it and probably ruining their careers trying to do it. Same thing happened with Magic. I thought Magic, in the middle of his career, there was a bunch of 7-footers trying to be guards, none of them made it. They wanted to be like Magic. And I think that's the same thing with Dirk. A lot of guys are – it's growing, the shooting with the bigs is all over the league, but Dirk is a rare bird."

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

Mark Cuban: "I volunteer that everybody can rest their guys against the Mavericks."

Michael C. Wright ESPN Staff Writer 

People ask about the most important player for the Spurs outside of Kawhi Leonard as the team gears up for the playoffs. I believe that guy is here in Tony Parker. LaMarcus Aldridge is the obvious answer, but he doesn't play his best without Parker getting him involved early in games.

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Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Derrick Rose says he'll prioritize winning over money in free agency this summer. "Not even thinking money. I've got more than enough money saved. If I stopped playing basketball now, I'll be alright," Rose told reporters in Utah on Wednesday night.