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Old 10-20-10, 02:14 AM
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Texas Sports Wednesday Headlines - 10/20/10

Texas Sports Wednesday Headlines - 10/20/10
Sports news from around the great state of Texas.

Dallas Mavericks rookie Jones returns home against Magic - As a teenager growing up in Lake Wales, Fla., Dominique Jones was an Orlando Magic fan, and his favorite player was Darrell Armstrong. "Everybody liked the Magic, and he was the point guard," Jones said. "I went to one game and he held onto the rim too long on a dunk and fell on his head." Armstrong didn't need to be reminded. "Against Sacramento," he said without hesitation.

Mavericks to give McCants a look-see - The Mavericks will bring in Rashad McCants for the final days of training camp and the last preseason game to see if the former first-round draft pick can earn a spot on the final roster. “He’s a talented young player who can do a lot of things,’’ president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. McCants, who turned 26 last month, has averaged 10 points in four NBA seasons. He averaged 14 points in 2007-08 with Minnesota. He did not play in the NBA last season and has had an unfortunate run of problems that have helped keep his career from getting back on track.

Spurs get down to 15-player maximum - The Spurs waived forward James Gist after Tuesday's practice session, getting down to the NBA's allowed maximum of 15 players. That doesn't mean the roster cuts are over. This season, it appears the Spurs will trim to 13 players for opening night.

Spurs give Temple clear path to roster - During the eight months they were teammates with the Spurs, Garrett Temple and Curtis Jerrells developed a tight friendship that extended beyond the basketball court. When Temple learned the news earlier this week that his buddy had been traded to New Orleans for a future second-round pick, his reaction was both immediate and, on the surface, surprising.

Houston Rockets: 10 Expectations, Including Playoffs - Tuesday marks the beginning of a long journey for the Houston Rockets. Last year, the Rockets finished the regular season with 42-40 record. Although the Rockets set an NBA record for best record by a team with no All-Stars, they finished third in the Southwest, missing their chances at the playoffs.

Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs - Thursday, 7:30 CST @ AT&T Center As I have been alluding, I’ll be doing things differently this year, allowing forum for game discussion. And why wouldn’t I? Yao is healthy and Ariza is gone…life is good. The day before each game, I’m going to sticky a post designated for discussion. It will stay at the top even as new posts are published after it. If I plan to live-blog or cover-it-live, I’ll insert those within the post after the jump.

Texas pain-saw massacre: Yanks in a 3-1 mess - Bengie Molina's three-run shot in the sixth was the first of four long balls for the Rangers, whose 10-3 rout of the Yankees on Tuesday put them one win from the World Series.

Rangers World Series tickets on sale now - Enjoy playoff baseball in Arlington. Don't miss any of the action at Rangers Ballpark and come out to support your Rangers. Tickets for potential World Series games are on sale now.

Young man on field having most fun in ALCS - While others have taken center stage, Rangers veteran Michael Young, reveling in his first postseason appearance, has quietly done what he does best: lead by example.

Holland earns win, praise for stifling Yankees - Lefty gives Rangers' bats time with 3 2/3 shutout innings. The 2010 regular season was filled with injury and frustration for Rangers left-hander Derek Holland. While his performance Tuesday night in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series won't erase all of that, it goes a long way toward making it easier to take. With his team teetering on the brink of letting the Yankees take control of the game and possibly tie the series at two games apiece, Holland relieved struggling starter Tommy Hunter with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth.

Role reversal: Texas playing as Yanks would - When it comes to clutch performance in this postseason series, making plays that must be made, the Texas Rangers have looked more like the New York Yankees than the Yankees themselves. An objective view of the first four games of the 2010 American League Championship Series would indicate that the veteran, battle-tested, ready-for-anything postseason team appeared to be the Rangers.

Overturned homer only part of intrigue in NY - No review for Cano's fan-crowded drive; Berkman's taken away. There was some early controversy in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday night, revolving around a solo home run by Robinson Cano and a drive by Lance Berkman that was ruled a homer before an official review determined it was foul. Both plays came in the bottom of the second inning of the Rangers' 10-3 victory.

Rangers' road run in rare company - Of the eight teams to reach baseball's postseason, only the Rangers had a losing record on the road. But those struggles away from Arlington are now a distant memory. With a 10-3 win in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday, the Rangers improved to 5-0 on the road in the 2010 postseason and took a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven set. In those five wins, the Rangers have outscored their opponents, 34-5.

Rangers pitchers racking up the strikeouts - Cliff Lee and Neftali Feliz combined to strike out 15 batters in Game 3. That's tied for the third-highest total in a postseason game. Bob Gibson struck out 17 for the Cardinals in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series against the Tigers, and the Padres struck out 17 against the Astros in Game 1 of the 1998 National League Division Series.

Bourn, Myers need fans' support in TYIB vote - Astros outfielder Michael Bourn and pitcher Brett Myers are among the nominees for the 2010 This Year in Baseball Awards. Fans can vote for the awards through Dec. 3.

Jerry Jones: Cowboys aren't a 1-4 football team; I believe in Wade Phillips - Jerry Jones never thought the Cowboys would be 1-4 after five games. Nobody saw this coming, even the most ardent Cowboy haters out there. But here they are and just about everybody is willing to live with that reality right now. Except the Cowboys owner and general manager, it appears.

Inside the nightmares of Cowboys offensive coordinator - Every team in sports has someone that is just in their head. They fear no man, but when it comes to playing in this particular match-up, they would much rather avoid playing them again because for some reason, they don't like their own chances before they play the game. It is my submission to you, that when Jason Garrett has nightmares of the NFL variety late at night, he sees the Vikings front 7 standing over his bed.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips believes players 'respond to peer pressure' - Head coach Wade Phillips has identified three areas that must be addressed heading into Monday night's game against the New York Giants: kickoff coverage, penalties and turnover ratio. How does he get those points across to his players? Fines for penalties or missed tackles? Have them run sprints for mistakes? "Some of them respond to money,'' Phillips said. "Most of them respond to peer pressure.

Diles eager to assume larger role - "He isn't DeMeco Ryans, the Texans' strongest leader and one of the NFL's top tacklers. He isn't Brian Cushing, the defense's difference maker and one of the NFL's top young linebackers. To most, Zac Diles, No. 54, is the other guy. To some, he is just a guy. His teammates and coaches know better. Diles, 25, is a key factor in the Texans' having one of the league's better starting linebacker crews. Now, the other guy might be asked to be the guy. Coach Gary Kubiak says he has yet to make the call on what the Texans will do without Ryans, who on Sunday was lost for the season with a torn left Achilles' tendon.

Linebacker help wanted - "Texans coach Gary Kubiak said he and general manager Rick Smith will do everything they can to improve the NFL's 31st-ranked defense, including a possible trade before today's 3 p.m. deadline. If the Texans make a trade, don't expect a blockbuster. They're more likely not to make a deal, because asking prices are high and usually involve premium draft choices. "It's part of the conversation, (and) I think we have to look at everything," Kubiak said Monday about the possibility of a trade. "We have to look at any possible availability we think can help make us better." The Texans, 4-2 and tied for first in the AFC South, are hurting at linebacker.

LT Brown returns from suspension - "Neil Rackers didn't kick a field goal Sunday, but he was honored by coach Gary Kubiak as special-teams player of the game because he made three tackles. "That's just the way he is. He says it helps him play better, helps him get going," Kubiak said about Rackers' running down the field and making tackles. "I don't like some of it because I worry about him. "Did you notice when we had 10 guys on the field on the first punt? We were missing our gunner because (cornerback) Karl (Paymah) was out of the game. Did you see who was fixing to go on the field? Rackers wanted to go cover that punt."

Baylor has bowl bid within grasp - The biggest game Baylor football game in nearly two decades will take place at 2:30 p.m. Saturday when the Bears play host to the Kansas State Wildcats at Floyd Casey Stadium.

Baylor would be bowl eligible with win over Kansas State on Saturday - The Bears (5-2, 2-1 Big 12) can become bowl-eligible for the first time since 1995 with a win at home Saturday against Kansas State. Baylor hasn't played in a bowl since 1994.

Texas will see plenty of Texans on Iowa State roster - Saturday marks a homecoming for Iowa State junior receiver Darius Darks, an Austin Connally product. Darks, who was a quarterback in high school, set a freshman receiving record for the Cyclones in 2008 with 47 catches. This season, he has 17 catches for 205 yards and a touchdown.

Texas QB Garrett Gilbert develops into leader in big win over Nebraska - Texas coaches and players believe they discovered more than an extra dimension to the team's offense when quarterback Garrett Gilbert turned to his running abilities to trigger last week's 20-13 upset of then-No. 5 Nebraska. They believe they found the leader an inconsistent team had been seeking the first half of the season.
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