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Mavericks 89-Bobcats 82 observations

• The Bobcats have had a remarkably crowded schedule so far: Nineteen games in 35 days. Coach Steve Clifford noted pre-game in Dallas that Wednesday and Thursday will be the first time in three weeks his team will have two days in a row without games.

“You can’t practice the way you want to practice” with so many games per week, Clifford said, adding he’s leaned toward extra days off to keep them fresh.

“I would rather not practice if they’re tired, and do more at shootaround” on game day, Clifford said. “If they’re fatigued, if they’re not fresh mentally, you can’t have success.”

• In what had to be one of the strangest statistics of this young season, the Bobcats attempted more free throws in the first quarter (16) than field goals (15). That was partially a function of what poor post defense the Mavericks play; center Al Jefferson had six of those attempts.

• The Mavericks list rookie point guard Shane Larkin as being 5-foot-11. Even that might be generous. Kemba Walker – hardly a tall guy – looked much bigger.

• The opening jump in this game was kind of a joke. The referee tossing the ball couldn’t get it anywhere close to straight. I guess a six-figure salary doesn’t buy what it once did among NBA referees.

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