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Dr. Phillips alum and Mavericks rookie Shane Larkin looked forward to Magic game

DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Shane Larkin received some text messages from high school friends as Monday night's game against the Orlando Magic approached.

Those friends kidded him that the Magic were going to beat Dallas on its home floor.

Larkin took no offense, and he actually smiled as he related that story.

After all, he used to root for the Magic himself.

He grew up in Orlando and graduated from Dr. Phillips High.

"I lived in Orlando and was an Orlando fan," Larkin said. "So when we play against them, you know Orlando's watching. You know the Orlando fans really love the team."

Larkin didn't dress for Monday night's game because he suffered a right-ankle sprain in the Mavericks' previous game.

He sat out the entire preseason and the first 10 games of the regular season as he worked his way back from a fracture in that ankle. Those missed games included the Mavericks' 108-100 win over the Magic on Nov. 16 at Amway Center.

Making progress
Arron Afflalo
sat out against the Mavericks because of a sprained right ankle and sore right foot. But he was feeling a bit better on Monday and was no longer wearing a walking boot.

He said he expects to work out today and added he hopes to play when the Magic host the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.

"At the end of the day, I sprained my ankle," Afflalo said. "I do that all the time. Sometimes I don't even miss a game, but this one was maybe a little more severe. I have a pretty good pain tolerance, so I'll be fine."

Harris still hurts
At this stage of the season, few NBA players are completely healthy, and most Magic players apply ice to aching joints and sore muscles immediately after workouts and games.

Forward Tobias Harris routinely soaks his lower left leg in a bucket of frigid ice water.

Harris suffered a high-ankle sprain during the preseason, and he still feels discomfort in the area.

"I'm still fighting through pain in my ankle every game," Harris said.

"It's just going to be a thing that's probably going to last all year. But on days we do get off, it's beneficial for me to have me rest my body. But I've just got to keep fighting. I'm a fighter. I'm just going to be tough and tough throughout this whole season and just continue to find my niche out there on the floor."

The high-ankle sprain forced Harris to miss 21 of the Magic's first 22 games.

On Monday he started for the 13th time this season.

"I think the great thing is he's trying to be out on the floor for his team," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "No one at this point is playing at a 100 percent level. You play through some pain, and you give him credit for trying to be on the floor for his teammates if he can."

Honoring Horace
As a part of their ongoing 25th-anniversary celebration, the Magic will honor Horace Grant between the first and second quarters of Friday night's game against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Grant had two separate stints with the franchise. He appeared in 411 regular-season games for the Magic, the eighth-most games in franchise history. He ranks fourth in franchise history in total rebounds (3,353).

jbrobbins@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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