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There's good and bad news for Orioles fans this morning.

The good news is that the O's -- who have dropped nine of their last 10 -- did not lose again last night because, well, they didn't play.

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The bad news is that because the Yankees -- after the key move of firing their director of performance enhancement -- won two more against the Rangers yesterday, which leaves Baltimore in sole possession of last place in the AL East.

The silver lining is that the Orioles find themselves just one game behind New York, Tampa Bay and Toronto in the division.  Of course, they're 6 1/2 behind first-place Boston, which erased a five-run deficit last night.

* Apparently unaware that halftime had ended, the Dallas Mavericks and, especially Dirk Nowitzki, watched the Golden State Warriors pull away in the third period, 36-15, and cruise to a 25-point win (111-86) to complete one of the biggest upsets in NBA playoff history.  The No. 8-seeded Warriors knocked off the No. 1-seeded Mavericks 4-2 in a series in which Nowitzki disappeared.  Last night, he was just 2-for-13 and scored a measly eight points.

Warrior Baron Davis,  limping on a strained hamstring, completed a sterling series with a 20-point performance.

Nowitzki was quoted this way: "It's a disappointment. You can't even describe it. You play your heart out for six, seven months, you win 67 games, and it really means nothing at this point. ... This is tough to swallow."

Mark Cuban's team was embarrassed by a team led by his former coach, Don Nelson, with whom Cuban has been feuding. One clever banner from a Golden State fan: Nellie smokes Cuban.

* In the wee hours last night, the brothers Niedermayer, Scott and Rob, helped lift the the Anaheim Ducks over the Vancouver Canucks, 2-1, in two overtimes to win their NHL playoff series (4-1) and advance to the West Conference finals against either Detroit or San Jose.  The Ducks outshot the Canucks, 63-27.

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