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SPECIAL MIDWEEK EDITION Dozen matter: Mavs rising

Updated: February 8, 2006, 6:06 PM ET
By Marc Stein
ESPN.com

DALLAS -- Five days before Christmas, Kobe Bryant had 62 points in three quarters for the Dallas Mavericks.

After Tuesday's night's rematch, Bryant had only advice for the Mavs.

"Screw 'em," Kobe said.

"If I'm Dirk or Avery," he continued, "I don't even listen to that stuff."

That stuff is the annual skepticism, derision and punking that specifically greeted these Mavs, this term, as soon as Bryant uncorked those 62 points ...

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