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Cavs stop Rockets The Rockets were done. They had played their fourth game in five nights, all with travel. They packed the usual aches and pains with them for the trip. (Shane Battier and Tracy McGrady swell so badly on the longer flights, they have been wearing these goofy spandex things that look as if stolen from Usain Bolt and still, they can barely walk when the flights land.) There was still a few seconds left, but their 99 90 loss to the Cavaliers was certain. Artest, however, wanted to make a point. The guy still loves to compete. McGrady was on the bench, having wandered his way around the floor for 30 minutes, scoring four points, all in the first half, and said later that the schedule of four games in five nights had caught up to him. Yao Ming was still fuming over foul calls. He had reason to gripe of a few, none more than the Anderson Varejao flop for Yao's third foul. How this guy can still fool anyone with such dives is inexplicable; though the worst one was actually the flop against Carl Landry in which Varejao crashed so hard on the small bit of contact, he looked like a stuntman shot in an old Western. It's amazing he survived. Artest, however, was thinking only about finishing strong. If Fran was giving a song title to that part of the game it would be Springsteen's "No Retreat, No Surrender." Artest did get a bit out of control when he shoved James to pick up a technical foul in the final minute. Minutes later, however, when James sought only to dribble out the final seconds, Artest defended him as if Game 7 were on the line. It was a bit of show boating, certainly unnecessary, but he made a point that needed to be made. Artest just plays. Starting or off the bench, healthy nike x tom sachs or limping, he shows up and goes to work. "Always, always, always, every time we play against each other, it's always fun," Artest said. "I don't get as much chance to go at him as I want him, not like at Sacramento when it nike 02774 was a head to head match up. I'm more on the defensive end now. I'm definitely appreciative of my role. Guys like him, they push me. "Guys like him, Kevin Martin, Joe Johnson, they push me. They keep me going. You get young studs, they keep me going. I have a reason for playing." So with the game basically over, he kept on playing. No excuses. Go down fighting. "Just play hard," he said. "If you lose, you lose, but I like to lose with dignity. If you lose, lose with dignity. I'm happy when I win, I'm emotional and still playing hard. I try to play the same way all the time." You can't walk 15 feet around here without someone mentioning 2010. It's freezing outside, but man are they sweating it. For now, the place is packed and loud and the team is terrific. LeBron goes and this whole franchise turns into the Indians at the beginning of 'Major League.' There was a huge stir the other day when James said they he might consider re upping next summer, a year early. He was pretty clear that it is nike shoes dual fusion his intention to consider everything, but there was much rejoicing I still think LeBron will stay in Cleveland, mostly because the Cavs are very good and will remain that way long enough to win his hand. All that nonsense about him needing a larger market seems pretty silly while he grows into a global icon out of little old Cleveland. And it might be fun to let Cleveland laugh at New York for its hubris. From a selfish standpoint, if LeBron left Cleveland, home of the worst media seating in the history of the NBA, I'd be OK with it. You see, we are NOT all witnesses. If he goes, and the seats at the Q are empty again, I'm guessing the Cavs won't be so eager to stick it to the local media.