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Finals-bound Mavs have come a long way, baby

Updated: June 4, 2006, 10:20 PM ET
Associated Press

DALLAS -- Like most longtime Dallas Mavericks fans, Mark Cuban remembers the bad old days, when "postseason play" meant being part of the draft lottery.

Boy, how times have changed.

Injected with Cuban's cash, Dirk Nowitzki's jumper and Avery Johnson's leadership, the Mavs are headed to the NBA Finals for the first time, starting Thursday night at home against the Miami Heat.

"We're excited, obviously," Johnson said after the Mavericks erased an 18-point deficit to ...

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