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Nowitzki takes shot at Bowen

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07:21 AM ET 04.23 | Dirk Nowitzki on Wednesday defended Dallas Mavericks teammate Erick Dampier's recent comments predicting punishment for San Antonio's Tony Parker when he darts into the paint. In the process, Nowitzki slipped in a little Spurs dig of his own. He didn't specify 37-year-old Bruce Bowen by name, but the pesky Spurs defender has been somewhat responsible for limiting Nowitzki this series. Bowen -- often discussed as one of the NBA's best defenders and dirty players -- also has harassed Nowitzki in playoffs past. "Nobody's trying to hurt anybody in this league," Nowitzki said. "We're all competitors, but we're all in this together. ... Damp certainly doesn't have the reputation of being a dirty player. They got one, we don't. So nothing's going to happen. We're just going to have to protect the paint a little better and not give up a hundred layups."

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Dirk Nowitzki, AP Dirk Nowitzki, AP

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