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Dampier vows to stick to rules

AFTER chatting with NBA officials, Dallas Mavericks center Erick Dampier is toning down his plans to knock down the San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker.

Dampier still promises to get physical with the speedy point guard in Game 3 of their playoffs, but he's no longer guaranteeing that "my first foul Thursday night is going to put him on his back."

"I probably shouldn't have said it like that," Dampier said on Wednesday. "Maybe the way it came out, it sounded bad. ... I'm just going to go out there and play the way I've been playing."

Dampier vowed on Monday to drop Parker after the Frenchman turned Game 2 into a personal layup drill. Parker scored 38 points in 33 minutes, leading San Antonio to a 105-84 victory that tied the series at one game apiece.

Once Dampier's quote reached the league office, a "review" began, which essentially meant Dampier had to explain himself.

"It wasn't said intentionally to go out and hurt anyone," Dampier said. "I mean, fouls happen in the game. It's just that we want to shut down the paint and not give up any easy layups."

No punishment was announced by the league, and Parker pretty much brushed off Dampier's threat.

"I can't focus on that," he said. "It's San Antonio and Dallas. We know they're going to come back strong. They're going to play very physical. They have a lot of character in that team, and just like we reacted in Game 2, they're going to react as well. ... I'll be ready."

Parker scored 24 points in the opener, but made only two field goals in the second half. He scored as many points in the first quarter of Game 2 as the Mavericks did, then in the second quarter absorbed a flagrant foul from Jason Terry. The league said Terry would not be penalized any further.

"For me, the main thing is to make sure that we do stuff that made us win Game 2," Parker said. "That's my main focus, for me to be aggressive and make sure I help my team win."

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich dismissed the whole Dampier-Parker drama.

"I don't pay attention, honestly, to anybody's comments. Not even my family's comments or my friends,'" Popovich said. "All that matters is what the teams do on the court." But what if the 2.11m, 120kg Dampier gets rough with the 1.88m, 82kg Parker? "He's a tough kid," Popovich said.


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