HOUSTON -- Patrick Beverley was front and center in the waning moments of Houstons 102-99 victory over Oklahoma City on Friday night, defending Thunder guard Russell Westbrook with vigor as the Rockets clutched a one-possession lead.For those aware of the value that Beverley brings to the Rockets (16-7) as a tenacious defender and reliable 3-point shooter, his impact on their turnaround isnt a surprise. However, how well Houston has performed since Beverley returned from preseason knee surgery is noteworthy after the Rockets improved to 10-2 with him.Pat has contributed in so many ways, said coach Mike DAntoni, whose will lead the Rockets against the visiting Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night at Toyota Center.Hes just good. Thats a winning spirit and the ripple effect of what he does with his energy just in the locker room before games, after games, on the bus. Whatever it is, its all about winning.I wish we had him all year now. Im ticked off that he was hurt.Despite being unable to find his shot (1 of 8 from the floor) and occasionally struggling to defend without fouling (five personal fouls), Beverley made a positive impact even before harassing Westbrook into errant shots inside the final minute. He finished with two steals, five assists and 12 rebounds, four on the offensive end.He entered Friday second on the team to center Clint Capela in defensive box plus/minus, and his 35.9 percent 3-point shooting is good enough to deliver as at best a tertiary perimeter option. His 4.7 assists per game represent a career high.But Beverley helped the Rockets win for the seventh time in eight games by forcing Westbrook into an air ball in the closing seconds. It was a routine, game-saving play.Pats defense was tremendous, ridiculous, Rockets forward Ryan Anderson said. Hes so valuable to this team just from plays like that. That was huge.For one game at least, the Mavericks (5-17) found the inspiration necessary to parlay their postgame team meeting on Wednesday night into something substantive. Despite missing forward Dirk Nowitzki (right Achilles), guard J.J. Barea (left calf) and center Andrew Bogut (right knee), Dallas exacted a measure of revenge against the Indiana Pacers with a 111-103 home victory on Friday night. The Mavericks dropped their season opener in Indianapolis.Dallas suffered a 31-point walloping against the Kings on Wednesday, prompting an impromptu locker room meeting after the loss. The Mavericks remain in last place in the Western Conference, but their energy and effort, lacking against the Kings, were present and accounted for with Indiana paying a visit.Until the Mavericks, 0-2 against the Rockets this season, are made whole again, their intensity and execution must carry them. That truth was underscored Friday.We just wanted to come out and compete, Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith said. We felt like we left a lot out there on the court the other night. We had a good practice and we tried to come out and give it our all and let the chips fall. Custom Miami Dolphins Jerseys . Varlamov made 33 saves and Ryan OReilly had a goal and scored in the shootout as the Avalanche beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Thursday night. Custom New York Jets Jerseys . But what about the officials? Every sport has officials and they also have stories about hard work and sacrifice but their accomplishments are seldom recognized by anyone outside their inner circle. http://www.footballcustomjerseys.com/custom-houston-texans-jerseys-588c.html . The players spoke Jan. 13 during a Major League Baseball Players Association conference call after Rodriguez sued the union and Major League Baseball to overturn an arbitrators decision suspending him for the 2014 season and post-season. Wholesale Custom Football Jerseys . PETERSBURG, Fla. Custom Oakland Raiders Jerseys . Their experience showed Tuesday as the No. 10 Badgers blunted a Saint Louis surge to win 63-57 and advance to face West Virginia in Wednesdays finals of the Cancun Challenge. LAS VEGAS -- Nevada lawmakers convene Monday to consider raising taxes in the Las Vegas area to help fund a $1.9 billion football stadium, a $1.4 billion convention center expansion and more police officers to protect the additional tourists. Here are things to know about the deal.STADIUM COULD MAKE VEGAS A SPORTS TOWNLas Vegas has long been a pariah for professional sports leagues because of Nevadas legal sports betting. But the stigma appears to be fading after the National Hockey League announced this summer that it plans to place an expansion team there starting in the 2017-2018 season. NFL owners, who have previously erred on the conservative side of the gambling question, would have to vote by a three-fourths majority to allow the Raiders to move from Oakland to Las Vegas. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he wants to try to keep the team in the Bay Area, while the teams owner, Mark Davis, said hes serious about moving the team to Las Vegas in time for the 2020 season. The stadium would also house UNLV football. The largely commuter school wants to elevate its reputation and play in a venue closer than its current home of Sam Boyd Stadium, which is seven miles from campus.IT WOULD RAISE TOURISTS HOTEL BILLSThe proposed deal would increase the hotel tax on the Las Vegas Strip by 0.88 percentage points for the stadium, and 0.5 percentage points for the convention center. Tourists are already paying a 12 percent hotel room tax, which funds tourism improvement projects, schools and other services. They would pay about $1.50 more per night on the average nightly Strip hotel bill if both proposals pass. Proponents are selling the project to lawmakers on the basis that the tax increase would hit tourists, not locals, and that the hotel tax has always been aimed at increasing tourism -- southern Nevadas most important industry. Two-thirds of each Republican-controlled house must approve any tax increase.DEAL FOR A BILLIONAIREBehind the deal is Las Vegas Sands casino owner and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, whos worth about $32 billion and ranks as the 14th richest person in the U.S. on Forbes latest rankings. Opponents say he, of all people, can affoord to fully finance the stadium on his own.dddddddddddd Adelson is committing $650 million to the project, while asking for $750 million from hotel tax revenue to cover bonds and $500 million from the Raiders and the NFL. Proponents argue the two projects could bring 14,000 permanent jobs and make a $620 million annual economic impact, while opponents fear the projections are too optimistic and worry the deals structure could leave taxpayers holding the bag in case of another recession. They also say the publics share -- 39 percent of the estimated total cost -- is higher than in other projects, while stadium supporters say thats on par with the breakdown at recently built Dallas and Minneapolis stadiums.UNION VS. UNIONThe hospitality workers of Las Vegas powerful Culinary Union are opposed to the stadium deal, releasing a cartoon-style video ad with the rhyme they must think that we are dumb / to raise taxes for their stadium. They insist theyre opposed to the deal because they think any tax hike revenues should go to Nevadas bottom-ranking public schools instead of stadiums, and not because Adelson has resisted unionization efforts at his casinos. But theyre going against other labor supporters, including the Laborers Union, which is eager for the thousands of construction jobs the projects are expected to create. The group held tailgate parties outside meetings focused on vetting the deal.YOM KIPPUR RECESSNevadas 63 lawmakers are supposed to meet in a special session starting Monday morning. Theres no set end date; special sessions in 2014 and 2015 lasted two and four days, respectively. Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval said he consulted with a rabbi about the potential that the meetings will conflict with Yom Kippur, the most important holiday on the Jewish calendar, and plans a break in the action from sundown Tuesday to sundown Wednesday for the observance. Lawmakers are prohibited from fundraising from the day after the governor issues a formal proclamation calling the session -- likely Sunday -- until 15 days after it adjourns. ' ' '