Notes on Thursday's games in the National Basketball Association ...

Ursines Bovines 1, Equines 0. As the nation anxiously awaits the match race between Charles Barkley and referee Dick Bavetta (we're installing Bavetta as a 3-1 favorite, get you bets in now), we bide our time by examining the exploits of P.J. Brown, whose defense and key points in the fourth quarter helped Chicago break Dallas' eight-game win streak, 96-85. Dirk Nowitzki had 28 points for the Mavericks, but was only 7-for-22 from the field. Ben Gordon had 30 points for the Bulls.

Nets Suffer The Worst Cuttino Of All . Cuttino Mobley's 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds left gave the Clippers a 102-101 victory over the Nets, the third straight game LA has been beaten at the final buzzer. Vince Carter scored 33 points for the Nets, who had lost only one game by two points or less all of last season.

American Idol. It's official; LeBron James is your top vote-getter for the All-Star Game, where he will start for the East along with Chris Bosh, Shaquille O'Neal, Dwyane Wade and Gilbert Arenas. The West will go with Kevin Garnett, Yao Ming (the second highest vote getter), Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady. The fact that O'Neal and Yao have missed significant chunks of the season with injuries didn't weight on the voters' minds, evidently. Hopefully there'll be more scoring than in the NHL All-Star game, anyway.