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Byline: Eddie Sefko
DALLAS _ A day after the Mavericks championed themselves as legitimate contenders this season, they couldn't beat a sub-.500 team missing its best player.
Perhaps the optimism should be tempered for a while.
They don't have long to regroup from the loss to Allen Iverson-less Philadelphia. Shaquille O'Neal, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat are headed their way Tuesday night.
Then, the Mavericks play seven of the following eight games on the road.
Clearly, there is much work ahead. Avery Johnson knows as much after an extended evening at the office after Saturday's game. He didn't sleep there. "But I thought about …