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Leading Off (08/03/2020)

I shouldn't have to write Leading Offs after brutal Mavericks losses.

COVID-19 Update. Dallas County reported 518 new coronavirus cases and seven deaths. The latter puts us at 688 deaths.

Back the Blue Cruise Makes Curious Stop at Friendship West Baptist Church. Organizers say it was a misunderstanding and Dallas police say organizers got permission. But the church says they were asked for permission for a Black Live Matters rally. And Pastor Frederick Douglass Haynes III says, “There are seven or maybe eight mega-churches with big parking lots right in our area. They chose ours, that’s all I’ll say. We’re the only one out of those seven or eight that has a Black Lives Matter sign up. We’re the only one whose pastor is always out when it comes to these kinds of rallies and takes a stand against injustice. So I think the answer is real clear.” Haynes says it was intimidation. He and dozens of others marched outside Dallas police headquarters Sunday night.

Mavs Clinch Playoff Spot, But Lose to Suns. The Mavs were up 15 points and cooking. The Suns’ top two scorers, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, were both on the bench with five fouls apiece. And yet. They fell apart in the third quarter and that continued into the fourth and they never quite recovered, especially after an ill-timed flagrant by Dorian Finney-Smith paired with three foul shots by Booker. They ended up losing by two. That is two gut-punch losses for the Mavs to begin the NBA Restart. But, hey, they are officially in the playoffs.

“The Most Culturally Important Man” In Dallas. Read this obituary of the late art critic and curator Rick Brettell by Mark Lamster.

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