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The Inside Track

A look at the NBA lockout through Friday:

December 26, 1998

* Games lost Friday: Two.

* Total games missed: 360.

* Earliest estimated date season can start: Jan. 22.

* Negotiations: David Stern and Billy Hunter might meet this weekend, with the league having set a Jan. 7 deadline to end the season.

* Projected player salary losses (through Jan. 22): $480 million.

* Tape session: The Knicks-Bulls game scheduled for Christmas Day was replaced on NBC by the Jimmy Stewart classic "It's a Wonderful Life."

* Quote of the day: "When it gets cold out, it's time to play basketball." -- Pacer Coach Larry Bird.

* Today's best canceled game: Boston at Indiana, The Celtics and Larry Bird were to reunite again. Bird, the coach of the year last season, was inducted into the Hall of Fame this fall.

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