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NBA Players Are Losing Sleep Over This Season

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San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker, left, looks on as teammate Tim Duncan, right, yawns in the fourth quarter during an NBA basketball game with the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers defeated the Spurs 137-97. Both Parker and Duncan sat the game out on the bench. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) | AP

They touch down at another NBA city and check their smartphones to help them adjust to a new time zone while their own bodies struggle. They arrive with bags under their eyes and often depart that city a day later sleepless, jet-lagged, stowing sore joints and heavy legs.

During this lockout-shortened NBA season, it's been a grueling routine: 66 games played in 124 days, a pace of one per 1.88 days, or 8.5 percent faster than a usual season. Every team has played back-to-back-to-back sets and stretches such as nine games in 12 days; the Clippers played 20 games in 31 days in March, a marathon that has not been on the NBA schedule in 45 years.

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