Dirk Nowitzki leaves with knee injury

December, 28, 2010

Dirk Nowitzki's knee injury isn't believed to be serious, although his owners probably aren't exhaling yet. The All-Star didn't return after being injured early in the second quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Nowitzki was fouled by Serge Ibaka on a shot attempt and landed awkwardly on his right knee. Though X-rays showed no damage and Mavericks officials said they didn't expect him to miss any significant time, Nowitzki revealed after the game that his knee had bothered him over the past couple of weeks. He planned to have an MRI on Tuesday.

For those in daily lineup leagues, Shawn Marion is a must-add. Marion, who's available in about 75 percent of ESPN.com leagues, played 32 minutes Monday and finished with 20 points and nine boards. The Dallas Mavericks host the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday and the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday.

Looking Back

Tyreke Evans revealed that he's considered undergoing a procedure on his left foot that would keep him sidelined for months. Evans has been tormented by a mild case of plantar fasciitis, but the timing of his statement is curious since it came after he scored a season-high 32 points against the Los Angeles Clippers. Any long-term injury to Evans would likely mean a return to fantasy prominence for Francisco Garcia. Garcia, who was making his first start since the season opener, played 25 minutes Monday, finishing with 12 points (all on 3-pointers) and a couple of blocks.

• The Charlotte Bobcats looked like a team transformed under interim coach Paul Silas. Their 105 points against the Detroit Pistons was the most they've scored in more than a month. Much of the offense came from D.J. Augustin (27 points, including four treys) and Stephen Jackson (23 points and nine rebounds but nine turnovers). However, some of us holdouts were hoping for better than 23 minutes from Tyrus Thomas (14 points and five blocks but six turnovers), especially with Gerald Wallace still sidelined by an ankle problem.

Andrea Bargnani (calf) sat out for fourth time in six games and isn't expected to play during the Toronto Raptors' current three-game road trip. Joey Dorsey (10 points, 13 rebounds but 0-of-5 from the line) made just his second career start for Bargs, but if there's any Raptor you want now, it's Linas Kleiza (22 points, two 3s). Kleiza is replacing Sonny Weems (back) in the lineup; however, given his level of production -- 21.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 triples over his past four -- he could stick as a starter.

Andray Blatche (17 points, 14 rebounds, three steals) and JaVale McGee (two points, seven rebounds, three blocks) returned from their one-game suspensions for the Washington Wizards, while John Wall (13 points, six assists, five rebounds) continues to work his way back from injury. Newcomer Rashard Lewis (12 points, nine rebounds, five assists) struggled with his shot but had another good night on the boards.

Hedo Turkoglu (20 points, seven rebounds, five assists) enjoyed his best game in his second stint with the Orlando Magic, and Dwight Howard (19 points, 13 rebounds, six blocks) dominated again. But Gilbert Arenas (nine points in a season-low 20:31) and Jason Richardson (14 points, four assists) continued to flounder with their new team. Fantasy owners should watch Ryan Anderson (10 points, 12 rebounds, two steals), who's mostly unowned in ESPN.com leagues. With Marcin Gortat dealt, Anderson has solid minutes backing up both Howard and Brandon Bass.

Andre Iguodala (Achilles) was a late scratch, while Lou Williams missed a second straight game. Iguodala is considered iffy for Wednesday's contest at the Phoenix Suns, though Williams, who's awaiting the impending birth of his first child, could be available.



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