NEW ORLEANS - The Dallas Mavericks will have to find a way to survive without forward Dirk Nowitzki, who will miss at least the next four games with a sore right knee.
It's the same knee that forced Nowitzki to miss nine games last season, a stretch in which the Mavs went 2-7.
Nowitzki leads the Mavs in scoring with 17.5 points per game. He will sit out Saturday night's game at New Orleans and upcoming home games against Phoenix, Minnesota and Utah before a potential return on Jan. 29 at home against the San Antonio Spurs.
With Nowitzki out, it's imperative that the Mavs find some scoring punch from someone else. Otherwise, this could be a very long four games.
"It's a great opportunity for us to step up and fill up all the stuff that Dirk does,'' center Ian Mahinmi said. “We have enough weapons on this team to cover him for a little bit.''
Nowitzki recently started wearing a protective sleeve on his right knee - a clear indication that something was amiss.
Nowitzki's injury comes on the heels of the sprained left foot guard Vince Carter suffered last Monday against the Los Angeles Lakers. The eight-time All-Star has missed the past two games and is out indefinitely.
- Dwain Price
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