Dirk Nowitzki sat out Dallas’s 83-81 victory in New Orleans last night and will miss at least three more games so the star forward can get in better game shape while strengthening his sore right knee.
“We just thought it was a good decision for everybody. I’m not happy right now anyways, so the guys are better off when I’m not out there,’’ Nowitzki said. “This gives me time to really do some of the stuff that I couldn’t do when my knee was bothering me the last couple weeks. I couldn’t lift and run and do the things I needed to do.’’
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said he and the Mavericks’ training staff decided Nowitzki needed “an uninterrupted eight days of work to resolve some physical issues and conditioning issues,’’ adding that Nowitzki had “no choice’’ in the matter.
“There was no negotiating,’’ Carlisle said. “The important thing to realize is this is not a rest week. This is a work week and we’re going to get some of these minor issues resolved.
Nowitzki has been playing with a protective sleeve on his right knee and at times has complained of stiffness and irritation.
In last night’s game, Lamar Odom, who started for Nowitzki, and Delonte West each scored 16 points in an 83-81 road victory.
Nuggets 119, Knicks 114 - Danilo Gallinari outplayed Carmelo Anthony in the first meeting since they were swapped in a blockbuster trade, scoring a career-high 37 points as Denver outlasted host New York in double overtime.
Al Harrington, another former Knicks forward, scored 22 of his 24 points after halftime for the Nuggets, allowing them to withstand Anthony’s attempt to rally the Knicks.
Anthony finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, missing 20 of 30 shots in the Knicks’ sixth straight loss. He missed 14 of his first 17 shots and heard boos, then made his final four of regulation to nearly help New York pull it out.
The Knicks led for the final time at 111-110 on Anthony’s jumper with 1:38 to play in the second overtime, but Gallinari made two free throws and Harrington hit a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 115-111 with 46 seconds to go.
Rockets 105, Spurs 102 - Kevin Martin scored 25 points and Kyle Lowry had 14 points and eight assists as host Houston took advantage of Tim Duncan’s absence to beat San Antonio.
Tony Parker had 24 points and a season-high 13 assists for the Spurs, who were playing their fourth game in five nights. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich rested Duncan, who played 25 minutes in Friday night’s loss to Sacramento. Tiago Splitter had a career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who dropped to 1-6 on the road.
Bulls 95, Bobcats 89 - Carlos Boozer scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half to lead shorthanded Chicago over struggling Charlotte, which has dropped nine of 10.
Luol Deng added 22 points and eight rebounds as the Bulls won their seventh straight at home and improved to an NBA-best 15-3 despite the absence of two starters and two key reserves. Richard Hamilton added a season-high 18 points for Chicago.
The Bulls played their fourth straight game without reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose (sprained left big toe). They also were missing starting center Joakim Noah, a late scratch because of a left ankle sprain.
In addition to the missing starters, reserves Taj Gibson (left ankle sprain) and John Lucas III (left groin strain) also sat out. The Bulls had plenty of firepower left on the roster.
Pistons 94, Trail Blazers 91 - Rodney Stuckey scored 28 points as host Detroit won for only the second time in 12 games.
LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 25 points, one night after a 33-point, 23-rebound effort against Toronto. Felton had 20 points and nine assists.
Hawks 121, Cavaliers 94 - Joe Johnson scored 25 points as host Atlanta, coming off a loss that prompted its coach to say the players quit, responded with their highest scoring output of the season in a rout of Cleveland.
Heat 113, 76ers 92 - Chris Bosh scored 30 points and LeBron James added 28 points and nine rebounds as host Miami remained unbeaten (6-0) without Dwyane Wade in the lineup this season.
Grizzlies 128, Kings 95 - Rudy Gay had 23 points and Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo added 22 apiece as host Memphis won its sixth straight, moving atop the Southwest Division, percentage points ahead of San Antonio and Dallas.
Thunder 84, Nets 74 - Kevin Durant had 20 points and a season-high 15 rebounds as Oklahoma stifled New Jersey, limiting the hosts to 31 percent shooting.
Jazz 108, Timberwolves 98 - Paul Millsap scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to power host Utah.