Add star Dirk Nowitzki to the long injury list for Dallas in the playoffs.
Coach Rick Carlisle said Tuesday that Nowitzki bruised his right knee when he fell early in the Mavericks' 85-84 Game 2 win over Oklahoma City in a first-round playoff series that is tied 1-1.
Nowitzki joins a list of players who might miss Game 3 on Thursday, including starting guards Deron Williams and J.J. Barea and backup forward David Lee.
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Williams is dealing with a sports hernia injury that will require offseason surgery. He had an effective first half in Game 2 on Monday but left in the third quarter and didn't return. Barea (right groin strain) missed Game 2, and Lee has yet to play in the series because of a right heel injury. Lee has targeted Game 3 for his return.
Guard Devin Harris is playing with a torn ligament in his left thumb, and Carlisle said he came through Game 2 in decent shape. It's hard to say the same for the Mavericks as a whole after an improbable win that kept them in the series.
Dallas went into the series without another starter in versatile forward Chandler Parsons, who is out for the season following the second surgery on his right knee in less than a year.
"We know from a manpower standpoint we're at a pretty big disadvantage," Carlisle said. "And we know we're not going to outrun or outdunk or outskill these guys. We've got to play a working man's, grinding, highly intelligent game and hang with them."
Guard Raymond Felton had 21 points and a team-high 11 rebounds and Nowitzki scored 17 points on 7-of-19 shooting to help the Mavericks bounce back from a 108-70 loss in the opener. That had been the fifth straight loss to the Thunder in the playoffs for the Mavericks since Dallas beat Oklahoma City in the Western Conference finals on the way to the NBA title in 2011. The Mavericks also lost all four matchups this regular season.
"I'm proud of the way we played last night, but we haven't done anything," Carlisle said. "The idea and the goal is to win a series, not just to win one game. We've got to keep our medical staff extremely busy and we're going to see who we can get healthy for Game 3."
And suddenly, Nowitzki tops a list that's been crowded for weeks. Carlisle said he hopes the extra day off between games with boost the 7-foot German's chances of playing.
"He's a great player who's been a big part of any success we've had this year," Carlisle said of his leading scorer. "Without him we wouldn't be in the playoffs."