NEW ORLEANS -- X-rays of Shawn Marion's bruised ribs Wednesday night were negative. However, the Dallas Mavericks small forward said he is tender and is uncertain if he'll be able to play Thursday night against the New York Knicks.
Midway through the third quarter of the Mavs' deflating 93-92 loss to the New Orleans Hornets, Marion crashed into a cameraman along the baseline while going up for a breakaway layup. Hornets forward Marco Belinelli pushed Marion from behind and sent him flailing.
"I hit a spot that was already tender," said Marion, who bruised his ribs in Phoenix prior to the All-Star break. "I got a knee or a camera right there on the side. It hit directly in my rib cage. It's real tender, but I'll be all right."
Belinelli was called for a Flagrant 1 foul. Marion remained down a few moments just to the left of the goal support. He got to his feet and gingerly walked to the Mavs' bench for a timeout. He returned to shoot the free throws, making 1 of 2 attempts, and then came out the game for good less than a minute later.
Marion started in place of Peja Stojakovic, who was scratched with a stiff neck stemming from Tuesday's light workout in Minneapolis before the team flew to New Orleans. His availability for Thursday's game is also uncertain, which could leave the Mavs without their top two small forwards.
Dallas recently acquired fourth-year small forward Corey Brewer, but he has played a total of 22 minutes in four games and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle did not play him at all in Wednesday's loss.
If Marion can't play it would be a significant loss for the Mavs against new Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. On Saturday the Mavs face Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, who moved just one-half game behind Dallas in the Western Conference Standings. Marion is typically called upon to guard the opponent's top scoring wing.
"We're going to see what happens," Marion said regarding his status. "Just taking it one at a time."
Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.