Thursday, June 2, 2011
Updated: June 4, 12:27 PM ET
Three Mavericks return with injuries
By Calvin Watkins
MIAMI -- The Dallas Mavericks return home for Game 3 of the NBA Finals with injuries to three key players.
The biggest was to star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who suffered a torn tendon in his left middle finger in the opener. He played with the injury in the Mavs' 95-93 comeback victory over the Miami Heat in Game 2 on Thursday night.
Nowitzki, who scored 24 points, including the game-winner with a left-handed layup, said the finger was fine.
"I thought it wasn't going to bother me before the game and it didn't," Nowitzki said. "We were able to keep the tape a little lower, so I was able to keep my grip on the ball."
Backup center Brendan Haywood left the game with 11:34 remaining with a strained right hip flexor. Haywood, who played just 8 minutes, did not return. Team officials said late Thursday night that his injury was nothing serious, but coach Rick Carlisle on Friday told Galloway & Co. on 103.3 FM ESPN that Haywood's status for Game 3 is uncertain.
"We'll know more (Saturday). He was not feeling well when he left the game," Carlisle said. "If he's able to play I'm sure he'll play. If not we'll have to adjust."
Haywood had to purposely commit a foul so he could exit the game. He immediately headed for the trainer's room and did not return to the game.
Shooting guard Jason Terry participated with a bone bruise on his right wrist and received treatment during the game. He wore a brace on his wrist at the start of the second half while sitting on the bench but removed it once he entered the game.
The Mavericks' sixth man said he hurt the wrist while attempting a dunk in Game 1 and that the injury bothered him some Thursday.
Terry, who struggled with his shot at times, finished with 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting. During the Mavs' fourth-quarter comeback, he scored six consecutive points to get things started.
"I have had games throughout my career where I've struggled," Terry said. "I've struggled throughout three quarters in the game and then, boom, in the fourth quarter the light comes on."
Calvin Watkins is a reporter for ESPNDallas.com.