DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki came out of the locker room wearing a blue practice jersey and gray sweat pants, then headed downstairs to the Dallas Mavericks' practice court. He slapped hands with Jason Kidd's son and joked with a few other folks nearby.
His light mood changed once he reached the crowd waiting for him.
Nowitzki met with reporters for about 10 minutes Monday to discuss the leg injury he sustained the previous day. He said he feels fortunate it's only a moderate high-ankle sprain and mildly sprained knee, and he hopes to be back in a week or two.
But he also realizes it could be longer and the Mavericks might miss the playoffs without him.
"This is probably the most painful time to miss games," Nowitzki said. "That's very discouraging."
The medical staff can't even set a rehabilitation plan for the reigning MVP until the swelling is gone.
"We'll take it day-by-day, trust our trainers, trust our doctors, then go from there," Nowitzki said. "Hopefully, I can move where I can already go on the underwater treadmill a little bit in the next couple of days so at least I can put some pressure on it and see how it feels."
If there was any good news for the Mavs, it's that the big German moved pretty quickly for a guy with a bulky protective boot on his left leg. And, while Nowitzki was talking, Kidd was putting in extra work on his jump shot. Dallas will need all the scoring it can get without Nowitzki's 23.6 points per game.
"This is a great challenge," Kidd said. "We feel that we still have a lot of the pieces to be successful. We know that it's not going to be easy."
The Mavericks have lost three in a row and are only 9-8 since Kidd arrived in a blockbuster trade that was supposed bolster their championship chances.
PISTONS 110, SUNS 105, at Auburn Hills, Mich. -- Chauncey Billups scored nine of his 32 points in overtime, helping Detroit beat Phoenix despite missing All-Star guard Richard Hamilton (hip) and backup Juan Dixon (calf). Amare Stoudemire led Phoenix with 33 points.
NUGGETS 120, GRIZZLIES 106, at Memphis, Tenn. -- Allen Iverson had 26 points and seven assists, and Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points as Denver defeated Memphis.
76ERS 95, CELTICS 90, at Boston -- Andre Iguodala scored 28 points, including 10 in a row during a 19-0 fourth-quarter run, as Philadelphia rallied from an 11-point deficit to beat Boston.
NETS 106, KNICKS 91, at New York -- Vince Carter scored 27 points, Richard Jefferson 26, and New Jersey moved within one game of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
SUPERSONICS 97, TRAIL BLAZERS 84, at Seattle -- Kevin Durant scored 23 points, and Seattle snapped its 11-game losing streak with a win over Portland in what could be the final meeting of the I-5 rivalry.
HEAT 78, BUCKS 73, at Miami -- Chris Quinn, filling in for an injured Jason Williams, scored a career-high 24 points to lead Miami past Milwaukee.
TIP-INS -- Donnie Walsh, the Pacers' CEO and president since 1988, plans to step aside after this season, his 24th with the team. ... The Spurs re-signed guard Brent Barry, a month after trading him to the SuperSonics.
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