Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki and coach Rick Carlisle missed the Mavericks’ game Saturday night against Milwaukee because of an unspecified illness.
Both missed the team’s shootaround earlier in the day and were not at American Airlines Center for the game.
Dallas assistant coach Monte Mathis filled in for Carlisle.
Nowitzki has played in all 23 games for the Mavericks, averaging 21.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. He missed the first 27 games last season because of knee surgery.
The Mavericks don’t play again until Wednesday night, giving both some time to recover.
KNICKS’ MARTIN OUT — New York Knicks forward Kenyon Martin was out Saturday with a strained abdominal muscle, though Amare Stoudemire was somewhat surprisingly available to play against Atlanta.
Martin was hurt Friday in a loss at Boston. Coach Mike Woodson said the medical staff hasn’t finished evaluating the extent of Martin’s injury, but thought Martin could be out a little while.
Stoudemire, whose minutes were restricted earlier this season coming off his third knee surgery in a year, said Friday he thought the medical staff would want him to sit out Saturday, the Knicks’ fourth game in five nights. But he said before Saturday’s game he felt great and wanted to play to help the Knicks, who are without Martin, Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton.
Stoudemire ended up needing surgery last season after his workload increased, and Woodson acknowledged that he probably wouldn’t play Saturday if the Knicks were 15-5. But they entered 6-16, and Stoudemire said he had “faith” he would be fine this time.
DELFINO HAS SURGERY — Milwaukee Bucks guard Carlos Delfino had surgery Saturday on his right foot.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Donato Villani in Argentina.
The 31-year-old Delfino hasn’t played this season after signing a free-agent contract July 17. In eight NBA seasons, he has averaged 8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
KAMAN RETURNS — Los Angeles Lakers reserve center Chris Kaman played Friday night for the first time since Nov. 17 and had nine points in 12 minutes, all in the fourth quarter. He had been bothered by a sore back and also had fallen out of D’Antoni’s rotation.