Dallas Mavericks guard Jose Calderon was out of the starting lineup Saturday night with a bone bruise on his right ankle.
Coach Rick Carlisle said before the game against Minnesota that Calderon would be a “game-time decision” and was day to day. Calderon was in street clothes on the Dallas bench. Rookie guard Gal Mekel made his first NBA start in Calderon’s place.
Calderon got hurt in the second quarter of a loss at Atlanta on Friday and came out for good in the third quarter.
He was 4-of-5 on 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 16 points. Over his last 15 games, Calderon is shooting 51 percent (43 of 84) on 3-pointers. He is shooting 49 percent overall in that span.
FORWARDS OUT — The Brooklyn Nets and Memphis Grizzlies were both without key forwards Saturday, as Paul Pierce and Zach Randolph were out with injuries.
Pierce, the Nets’ third-leading scorer with 12.4 points a game, has a bruised right hand. Brooklyn first-year coach Jason Kidd says Pierce’s hand is “a little swollen.”
“They’ll look at it and see how he feels [Sunday], but we thought it was best for him to get some rest,” Kidd said.
The Grizzlies announced before the game that Randolph, their leading rebounder at 9.1 per game and second-leading scorer at 16.0 points, had surgery for an ingrown toenail earlier Saturday.
Randolph’s injury is another blow to the Memphis front line. Center Marc Gasol is out indefinitely with a left knee sprain.
LIQUID RELIEF — When it came to Kidd’s “accidental” beverage toss to leverage a stoppage late in the Nets’ loss to the Lakers, it was nothing short of old school.
Somewhere, former Heat coach Kevin Loughery had to be smiling, having used the tactic for years amid his various stops.
The irony is that it was Rod Thorn, Loughery’s former assistant with the Nets and now an NBA vice president, who levied the $50,000 fine on Kidd.