Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle says Dirk Nowitzki will sit out for at least four games, starting with Saturday night’s game in New Orleans, so the star forward can get in better game shape.


Carlisle says Nowitzki needs “an uninterrupted eight days of work to resolve some physical issues and conditioning issues.”


The Mavs coach says Nowitzki would prefer to keep playing but coaches and training staff decided it would be better for the team if he is restricted from game activity for the next week. Carlisle stresses that “this is not a rest situation” but “quite the opposite.”


Nowitzki has been playing with a protective sleeve on his right knee. His 17.5 points per game is more than four points below his career average.


Surgery for Nets forward


New Jersey Nets forward Damion James will have surgery on his right foot. There is no timetable for his return.


Nets General Manager Billy King said the surgery, which will replace a screw in James’ fifth metatarsal, would be performed in Indianapolis on Tuesday by Dr. David Porter.


Hinrich eager to return


Atlanta Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich, who has missed the first 17 games of the season while recovering from left shoulder surgery, says he hopes to return on Atlanta’s upcoming five-game trip.


Hinrich started in 22 of his 24 games with Atlanta last season after he was traded to the Hawks from Washington. He averaged 10.2 points and 4.0 assists overall.


Hinrich had surgery in November and he is trying to beat his projected recovery time of three to four months


Ankle still bothers Wade


Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade missed his third consecutive game Saturday night with a sprained ankle, while Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes sat out his third game in a row because of a left Achilles strain.


Wade remains listed as day-to-day and Saturday’s game against the 76ers was the sixth he’s missed this season. Wade is averaging 19.6 points for Miami this season. He’s also been bothered by a calf strain, though the ankle is Miami’s primary concern.


Hawes is averaging 10.4 points for the 76ers, who are 10-2 with him in the lineup. Sixers coach Doug Collins says Hawes will be evaluated again Monday.


NBA fines Jazz forward


Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors was fined $25,000 for throwing a ball into the stands during the third quarter of a 94-91 loss Thursday night against Dallas. The incident occurred with 24.8 seconds remaining in the third in a physical game that saw four technicals called.