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Injured Nowitzki Unsure of Status

May 27, 2003|From Associated Press

Dirk Nowitzki has trouble describing exactly how his sprained left knee feels. He just knows it doesn't feel the way it should.

So, even though the Dallas Mavericks' leading scorer and rebounder says it will be a game-time decision whether he plays tonight against the San Antonio Spurs, he added it would take a drastic improvement for him to be on the court for Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

"I don't really have pain. It doesn't really hurt. But I can feel that something is not right with my knee," Nowitzki said Monday. "If I have that again tomorrow, I'm not going to play.

"To me, it's got to feel right. If I have any doubts that I can't push off, or have thoughts that I can't get out of my head, then I'm not going to play."

San Antonio leads the series, 3-1. A victory at home in Game 5 would put the Spurs in the NBA Finals.

Should Dallas force a sixth game, it would be Thursday night at Dallas. Nowitzki said his availability would still be a game-time decision.

Nowitzki was injured late in Game 3 on Friday night.

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With Jason Kidd's sprained ankle seemingly not a problem, New Jersey Net Coach Byron Scott was relaxed while talking about a possible matchup against Tim Duncan and the Spurs in the NBA Finals.

Kidd's right ankle was a major concern for the Nets on Saturday when they won their second consecutive Eastern Conference title with their 10th playoff victory in a row.

Kidd twisted the ankle when he landed on the foot of Detroit center Ben Wallace late in the fourth quarter in Game 4. The All-Star point guard returned after a few minutes to finish the game and the sweep.

For those watching, however, there was reason for concern. Every time Kidd took a jump shot, he landed on his left foot to keep weight off the sprained ankle.

"It's still a little sore," Scott said of Kidd's ankle. "It was perfect for us to win the game so he has some time to heal up."

The Nets won't start the NBA Finals until June 4.

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Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets is suing Coca-Cola's Chinese subsidiary in an effort to stop it from using his picture on commemorative bottles sold in his hometown of Shanghai.

According to Yao's Web site, he's seeking compensation of only 1 yuan (12 cents) for "spiritual and economic losses" and also wants Coca-Cola China to apologize in the Chinese media.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in Shanghai, where a court will decide this week whether to accept it, said Yao's agent, Erik Zhang.

Yao, who has an endorsement deal with Pepsi, complained two weeks ago about Coke using his image and threatened possible legal action.

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The Toronto Raptors announced that guard Alvin Williams had arthroscopic surgery last week to remove bone spurs from his left ankle.

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