Dirk Nowitzki, pictured here during a game against the Rockets on Oct. 15,… (Larry W. Smith / EPA )
The second makeover of the Dallas Mavericks in as many seasons just got tougher.
Star forward Dirk Nowitzki had arthroscopic surgery on his ailing right knee Friday and the 11-time All-Star isn't expected to resume on-court activities for about six weeks.
Dallas opens the regular season Oct. 30 against the Lakers at Staples Center.
The 34-year-old Nowitzki has experienced swelling in the knee most of the preseason, twice having the knee drained since training camp started Sept. 29. The knee didn't improve after rest, ice and light conditioning work, leading to the decision to have surgery.
The 2011 NBA finals most valuable player played just one preseason game — the opener in his native Germany.
The Mavericks already have the challenge of working five new players into the rotation, and one of them can play Nowitzki's position — 13-year veteran Elton Brand. Vince Carter, another veteran who joined Dallas last season, also could slide into that spot.
Nowitzki is the franchise's career leader in points and has averaged 22.9 points and 8.3 rebounds in 14 seasons.
Fever beat Lynx in Game 3
Minnesota Coach Cheryl Reeve drew national attention with her screaming, jacket-tossing meltdown in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals.
The Indiana Fever silenced her in Game 3. Shavonte Zellous scored a career-high 30 points to help the Fever beat the Lynx 76-59 on Friday night at Indianapolis.
Tamika Catchings added 17 points and Erlana Larkins had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Fever, who took a 2-1 lead in the series and can win their first title at home Sunday night against the defending champions.
Davis Love III , host of the McGladrey Classic at St. Simons Island, Ga., hit a six-iron to three feet on the 17th hole that put him in the final group going into the weekend.
Love was one shot behind Arjun Atwal, who is running out of time to keep his PGA Tour card. Atwal made an adjustment in his putting stroke earlier in the week and watched it pay off in a big way Friday at Sea Island for a 63, his best score of the year. Atwal was at 10-under 130.
Love, who shot 66 Friday, was tied with Jim Furyk, who shot 65.
Norway's Suzann Pettersen shot a course-record nine-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA Tour's HanaBank Championship in Incheon, South Korea.
Sweden's Karin Sjodin opened with a 65, and South Korea's So Yeon Ryu, Moon Hyun-hee and Kim Ha-neul were three strokes back at 66 along with Japan's Ai Miyazato and Spain's Azahara Munoz.
Argentina's Emiliano Grillo shot a five-under 67 to take a four-stroke lead in the Perth International in Australia.
American Bo Van Pelt and Australia's Jason Scrivener were tied for second.
A baseball official familiar with the discussions says the Red Sox have asked the Toronto Blue Jays for permission to talk with Manager John Farrell about the opening in Boston.
The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the talks are ongoing, confirmed the request to the Associated Press on Friday night. ESPN first reported the talks.
San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney have been selected comeback players of the year.
Posey returned from a broken leg to win the National League batting title this season, hitting .336 with a career-high 24 homers and 103 RBIs while leading the Giants to the NL West title. Posey played in only 45 games in 2011 after being injured in a violent collision at home plate on May 25.
A first-time All-Star, Rodney had 48 saves in his first year with the Rays. He was 2-2 with a 0.60 ERA, a record for a reliever with at least 50 innings. In 74 2-3 innings, Rodney allowed just five earned runs and 43 hits. He was also chosen as delivery man of the year.
Rodney struggled with a back injury in 2011 and lost his role as the Angels' closer, finishing with three saves.
Former world-champion boxer Erik Morales tested positive for a banned substance, requiring secondary samples to be screened before his rematch against World Boxing Assn. and World Boxing Council junior-welterweight champion Danny Garcia (24-0, 15 knockouts) can proceed Saturday in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The 36-year-old Morales (52-8, 36 KOs) submitted a drug-test result Oct. 3 that was found to be positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, which has weight-loss effects.
Morales was stripped of his WBC belt in March for not making weight in his first bout against Garcia.
The Brooklyn card, televised by Showtime, features four world-title bouts including world welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi of Brooklyn defending his belt for the first time, against Pablo Cesar Cano. Cano, however, failed to make the 147-pound limit and he will not be awarded the belt if he wins.
— Lance Pugmire
Venus Williams beat top-seeded Roberta Vinci of Italy, 7-6 (2), 6-4, to reach the semifinals of the Luxembourg Open.
Playing in her first tournament since the U.S. Open, Williams will face Andrea Petkovic of Germany, who defeated Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan, 6-3, 6-2.
Williams had struggled with a back problem at the U.S. Open.