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Mavs' Nowitzki tears tendon in left index finger


MIAMI (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki tore a tendon in his left middle finger during Game 1 of the NBA finals, and likely will wear a splint to protect it the rest of the series.

Nowitzki was hurt trying to swipe the ball from Miami's Chris Bosh during the fourth quarter of Dallas' 92-84 loss in the opener Tuesday night. Instead, a foul was called on the play and when he looked at his hand, "I couldn't straighten my finger our any more."

Nowitzki said an X-ray showed no broken bones.

"It was just a freaky play," Nowitzki said. "I have to wear a splint probably for the rest of the playoffs, for a couple of weeks. But it will be all right."

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Nowitzki led Dallas with 27 points in the opener, but made only 7 of 18 shots.

Overall, the Mavericks made 37.3 percent of their shots, worst of the postseason. So they're going to need Nowitzki to be as accurate as possible in Game 2 to keep the series from slipping away.

Nowitzki is right-handed, so he uses his left hand mostly to guide his shots. He said he doesn't expect the injury or the bandage to be much of an issue.

Neither does Heat star LeBron James.

"He's right-handed," James said. "It won't affect him. He's still going to be great. He's still Dirk."