Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Dirk feels for Kirilenko

Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 on a night when he was hounded by boos after a first-quarter takedown of Andrei Kirilenko. Already disliked in these parts for his infamous “Utah is a bad city” remark years ago, Nowitzki’s flagrant foul five minutes into the game eventually sent Kirilenko to the hospital.

Kirilenko had the ball under the basket and hesitated slightly before taking it up. Nowitzki mistimed his block attempt and whipped his right arm across Kirilenko’s neck. The Russian fell on his right hip and hobbled to the locker room for X-rays, which were inconclusive. He was wheeled out of the arena and taken to a local hospital for further tests.

“Tough situation,” Nowitzki said. “He pump-faked me under the hoop and I left my feet and I didn’t want to give up the ‘and 1,’ so I tried to grab him and unfortunately grabbed him around the neck. Things went so fast.”

Nowitzki felt bad about the incident and added: “Hopefully, he’ll be OK.”

According to reports out of Utah, the X-rays were negative and Kirilenko was scheduled to undergo an MRI exam today.

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