Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce is expected to miss the next two to four weeks of the NBA season with a fractured finger on his right hand, the team announced on Monday.
Pierce was injured in the first half of Friday’s 114-95 loss against Houston and missed Brooklyn’s 97-88 victory on Saturday against Memphis. He and three other starters were benched for the entire second half in the loss to Houston.
Medical tests showed Pierce had suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right middle finger, another setback for a club already without Deron Williams due to an ankle injury, Jason Terry with a knee problem and Andrei Kirilenko with a back issue.
Williams might be back by tomorrow, but Williams and Kirilenko will miss at least another week.
Over 15 games this season since leaving Boston for Brooklyn, Pierce has averaged 12.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists. The Nets have struggled to a 5-12 start.
Pierce will miss what would have been his first game for the Nets against Boston on Monday as well as tomorrow’s matchup against the Nets’ city rivals, the New York Knicks.
SPURS 102, HAWKS 100
Tim Duncan scored 23 points, including a last-second basket to win the game, and grabbed 21 rebounds to spark the San Antonio Spurs over the Atlanta Hawks 102-100 on Monday.
The 37-year-old NBA superstar, who has led the Spurs to four league titles and twice won the regular season NBA Most Valuable Player award, took a pass from Manu Ginobili and sank the deciding shot with 0.4 of a second remaining.
Duncan, who hit 10-of-15 shots from the field and also blocked two shots, lifted the Spurs to their 15th victory in 18 games, while the Hawks fell to 9-10 with their 16th consecutive loss in games played at San Antonio.
Boris Diaw came off the bench to score 16 points for the Spurs while fellow Frenchman Tony Parker added 15 points and seven assists for San Antonio. Argentina’s Ginobili finished with 10 points and seven assists.
The Hawks rallied late, sandwiching three-pointers by Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague around two Ginobili free throws to equalize at 100-100, setting the stage for Duncan’s clutch shot.
Teague led Atlanta with 19 points while Al Horford added 18, DeMarre Carroll had 17 points and Millsap finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Atlanta’s Kyle Korver, whose 88 games in a row with at least one three-point basket is one shy of matching the NBA record, missed his fourth consecutive game with a rib bruise. The streak will not end until he plays and fails to connect from beyond the arc.
PELICANS 131, BULLS 128, 3OT
Ryan Anderson scored an NBA career-high 36 points and Jrue Holiday made the deciding three-point play with 2.6 seconds remaining in triple overtime on Monday as New Orleans edged Chicago 131-128.
Eric Gordon added 23 points for the Pelicans, who were playing their first game without injured top scorer and rebounder Anthony Davis, but were still able to complete a perfect three-game road trip, improving to 9-8.
Britain’s Luol Deng had 37 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in a losing cause as the Bulls fell to 7-9. It was Chicago’s sixth loss in seven games, but the team’s first home loss of the season.
Davis, last year’s top pick in the NBA draft, broke his left hand on Sunday in New York, but the Pelicans — known as the Hornets until this season — took advantage of the best scoring performance in Anderson’s six NBA seasons to beat the Bulls.
Holiday, who sent the game into the first extra five-minute period on a jumper with 3.9 seconds remaining in regulation time, finished with 19 points and 12 assists.
Chicago’s Taj Gibson scored 26 points and contributed 14 rebounds, while Mike Dunleavy netted 23 points for the Bulls.
TRAIL BLAZERS 106, PACERS 102
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 28 points and the Portland Trail Blazers downed Indiana 106-102, snapping the Pacers’ NBA win streak at seven games on Monday despite a career-high 43 points by Paul George.
Damian Lillard added 26 points for Portland and Aldridge contributed 10 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who matched San Antonio for the best record in the Western Conference at 15-3 with their second win in a row after an 11-game win streak was ended on Wednesday last week against Phoenix.
Indiana, who opened the season with nine wins in a row, fell to an NBA-best 16-2. The only other team in the Eastern Conference with a winning record is defending NBA champions Miami at 14-3.
The Pacers had 16 points and 14 rebounds from Roy Hibbert, 12 points from David West and 11 assists from George Hill, but suffered their first defeat since falling 110-94 to Chicago on November 17.
George had 24 points in the first half, which ended with Indiana ahead 46-45, and he netted 17 points in the fourth quarter, when the Trail Blazers outscored the Pacers 34-30.
JAZZ 109, ROCKETS 103
Marvin Williams scored five points in the final two minutes, and Gordon Hayward broke out of a shooting slump to score 29 points as Utah beat Houston to earn its first back-to-back wins of the season.
With Utah clinging to a 101-98 lead, Williams stole James Harden’s pass and raced down for a dunk with two minutes left. Williams then hit a three-pointer from the top of the key with 59 seconds to go to boost the lead to 108-100.
Rookie Trey Burke posted career highs of 21 points and six assists for Utah, who shot 54 percent and made 10 of 17 from beyond the arc.
Harden had 15 of his season-best 37 points in the fourth quarter to keep the Rockets close, but they did not get enough defensive stops.
Dwight Howard had 15 points as Houston lost for only the second time in their last 10 games.
WIZARDS 98, MAGIC 80
Trevor Ariza scored 24 points and John Wall had 16 points and 13 assists as Washington beat Orlando to get to 0.500 in the standings for the first time since they split their first four games of the 2009 to 2010 season.
Nene scored 14 points and Marcin Gortat finished with 13 for Washington, who are at 9-9.
With top scorer Bradley Beal out of the lineup for the fifth-straight game due to injury, Ariza supplied the offense, hitting 8 of 9 from the field, including four three-pointers.
Arron Afflalo scored 21 points for Orlando, and Victor Oladipo added 13 points and six rebounds.