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Sprewell Sidelined by Heel Injury

From Associated Press

After playing only two games for the New York Knicks, Latrell Sprewell will be out of action again.

Sprewell will be sidelined three to six weeks because of a stress fracture of his right heel, the Knicks announced Tuesday.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed,” said Sprewell, acquired in a Jan. 21 trade. “I had every intention of suiting up to play [Wednesday], but the injury was more than I thought.”

Sprewell sat out the final 15 minutes of practice Monday and the entire practice Tuesday. An X-ray and a CT scan failed to show the injury, but an MRI exam disclosed a tiny fracture.

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It was not known exactly how Sprewell suffered the injury. He scored only five points in his regular-season home debut Sunday, shooting two for 12 from the field in a loss to the Miami Heat that dropped New York to 0-2.

Sprewell scored 24 points in a loss at Orlando on opening night.

With Sprewell sidelined, the Knicks may move Larry Johnson to small forward and insert Kurt Thomas into the starting lineup at power forward.

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Miami Heat forward Jamal Mashburn will be sidelined at least two weeks because of a deep bruise in his left knee, the team said.

The injury depletes a lineup already without guard Voshon Lenard, who has decided to undergo surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left leg.

Mashburn appeared ready for a breakthrough season, leading the Heat with 42 points in their first two games. He hurt his leg Sunday, and an MRI exam Tuesday disclosed the deep bruise.

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Overnight ratings for NBC’s Sunday afternoon doubleheader were 5.8--up 2% from the network’s first telecast in 1998, which posted a 5.7 rating.

Turner Sports enjoyed similar success with its two games Friday night on TNT. The first game, New York at Orlando, posted a 2.5 national rating, and the Houston-Laker matchup received a 3.1 for an overall mark of 2.8.

That was a 65% jump from Turner’s average last season.

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The Phoenix Suns’ 347-game home sellout streak, the second-longest in the NBA, came to an end Tuesday night when about 800 tickets went unsold for a game against the Sacramento Kings.

“Streaks come and streaks go,” owner Jerry Colangelo said. “It’s not the end of the world.”

The Chicago Bulls have the league’s longest streak of home sellouts at 448 games, dating to 1987. The New York Knicks are second with 224.


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