Around the NBA

MAVERICKS: Dirk Nowitzki is out indefinitely with a high ankle sprain and a mildly sprained knee.

The team announced the diagnosis Monday, the day after the reigning MVP was injured during a game against San Antonio.

He is getting around in a protective boot without crutches.

SPURS: Re-signed guard Brent Barry , a month after trading him to Seattle.

Seattle waived Barry on Feb. 21, a day after acquiring him, Francisco Elson and a 2009 first-round draft pick from San Antonio for Kurt Thomas .

Barry had to sit out 30 days before he could re-sign with the Spurs.

BUCKS: Charlie Bell tore a ligament in his right knee Saturday and will miss at least two weeks, breaking a string of 191 consecutive appearances.

PISTONS: Guards Richard Hamilton (sore left hip) and Juan Dixon (strained left calf) were sidelined for Monday night's game against the Phoenix Suns.

PACERS: Donnie Walsh 's career as an Indiana executive will end after this season.

He said he will finish the season, but he would not comment on his future. He said that the time is right to go and that he has enjoyed his 24 years with the Pacers.

Team president Larry Bird will assume most of his duties.



The most recent Hawks victory might have been their most important -- Saturday's win over Orlando put Atlanta 11/2 games up in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

That's why Joe Johnson 's performance was so impressive.

The seventh-year guard, in his third season with the Hawks, played 45 minutes and scored a game-high 34 points.

Johnson shot 12-for-20 from the field, including 3-for-5 from 3-point range. He made all seven of his free-throw attempts.

Point guard Mike Bibby led Atlanta with eight assists. Johnson added seven assists to go along with five rebounds and three steals.

Johnson stepping up to lead the Hawks is nothing new. He leads the team in scoring, averaging 21.6 points per game.

NEXT: at Chicago Bulls

WHEN: 8:30 tonight

TV: SportSouth

RECORD: 30-39



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