Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki had arthroscopic surgery on his ailing right knee and the 11-time All-Star isn't expected to resume on-court activities for about six weeks.


Nowitzki has knee surgery

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki had arthroscopic surgery on his ailing right knee Friday, and the 11-time All-Star isn’t expected to resume on-court activities for about six weeks.

Dallas opens its regular season Oct. 30 against the Lakers in Los Angeles.

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“It’s never going to be easy to lose a game-changer for six weeks,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.

Nowitzki, 34, has experienced swelling in the knee most of the exhibition season, twice having the knee drained since training camp started Sept. 29. The knee didn’t improve after rest, ice and light conditioning work, leading to the decision to have surgery.

Nowitzki has averaged 22.9 points and 8.3 rebounds in 14 seasons.

Thompson helps Warriors

David Lee scored 24 points and Klay Thompson, an ex-Washington State standout, added 19 as the visiting Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 101-97 in an exhibition game.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 18 points for the Blazers.


League cancels more games

The league wiped out the third week of the regular season as the lockout dragged on, leaving no more wiggle room if it hopes to play a full 82-game schedule.

A day after the NHL turned down three counterproposals from players, the league canceled 53 more games. A total of 135 games through Nov. 1 have been scratched, which amounts to 11 percent of the season.

In its third lockout since 1994, the NHL is sticking to its most recent proposal that stated a full 82-games-per-team schedule could be played if the season begins by Nov. 2. League officials said a deal must be reached with the union by Thursday for that to happen.


Armstrong speaks at event

Lance Armstrong said he has been through a “difficult couple of weeks” and urged supporters of his cancer-fighting charity to stand behind its mission.

“The mission is bigger than me. It’s bigger than any individual,” Armstrong said in his opening remarks at Livestrong’s 15th anniversary celebration in Austin, Texas.

Armstrong has been turned into an outcast in pro cycling and most of his personal sponsors dropped him this week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a massive report detailing performance-enhancing drug use by the seven-time Tour de France winner. USADA has ordered him banned from cycling for life and stripped of his Tour de France victories.

Armstrong, who denies doping, didn’t address the USADA report or the doping charges in his remarks. Instead, he focused on the mission of the foundation he started in 1997. Armstrong was diagnosed in 1996 with testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain.

“I am … truly humbled by your support,” Armstrong said after receiving a standing ovation from the crowd of 1,700. “It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for me and my family, my friends and this foundation.”

The final word on Armstrong’s Tour titles could come Monday, when cycling’s governing body gives its response to the USADA report.

The UCI has until the end of the month to decide whether to ratify USADA’s decision or appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. UCI president Pat McQuaid will hold a news conference in Geneva on Monday.


• Dutch bank Rabobank is ending its sponsorship of professional cycling, saying “the trust in the cycling world has gone.”

Officials said the bank will halt sponsorship of its men’s and women’s professional teams at the end of 2012, after 17 years of being involved in the sport.

Fiorenzo Magni, a three-time Giro d’Italia cycling champion, died of an aneurysm. He was 91.

• American Venus Williams beat top-seeded Roberta Vinci of Italy 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the Luxembourg Open.

Playing in her first tennis tournament since struggling with a back problem at the U.S. Open, Williams will face Andrea Petkovic of Germany. Petkovic defeated Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-2.

• Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was assaulted by a fan who ran onto the field during a soccer match against Leeds in England.

After Kirkland allowed a goal in the 77th minute in the 1-1 draw, the man ran onto the field from the Leeds section of the crowd and struck the former England keeper in the face. Kirkland received treatment and remained in the game.

• Boxer Orlando Cruz won his first fight since publicly declaring his homosexuality.

Puerto Rican featherweight Cruz (19-2-1) beat Jorge Pazos (20-4) of Mexico in a unanimous decision in Kissimmee, Fla.

• A Florida judge has given two more years of probation to basketball forward Trevor Mbakwe of the University of Minnesota for a drunken-driving charge over the summer.

Mbakwe was on probation for a 2009 felony battery charge in Florida at the time of his July 1 arrest in Minnesota and could have faced jail time for the violation. He will be on probation through Oct. 19, 2014.

• Canada’s Valerie Maltais surpassed the women’s world short-track speedskating record in the 1,000 meters, winning her qualification heat at the ISU World Cup in Calgary, Alberta, in 1 minute, 27.653 seconds.

She beat the mark of 1:29.049 set by China’s Zhou Yang in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

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