Mason sidelinedForward Desmond Mason will be sidelined at least 10 days. An MRI revealed Mason suffered a sprained right elbow. Saturday, his arm hit the backboard while attempting to block a shot at Philadelphia. But the injury actually occurred a week earlier against Minnesota, when Mason’s arm hit the rim attempting another block. "The doctor told me when it gets to a point it doesn’t hurt anymore I can get back and play,” Mason said. "It’s tough. I don’t like to sit out, even practices. It’s frustrating but I’d rather do this than hurt it worse and be out six weeks.” Mason is averaging 8.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in 10 games.
McGRADY INJUREDHouston star Tracy McGrady left the game in the second quarter after tweaking a gimpy knee. He did not return. On a team full of All-Stars, it was Luis Scola, not Yao Ming, Ron Artest or McGrady, who burned the Thunder. Scola scored 23 points, 21 the first three quarters. "They were trying to protect Yao, and Luis was the guy that was open,” said Houston coach Rick Adelman. "He made some big shots for us.”
WILCOX TO PLAY WEDNESDAYThunder forward Chris Wilcox, sidelined by a sprained knee, suited out for the first time in a week. Coach P.J. Carlesimo considered playing him but decided to wait until Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Wilcox averaged 13.4 points and 7.0 rebounds last season in Seattle, but his stats have been about half that in Oklahoma City. "He’s not been bad by any stretch, but I don’t think fans have seen a sustained and consistent Chris Wilcox, yet,” Carlesimo said. "When Weezy is healthy, which he hasn’t been, there’s no question what he’s capable of.”
SECOND OPINIONEarly in the fourth quarter, after officials called a foul on Damien Wilkins, he walked over to TV analyst Grant Long. "Grant, did I foul him?” Long, wearing his headset, nodded. Wilkins flashed a smile. "No. That wasn’t a foul.”
WILKINS, WEAVER OPPORTUNITIESCarlesimo said Mason’s injury will give Wilkins more playing time and possibly some minutes for rookie guard Kyle Weaver against smaller teams. "We’ll miss (Mason’s) defense and his intensity,” Carlesimo said. "He always brings that to the table. He’s been our best wing defender. He plays very, very hard and is competitive, something that we need. This gives other guys an opportunity. Damien has been great, very professional handling not getting an opportunity to play.”
PINTO RETURNSRadio play-by-play announcer Matt Pinto returned for Monday’s game after taking a week off to be with his wife, Becky, who delivered the couple’s first child, Nash, on Nov. 11. Pinto said the name, in part, is attributed to Suns point guard Steve Nash. BY MIKE BALDWIN
Monday’s Games Houston 100, Oklahoma City 89 Phoenix at Utah San Antonio at L.A. Clippers Today’s Games Toronto at Orlando, 6 p.m. Atlanta at Indiana, 6 p.m. Miami at Washington, 6 p.m. Dallas at Charlotte, 6 p.m. New York at Boston, 6:30 p.m. Cleveland at New Jersey, 6:30 p.m. Sacramento at Memphis, 7 p.m. Milwaukee at Denver, 8 p.m. Chicago at L.A. Lakers, 9:30 p.m. Portland at Golden State, 9:30 p.m. Sunday’s Results Toronto 107, Miami 96 Orlando 90, Charlotte 85 Dallas 124, New York 114, OT Phoenix 104, Detroit 86 Denver 90, Minnesota 84 San Antonio 90, Sacramento 88