2001 NBA Finals
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Big blow

Spurs' Anderson out 3-6 weeks with shoulder injury

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Posted: Saturday May 05, 2001 8:43 PM
Updated: Sunday May 06, 2001 8:13 AM
  Derek Anderson The physical play between Derek Anderson (right) and Juwan Howard took a turn for the worse in Game 1. AP

SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- San Antonio Spurs guard Derek Anderson suffered a separated right shoulder Saturday and will miss three to six weeks, severely damaging the team's hopes for an NBA title.

Anderson, the Spurs' second-leading scorer behind superstar Tim Duncan during the season, was hurt in the final seconds of the first half of Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Dallas Mavericks.

On a fast break, Anderson went in for a flying dunk and was hit hard across his extended arms by Mavericks forward Juwan Howard. The hit flipped Anderson sideways while in mid-air and he landed hard on his right side, appearing to hit his shoulder and head.

Howard, not known as a dirty player, immediately went over to see if Anderson was all right but was pushed aside by several Spurs players. He was assessed a flagrant-2 foul, which calls for immediate ejection.

After spending several minutes on the floor, Anderson walked off under his own power, clutching his right arm close to his body. X-rays taken at halftime revealed no fracture but a third-degree separation.

Miami Heat guard Eddie Jones had a similar injury during the season and missed five weeks.

In his first year with the Spurs, Anderson gave the team a third scoring option after "Twin Towers" Duncan and David Robinson. He played all 82 games and averaged 15.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists, helping San Antonio to a league-best 58-24 mark.

Anderson, a 6-foot-5 guard, eventually supplanted Robinson as the team's second option. In San Antonio's first-round series win against Minnesota, Anderson averaged 11 points.

A 1997 first-round pick of Cleveland, Anderson spent two seasons with the Cavaliers before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. After the 1999-2000 season, he became a free agent and signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract with the Spurs.

Entering this season, Anderson had career averages of 16.9 points, 3.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 168 games.


 
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