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.

Related information
Spurs lose Anderson, rout Mavs to win Game 1
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