LOS ANGELES — Tim Hardaway Jr. doesn’t anticipate being sidelined very long after he suffered a left hamstring injury during the Dallas Mavericks’ 108-95 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night at STAPLES Center.
On the previous play before leaving the game for good, Hardaway made a steal in the backcourt and drove inside for a breakaway dunk. But after the Mavs played solidly on defense on the next sequence, Hardaway started writhing in pain and holding his left hamstring.
The Mavs called timeout and got the sharpshooting guard out of the game. He’s expected to be listed as day-to-day.
“I just got the steal, breakaway, went for the dunk and I felt (the hamstring injury) a little bit, but not too much,” Hardaway said. “Then I’m running back on defense and it started to get a tad bit worse and uncomfortable.
“It’s a tough situation. I wanted to come back out and help my guys. I’ve played through injuries a lot, and it just sucks to not be able to go out there and help my guys out.”
The Mavs don’t play again until Tuesday when they finish this three-game road trip in Oklahoma City. Hardaway said it’s too early to tell if he’ll be ready for that game.
“I’m walking fine and I didn’t feel nothing pop or anything like that,” Hardaway said. “Right now I just got a lot of treatment done during the time they were playing. Time will tell, but right now I got treatment and I feel OK.”
The Mavs believe they dodged a bullet considering the way Hardaway gingerly walked off the court.
“He is doing well,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “This is not going to be a serious thing. I’ve got to be careful about what I can say. But we’re very optimistic that this can be a short-term thing, so we’ll see. It’s going to most likely be day-to-day.”
Hardaway scored 25 points in just 23 minutes during Saturday’s 141-121 victory over the Golden State Warriors and was averaging 19.6 points over the previous five games. The Mavs will be cautious about bringing back Hardaway.
“I didn’t want to see Tim go out, especially the way he’s been playing lately,” forward Kristaps Porzingis said. “We don’t want to miss him and I’m glad he’s OK.”
Hardaway said he knows he knows he must listen to his body and do what’s necessary before trying to play again.
“You don’t want to mess with nothing like that,” Hardaway said. “You don’t want it to linger on for more than what it needs to be — I understand that.
“I had this done before a couple of years ago, I know the process and how long it needs to be for it to get 100 percent healthy to go out there and compete with my guys. I don’t want to hurt them to give them (at less than 100 percent) when I know I can wait another day or two and be 100 percent.”
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