BARCELONA, Spain — A swollen right knee kept Dirk Nowitzki out of the Mavericks' 99-85 loss at FC Barcelona Regal on Tuesday, with Pete Mickeal and Juan Carlos Navarro each scoring 19 for the 17-time Spanish champions.
After leading by two at halftime, Barcelona outscored the Mavericks 32-16 in the third quarter to open an 18-point gap. Center Chris Kaman led the Mavericks with 15 points. Darren Collison had 14 and Elton Brand 10.
Nowitzki was expected to play but was ruled out just before tipoff.
"Last year I dealt with (swelling in the knee)," Nowitzki said. "We did treatment twice and the swelling didn't come back. Hopefully it will respond next week and I can play through the year.
"It's unfortunate, I would have loved to play. But the preseason is not the time to force a swollen knee."
Two-time Euroleague champion Barcelona outrebounded the Mavericks 52-40. Navarro hit five 3-pointers, two more than the Mavericks.
HOWARD TO PRACTICE: All-Star center Dwight Howard was cleared for limited five-on-five scrimmages with the Lakers in his latest step back from offseason surgery. The former Magic star won't play in tonight's next preseason game against Portland in Ontario, Calif.
SHOE DEAL: Two-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade is signing with Chinese sportswear provider Li-Ning, which is giving the Heat guard his own brand within the company along with plenty of creative and strategic input.
MAGIC SIGNING: Orlando signed free-agent forward Chris Johnson, adding depth to a preseason roster that is now at 20 players.