Dirk's Out For OKC: Magic Number Is '6'

The not-so-magic number for Dirk Nowitzki is six. A sixth straight missed game tonight – the longest injury absence of his iron-man career -- as the Mavs play host to OKC … and a sixth-place position among Western Conference forwards for the All-Star Game.

"Not having him around has a big effect on everybody,'' said Tyson Chandler of the MVP candidate Nowitzki, who sprained his right knee in a game on Nov. 27 against this same Thunder team.

With Dirk, of course, you never say "never'' … but it appears he will set a personal record for consecutive missed games due to injury. Nowitzki missed five straight games in the middle of the 2002-03 season.

The Mavs are 2-3 without The UberMan in this stretch … and if fans around the world have their say, he'd apparently miss the All-Star Game, too – but due to their voting, not due to the injury.

The voting for West forwards, at present:

1 Kevin Durant (Thunder) 945,944
2 Carmelo Anthony (Nuggets) 742,284
3 Pau Gasol (Lakers) 702,859
4 Tim Duncan (Spurs) 551,226
5 Blake Griffin (Clippers) 540,701
6 Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks) 518,682

The complete voting results are here. Other Mavs voting results: Caron Butler is 10th among forwards, Jason Kidd is eighth among guards, Brendan Haywood slipped from third to fifth among the centers … and write-in candidate Tyson Chandler isn't in the top 10.

Stay tuned to DallasBasketball.com tonight … all night, as we'll provide wall-to-wall coverage of Thunder-at-Mavs!

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