Melo a late scratch for Thunder with sore back


OKLAHOMA CITY — The Thunder will be without two starters as they take on the 2-11 Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, with Carmelo Anthony joining Steven Adams on the sideline.

Adams will miss his second straight game with a calf contusion, and Anthony will sit with a sore back.

Anthony was a late scratch from the game, with the team announcing his status only about 45 minutes before tipoff. As he did on Friday, Dakari Johnson will start in place of Adams, though Anthony’s replacement has not been announced. The expectation is for Patrick Patterson to slot in and fill Anthony’s starting role.

Anthony played an extremely physical game on Friday against the Clippers, primarily guarding Blake Griffin. In the second quarter Anthony collided with Montrezll Harrell, grabbing at his lower back before he attempted two free throws. He played the remainder of the game, finishing with 14 points and 6 rebounds in 31 minutes.

Anthony, 33, is averaging 20.3 points and 5.8 rebounds in 32.3 minutes per game this season.

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