Jazz F Karl Malone will miss the next four preseason games because of a lower back strain.

Malone, 36, will miss today's preseason game at Delta Center against the Knicks, and is not expected to make this week's trip for two games against the Celtics and one against the Pacers. Malone, who signed a four-year, $67 million contract during the offseason, first felt his back tighten almost two weeks ago. . . .

The Jazz waived Gs Eddie Lucas (Virginia Tech) and Saddi Washington.

MURRAY SIDELINED: Cavaliers F Lamond Murray is out indefinitely after spraining his left knee in a preseason game, the team said. Murray, 26, was hurt in the second quarter of Saturday's 82-68 win over the Knicks in Syracuse, N.Y. An MRI exam in Cleveland revealed a grade two sprain of the medial collateral ligament.

A FOUL PRESEASON: The proliferation of foul calls, apparently because of new rules changes, continued as the Nuggets and Grizzlies were issued a total of 66 fouls in Denver's 106-94 victory yesterday. The game included a double-technical on Nuggets G Nick Van Exel in the third quarter for arguing an out-of-bounds possession call. Last season, the Grizzlies and their opponents averaged a combined 45 fouls per game. . . .

The Nuggets were without F Antonio McDyess, who is listed as day-to-day after spraining his ankle in his preseason debut Friday night. G Chauncey Billups also sat out with a hamstring injury.