Mavs' Dampier misses another game

SAN FRANCISCO -- Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle had been leaning toward not playing center Erick Dampier against the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. And that's what he did.

Dampier has been dealing with a left knee effusion for more than a month, causing him to miss four games, including last week's win over the Warriors. Eduardo Najera started in his place in a 127-117 win over Golden State on Monday.

Soreness is no longer a problem, Dampier said, but he needs to regain strength in and around the knee. Carlisle doesn't want Dampier playing in back-to-back games before the All-Star break.

Najera played only three minutes, however, and Drew Gooden came off the bench to play 41 minutes and score a season-high 24 points.

Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.