Haywood, Dampier return to Mavs
DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks were without backup point guard J.J. Barea, but they did have both big men back in action as they tried to run their win streak to 13 against the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said Barea, who was fitted for a protective boot and has received treatment after suffering a sprained ankle against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, would not play against the Nets.
Carlisle, however, did get some good news as center Brendan Haywood returned Wednesday night after a two-game absence for tightness in his lower back. He is averaging 9.7 points and 10.1 rebounds.
Carlisle also said earlier that center Erick Dampier participated in the shootaround Wednesday morning and would be a game-time decision. The call was to play him. Dampier, who is averaging 7.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks, had surgery on his dislocated right middle finger and has been out of action since the first game after the All-Star break.
The Mavericks, who have won the last two games without a true center and with just nine players in uniform, still were without sixth man Jason Terry (facial surgery) and Tim Thomas (personal reasons).