Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd sit out
Kidd, 38, missed his first game of the season to rest weary legs and various bumps and bruises as the Mavs began the final five games of the regular season. He has been mired in a deep shooting slump for the better part of a month and his scoring average has dipped to 7.9 points a game.
It was the second consecutive game that the 7-foot-1 Chandler has miss after he fell on his tailbone trying to draw a charge in Saturday's game at Golden State.
The absences left Dallas without two starters in a game that was receiving wide attention as being a meaningful one for a Mavs team that has now lost four in a row, is 8-9 in its past 17 games and has defeated just two West playoff teams in the calendar year 2011.
"There are some good reasons to rest him right now," Carlisle said of Kidd, who appeared fatigued at the end of the just-completed six-game road trip that included three sets of back-to-back games. "If this was a playoff game tonight he would not be sitting."
Chandler, averaging 10.2 points and 9.3 rebounds, continued to feel soreness and had considerable stiffness in his lower back during the morning shootaround.
"I can deal with the soreness and all that sort of stuff," Chandler said after the shootaround. "It's more so the restriction with my movement that's keeping me out."
Carlisle said he expects Chandler to be ready for Friday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Carlisle has also hinted that Kidd could miss a second game. Dallas plays the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, the first of a back-to-back.
Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.