- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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PORTLAND, Ore. – Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler will sit out Sunday’s potential first-round playoff preview against the Portland Trail Blazers due to lower back pain.
Chandler suffered a contusion when he attempted to draw a charge against Golden State’s David Lee during Saturday night’s loss to the Warriors. He returned to the game, but coach Rick Carlisle opted not to use him down the stretch because Chandler was clearly laboring.
Chandler worked out on the Rose Garden court about an hour and a half before Sunday’s game in an attempt to get loose. However, he felt too stiff and sore to play against Portland, meaning Brendan Haywood will start at center after sitting out against the Warriors due to a coach’s decision.
“I don’t feel like it’s a long-term thing,” Chandler said. “It’s just next-day stiffness and pain and we have two days off coming up.”
This will be the seventh game Chandler, who averages 10.2 points and 9.3 rebounds, has missed this season. The Mavericks (53-23 overall) are 3-3 without Chandler.
The loss of Chandler could be an especially big blow against the Trail Blazers because he would have been the primary defender on Portland star LaMarcus Aldridge, who ranks 13th in the NBA with 22.1 points per game.