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Brendan Haywood, Delonte West to play against Miami Heat

MIAMI -- Rick Carlisle said Brendan Haywood and Delonte West will both play Thursday night against the Miami Heat.

He's just not sure how much either will play.

Haywood has missed the past six games with a sprained knee, and he missed five of the past seven games before that with a sprained ankle. He gives the Mavs size inside and will allow Carlisle to use Ian Mahinmi and Brandan Wright off the bench.

"We're going to go slow with him and gradually increase his minutes," Carlisle said.

West has been out since Feb. 15 with a broken finger that required surgery to repair. He has the middle fingers on his right, non-shooting hand taped together and heavily wrapped in gauze to protect them.

“I haven’t had any contact other than pushing the ball and bounce passes," West said. "But the best way to do it to go on and jump out there and see how it feels.’’

Carlisle said he's glad to have West, one of his best and most versatile defenders, playing again.

“He’s a guy that became one of our tone-setters defensively,’’ Carlisle said. “He was one of the reasons we were able to become a good defensively team earlier in the year. And as the season went on his familiarity with our offensive approach got better and better, and he was playing terrific when he went down with the injury. Now it’s a matter of getting him back into it the right way.’’