Dalembert (back) will play vs. Clippers

DALLAS – Mavericks center Samuel Dalembert woke up with a stiff back and will be a game-time decision Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

“We’ll try to get him ready to play tonight,” coach Rick Carlisle told reporters after Dalembert was moving gingerly at shootaround.

UPDATE: Dalembert said pregame that he will play.

Dalembert is having an outstanding homestand, averaging 7.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 23.3 minutes over the last five games. That includes a 12-point, 15-rebound, seven-block performance in Sunday’s overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

The Mavs especially need Dalembert’s interior presence and ability to protect the rim against the Clippers’ physical, high-flying frontcourt tandem of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Griffin, the league’s sixth-leading scorer, averages 24.3 points and 9.7 rebounds. Jordan, the league’s leading rebounder, averages 10.1 points and 13.7 rebounds.

“Right now, [Dalembert is] one of our really important guys with what he’s giving us,” Carlisle said. “There aren’t many guys that can match up with Jordan’s size in length, and Sam at least approaches it.”