Dallas Mavericks

Chandler returns to starting lineup

Tyson Chandler, who missed Sunday’s game against Oklahoma City with back spasms, particpated in the Mavericks’ shootaround Tuesday morning and will be in the starting lineup against the Washington Wizards tonight at 7:30 at American Airlines Center.
Tyson Chandler, who missed Sunday’s game against Oklahoma City with back spasms, particpated in the Mavericks’ shootaround Tuesday morning and will be in the starting lineup against the Washington Wizards tonight at 7:30 at American Airlines Center. Star-Telegram archives

DALLAS – Both Tyson Chandler and Monta Ellis participated in the Dallas Mavericks’ shootaround Tuesday morning and will be in the starting lineup when they host the Washington Wizards tonight at 7:30 at American Airlines Center.

Chandler missed this past Sunday’s 112-107 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder with back spasms. But after treatment, he has progressed to the point where he believes his back issues are behind him.

“I’m doing alright,’’ Chandler said. “It’s still a little soreness, but a lot better than the way I felt the other day.’’

The injury by Chandler, he believes, occurred at some point in last Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I got banged up a little bit in the game, and then I felt alright,’’ he said. “I practiced the following day, and then woke up the next morning and things just locked up.’’

Ellis, who leads the Mavs with 20.7 points per contest, injured his left ankle with 1:57 remaining in Sunday’s game against the Thunder and did not return.

Chandler averages 11.1 points and a team-high 11.9 rebounds per game, and also has a team-high 14 double-doubles.

Power forward Dirk Nowitzki started in Chandler’s place at center against the Thunder and scored a season-high tying 30 points. Asked about Nowitzki’s proficiency at center, Chandler said: “I would let him take my spot any day of the week.

“I’ll take the (power forward spot) and he can take the (center spot) and I’ll get his jump shots that he normally gets.’’

Actually, Chandler converted 14-of-20 shots from 3-point range last Saturday in practice. Assistant coach Darrell Armstrong rings the bell and shouts out a player’s name when they make at least 15-of-20 shots from downtown in practice.

“I was one away from ringing the bell,’’ Chandler said. “That’s like my fourth time, though. Thanks for bringing that back up.’’

Chandler has never attempted a 3-pointer in his entire career.

“I can’t see myself being out there unless the shot clock is winding down and it just so happens to fall in my hands,’’ Chandler said. “Other than day I let the guys who get paid to do it, do it.

“If we rotate I might get a couple of looks tonight and I’ll stick (Nowitzki) with some of them monsters I’ve got to guard.’’

With Chandler back, tonight marks the first time the Mavs will have a full and healthy roster all season.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @dwainprice

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