Indiana (27-33) at Dallas (44-16)

By MATT BEARDMORE, STATS Writer Thursday, Mar 3, 2011 Tipoff: 8:30 pm EST Fri Mar 4, 2011

The Dallas Mavericks are one of the deepest teams in the NBA. That depth is about to be tested with starting center Tyson Chandler(notes) sidelined.

With Chandler expected to miss at least two games, Brendan Haywood(notes) will likely start as the Mavericks look to win their eighth straight overall and ninth in a row at home Friday night against the Indiana Pacers.

The Mavericks (44-16) have already been playing without Caron Butler(notes), who averages 15.0 points per game but has been out since suffering a right patella tendon injury Jan. 1. Even without him and Chandler, Dallas has six players scoring at least 8.4 points and four grabbing 4.7 rebounds or more per game.

“We just keep coming, wave after wave,” point guard Jason Kidd(notes) said after a 13-point, 13-assist, 10-rebound effort in a 101-93 victory at Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Dallas, which last won nine straight at home from Feb. 18-March 25, 2009, will look to Haywood to help it overcome its latest significant injury. The 7-foot-1 Chandler has averaged 12.8 points and 10.0 rebounds in the last 18 games, helping the Mavs go 17-1 in that span to move into second place in the Western Conference.

The 7-0 Haywood was expected to be the starting center after signing an extension in the offseason, but that changed when Chandler was acquired from Charlotte over the summer.

Haywood is averaging career lows of 4.3 points, 4.7 boards and 17.5 minutes, but with Chandler’s status uncertain, the Mavericks hope he can have the same impact he did after being acquired from Washington last season. Haywood averaged 9.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks while starting the first 10 games of a 13-game winning streak Feb. 17-March 10.

During that stretch, Haywood scored 13 points and grabbed a career high-tying 20 boards in a 91-82 home win over Indiana. He went 3 of 4 from the field and had seven points and four rebounds Tuesday.

The Mavericks have won six straight and 10 off 11 at home against the Pacers. Dallas, though, had its five-game winning streak in the series snapped with a 102-89 loss Jan. 12.

With leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki(notes) sidelined for that game with a sprained right knee, Jason Terry(notes) had a team-high 18 points off the bench.

Terry, the league’s top-scoring reserve at 15.8 points per game, had a season-best 30 on Tuesday. He has hit 42.3 percent (30 of 71) from 3-point range during the 17-1 run.

The Pacers (27-33) have lost five of eight since opening 7-1 under interim coach Frank Vogel.

Starting a stretch of six of seven on the road, Indiana fell 113-89 at Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Pacers starters scored a season-low 33 points and shot 9 of 38, with leading scorer Danny Granger(notes) going 3 of 11 and finishing with nine points.

“We just have to understand that we’re a better basketball team that we showed tonight and get ready for Dallas,” Vogel said.

Indiana has lost seven in a row on the road versus West opponents.

The Pacers’ last season sweep of Dallas was 2003-04.

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