Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gave Jason Kidd the last game off in an effort to keep the veteran rested for the postseason. If Kidd plays the next two games, he'll be going up against two of the best young guards in the NBA.
Kidd is expected to return to the lineup as the Mavericks try for their first double-digit win streak in three seasons Friday night when they host Tyreke Evans and the Sacramento Kings.
Dallas (41-21) won its ninth straight Wednesday by beating Minnesota 112-109 without Kidd, who will turn 37 on March 23. The All-Star point guard was given a rest since he averaged more than 37 minutes in a stretch of eight games in 13 days since the All-Star break.
He's second on team with 36.3 minutes per game, up from an average of 35.6 last season.
"We're going to sit him because of the string of games we've had," said Carlisle before the victory. "He's perfectly healthy and we want to keep it that way. It's been a grueling stretch for us and this is what we're going to do."
The Mavericks are seeking their first 10-game run since their franchise-record 17-game streak Jan. 27-March 11, 2007, and will play three games in four days, starting with a back-to-back set that could challenge Kidd. After meeting rookie leading scorer Evans and Sacramento (21-40), Dallas travels to face reigning NBA rookie of the year Derrick Rose and Chicago on Saturday.
J.J. Barea got the start in Kidd's place Wednesday and rookie Rodrigue Beaubois also got plenty of minutes to help key the victory. Beaubois matched his season high with 17 points.
"J-Kidd didn't play so me and J.J. had to step up our game and I think we did it, we won the game so that's really good," Beaubois said.
The bad news was that Jason Terry, second on Dallas with 17.0 points per game, took an elbow to his face in the third quarter and left the locker room with his left eye nearly swollen shut.
Terry is scheduled to have surgery Friday and a timetable for his return will be determined after the surgery.
The Mavericks have taken 12 straight meetings at home over the Kings, winning 104-102 on Nov. 20 as Terry scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. Evans was outstanding with 29 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.
Evans had a streak of 13 straight games in double figures end in Wednesday's 84-81 victory at Houston, scoring nine points on 4-of-22 shooting.
Carl Landry, acquired from the Rockets on Feb. 18, picked up the slack with 22 points and 10 rebounds in his first game against his former team. Landry is averaging 16.9 points in leading the Kings to three wins in seven games since he joined the team.
"I just tried to stay calm, cool and collected and let the game come to me," Landry said.
Landry was solid in four games against the Mavs with the Rockets this season, averaging 15.0 points on 66.7 percent shooting.