Vince Carter (illness) expected to play vs. Portland

DALLAS – The Mavericks expect Vince Carter to be available for tonight’s game after he missed Monday night’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder due to an illness.

Carter, who missed Tuesday’s practice to go to a doctor, participated in the morning shootaround to prepare for the Portland Trail Blazers.

“It’s the night time that’s the question,” Carter said after shootaround. “The day time is fine.”

Carter, Dallas’ sixth man, is coming off arguably his best month since signing with the Mavs before last season. He averaged 14.7 points on 45.2 percent shooting in January, when he had four 20-plus-point performances.

The Mavs obviously missed Carter while being blown out by the Thunder. Oklahoma City seized momentum when the Mavs’ second unit checked into the game in the first quarter.

“Vince is one of our most important guys,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We knew that. We didn’t need the OKC game to tell us that.”