DALLAS (AP) — Mavericks center Dereck Lively II is out for Game 4 of the Western Conference finals against Minnesota with a sprained neck, but the Dallas frontcourt will get a boost Tuesday night with the return of Maxi Kleber from a separated shoulder.

Lively was injured in Dallas’ 116-107 Game 3 victory when Karl-Anthony Towns of the Timberwolves accidentally kneed the rookie in the back of the head in the second quarter. Lively avoided the concussion protocol after holding his head while staying down on the court for several minutes.

The 20-year-old has been a big boost inside for the Mavericks, forming a tandem with Daniel Gafford that has outplayed Minnesota’s big front line of the 7-foot-1 Towns and 7-1 Rudy Gobert. Dallas took a 3-0 lead into Game 4.

The 6-foot-10 Kleber hasn’t played since the deciding Game 6 of the first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers on May 3. He took a hard fall on his left shoulder on a drive.

Kleber isn’t quite the rim protector or pick-and-roll player that Lively and Gafford are, but offers a solid inside presence. On offense, the Mavs mostly count on Kleber being a threat the 3-point line.

The 32-year-old German was 10 of 18 from deep against the Clippers and is a 40% 3-point shooter in 37 career playoff games.


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