DALLAS — Don’t include Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle in that group of people who are amazed at the contributions by Mike James this season.Carlisle has been there and done that with players who have played into their late 30s and lived to tell how successful they were. Thus, the productivity by James, who turns 38 on June 23, comes as no surprise to Carlisle.“I had Reggie Miller at age 39, and he was still great,” Carlisle said after Tuesday’s practice. “We have Jason Kidd at age 38 or 39, and he was still a big-time player. [James is] a hard worker, and he loves to play. The ability to cheat Father Time has a lot to do with how you’re wired mentally and how much work you’re willing to put into it.”James, who tallied a season-high 19 points during Sunday’s 113-108 victory over the Utah Jazz, always has been more than willing to put in the work. The fact that he has played for 11 NBA franchises and nine other non-NBA teams speaks highly of his resilience.“I look forward to practice. I look forward to after practice, the work that I’m going to put in,” James said. “I’m not out there just for stats, I’m out there to try to help this team win. Our goal is trying to make the playoffs, and the only way we can make the playoffs is if we win games. I’m just out there just playing the game and trying to play it the right way.”Carlisle is hoping James and his teammates play the game the right way at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when the Mavs (34-36) play the Los Angeles Clippers (48-22) at American Airlines Center.Odom returns to DallasFor the first time since he mutually parted ways with the Mavs with nine games remaining last season, Lamar Odom will be back at American Airlines Center Tuesday night.A series of tardiness for team functions on Odom’s part, combined with a heated halftime confrontation with owner Mark Cuban during an April 7 road game in Memphis, led to the Mavs sending Odom home with pay on April 9 for the remainder of the 2012 season.In 50 games for the Mavs last season, Odom averaged 6.6 points and a career-low 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting a career-low 35.2 percent from the field and just 25.2 percent from 3-point range.In 70 games this season for the Los Angeles Clippers, Odom is averaging a career-low 4.1 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 38.8 percent from the field and 19.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. This year’s rebound average, field-goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage are the second-lowest of Odom’s career.Mavs sign Dentmon Saying he was happy but not satisfied, point guard Justin Dentmon signed a 10-day contract with the Mavs on Monday.Dentmon averaged 22.3 points and 3.7 assists per game this season for the Texas Legends of the NBA Developmental League. He also was the Most Valuable Player of the D-League last season while averaging 22.8 points and 5.5 assists for the Austin Toros.“It’s tough, it’s a grind, but to all guys who have a dream, I’d say play in the D-League, because [playing in the NBA] is your next step,” Dentmon said after Monday’s practice. “I think this is the second-best league in the world, and I wouldn’t be the player I am today if it wasn’t for the D-League.”Dentmon (6-foot, 185 pounds) will be in uniform for Tuesday’s game against the Clippers.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice