SAN ANTONIO Chandler Parsons didn't have to wait very long before he was reminded of the last time he was playing basketball inside the AT&T Center.
Back on Oct. 28 in the season opener against the San Antonio Spurs, Parsons was all lined up to hit a potential game-winning shot in his debut with the Dallas Mavericks. However, Parsons 3-pointer bounced off the front of the rim with 0.4 seconds and the Spurs walked away with a narrow 101-100 victory over the Mavericks on a night when they received their NBA championship rings.
Not being able to come through in the clutch for the Mavericks nearly five months ago was still on Parsons’ mind after Friday morning’s shootaround. Following the shootaround, Parsons said: “Coach Carlisle just made me shoot a couple of those (3-pointers). I was quickly reminded.’’
When the Mavericks (45-27) face the Spurs (45-26) at 7:30 tonight at AT&T Center, Carlisle has already predicted the end results if Parsons finds himself in a similar situation with the game hanging in the balance.
“We just went over that shot,’’ Carlisle said. “He’s going to make that shot tonight.’’
Overall in the season opener, it was an inauspicious debut for Parsons, who signed a three-year, $46 million free agent contract with the Mavericks last summer. In addition to missing the game-winning shot, Parsons finished that night with only 5 points, 4 rebounds and a pair of steals, and was just two of 10 from the field in 34 uneventful minutes.
With his nerves obviously getting the best of him, Parsons played as if this was his first game in the NBA, not his first game in his fourth season in the league.
“That’s part of the game, and obviously that was my first-ever game here (with the Mavericks),’’ Parsons said. “I feel like we could have won that game.
“Hopefully I’ll get the same opportunity tonight.’’
The Mavericks are 2-1 against San Antonio this season, winning 99-93 on Dec. 20 when the Spurs’ top seven players didn’t play. But with the Spurs at full strength and playing their best ball of the season, the Mavericks rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second quarter and defeated San Antonio 101-94 this past Tuesday in Dallas in a game that was televised nationally.
Carlisle, whose team took San Antonio to seven games before losing in the first round of last season’s playoffs, doesn’t believe his team has a magic formula to dethroning the Spurs. But the Mavericks do seem to shift to a higher gear when matched against their I-35 neighbors.
“We won one game when they had none of their top seven guys playing, and that was still a ball-buster,’’ Carlisle said. “And then the other night we scrambled and found a way.
“I wouldn’t say that we have anything figured out when it comes to playing these guys. You’ve just got to play at full capacity, you’ve got to get the ball in the hole and you’ve got to make them miss, and it’s a very difficult thing to do.’’
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760