Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris was relieved when he received the news concerning his injured right hand.
“It’s not broken, it’s bruised,” Harris said before Friday’s game against the Golden State Warriors. “I’m hoping [it’s a one-game deal]. We’ll see how it responds.”
Harris injured his hand during Thursday’s 94-75 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. The injury was so bad that Harris had problems using his right hand to get dressed after the game.
“We hope it not long term,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s an important guy for us.”
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Small forward Chandler Parsons also is an important guy for the Mavericks. The four-year veteran missed his seventh consecutive game Friday with a sprain and bone bruise to his left ankle.
In the meantime, point guard J.J. Barea played against the Warriors, even though he had sprained a ligament in his left thumb in the loss to the Blazers.
Harris has seen some progress from his injury and hopes to play Sunday in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
“I can’t really spread my hand out,” Harris said. “It’s gotten a lot better. I’ve been able to move it a little bit more. Just not as much as I need to.”
The silver lining in all this for the right-handed Harris?
“If it was the left hand [that was injured] I’d probably be able to figure something out,” he said. “But just being able to dribble and all that stuff is a little tough. But my left will get better the next couple of days, I will tell you that.”
The injuries, including recent ones to Tyson Chandler and Rajon Rondo, have made life difficult for the Mavericks, but it hasn’t dampened Carlisle’s spirit.
“I like our team,” Carlisle said. “I’ve been saying that all year. It helps when we’re fully healthy, of course. But look, we’re a veteran team, and we’ve got guys who are competitors, and they’ve been in a lot of big games.”
Whenever his team is besieged with an injury or two, Carlisle likes to use the phrase “next man up.” He sees injuries as opportunities for players who haven’t received quality playing time to step up.
“These are opportunities to get better as we go forward,” Carlisle said. “We keep working on our formula for success.”
For the first time since Amar’e Stoudemire was acquired by the Mavericks on Feb. 18, the center/forward played in both ends of a back-to-back.
Stoudemire had 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in 14 minutes during Thursday’s loss in Portland. He also played Friday in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors.
The only other back-to-back Stoudemire was involved in came when he missed the Feb. 25 game in Atlanta after playing Feb. 24 against Toronto, because his conditioning wasn’t where the Mavs wanted it to be.
That conditioning no longer is something the Mavericks are concerned with.
“His strength, comfort factor with what we’re doing, how we’re managing his situation, it’s all going in a very positive way,” Carlisle said. “He responded well after the game [Thursday] night.”
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760