Dallas Mavericks

Parsons’ knee holds up fine for Mavericks in series opener

Chandler Parsons, left, felt “a little rusty” in Game 1 but managed to play 37 minutes against Josh Smith and the Rockets.
Chandler Parsons, left, felt “a little rusty” in Game 1 but managed to play 37 minutes against Josh Smith and the Rockets. AP

For his first game back following a nearly two-week absence due to soreness and swelling in his right knee, Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons certainly played a lot of minutes Saturday night against the Houston Rockets.

After missing six contests, Parsons played 37 minutes in Game 1 of this best-of-seven first-round playoff series. The only other Maverick to play more minutes was Monta Ellis, who recorded 39 minutes.

“I want to play more,” Parsons said. “You have to be smart and I have to have a good judgment with my body.

“I was definitely a little rusty, and I missed a couple of chippies and some open looks. I didn’t have my usual lift and I was definitely feeling some pain and discomfort in the right knee.”

At one point late in the second quarter, Parsons limped off to the locker room. But he did return and played 20 of the 24 available second-half minutes.

“He felt like he was OK,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I think our doctor looked at it and said he was structurally fine, and he seemed to do better in the second half.

“In terms of his minutes, at one point he was out awhile and he started to stiffen up, so I had to get him back in. It’s a little bit of a balancing thing.”

A “balancing thing” the Mavs will again have to pay attention to when they meet the Rockets in Game 2 at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Toyota Center.

Parsons, who had 10 points on 5-of-15 shooting in Game 1, gives the Mavs another tall, angular body who has some versatility. Saturday was his first game since April 2 against the Rockets.

“He didn’t have any really long stretches [of playing time], which is what we were trying to avoid,” Carlisle said. “But we’re watching it closely.”

In the meantime, Carlisle said he elected to limit guard Devin Harris to 10 first-half minutes in the opener after he said his injured left great toe was bothering him. Harris, who is expected to play Tuesday, missed Wednesday’s game against Portland with the same injury.

Time to rebound

Although they dropped the opener, the Mavs know there’s plenty of time to recover and win this series.

“We still have a series and this is only the first game,” backup center Amar’e Stoudemire said. “It’s a seven-game series.”

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @dwainprice

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