Forty percent of the Dallas Mavericks’ starting lineup didn’t play in Friday night’s preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder because of injuries.
They lost a third player late in the first quarter.
The Mavs were unable to overcome their injury woes as the Thunder rallied from a nine-point deficit for a 118-109 victory at American Airlines Center.
Forward Dirk Nowitzki missed his second straight game with a right hip contusion, and guard Monta Ellis sat out his first of at least two straight games with a sprained left knee.
Point guard Raymond Felton — another potential starter — sprained his right ankle with 2:28 remaining in the first quarter and did not return. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said he do not expect Felton to play Sunday against the Indiana Pacers.
Nowitzki is expected to return in time for the game against Indiana, while Ellis, who was injured in Thursday’s practice, is listed as day-to-day.
Coach Rick Carlisle took the injuries in stride.
“It’s an opportunity to look at some other combinations,” Carlisle said. “We’d loved to have everybody every minute, but often times it just doesn’t work that way.”
Jae Crowder and Al-Farouq Aminu led the Mavs (0-2) with 14 points apiece, and Richard Jefferson scored 13. Steve Adams paced the Thunder (1-1) with 19 points, and teammates Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant each played 18 minutes and scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Owner Mark Cuban said he isn’t concerned about the injuries.
“It’s not like Nowitzki and Ellis were going to play a lot during the preseason anyway,” Cuban said. “It matters to guys who are trying to make the roster, it matters to new guys learning. To guys that have been here, it’s not that big a deal. It’s going to take some time. It doesn’t happen overnight to jell.”
Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks believes the Mavs have a Swiss Army knife type of player in Chandler Parsons.
“He brings versatility,” Brooks said. “He’s a hustle player that can score, he’s a hustle defender, he has a nose for the basketball, he chases down loose balls, he gets offensive rebounds, he has a great shot fake, and he’s a very good player.
“He gives them another dimension to their already powerful offensive team. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of plays called for him, but he ends up having 18 points.”