SAN ANTONIO – Chandler Parsons missed a 3-pointer with one second left Tuesday and the San Antonio Spurs eked out a 101-100 win over the Dallas Mavericks before a sellout crow of 19,615 at the AT&T Center in the season opener for both teams.
Parsons was one of the big hauls the Mavs made over the summer when he signed a three-year, $46 million restricted free agent contract with the Mavs. But the four-year veteran never got going as he finished the game with only five points, four rebounds, two steals and one blocked shots, while converting just 2-of-10 shots.
"It was just one of those games,’’ Parsons said. "It (stinks) to play like that on the first game, but it is only one of 82.’’
The Spurs received their rings before the game for winning last year’s NBA title. They also played without injured players Tiago Splitter, Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills.
But, by converting 14-of-28 shots from beyond the 3-point arc, the Spurs were able to beat a Mavs team which they eliminated in seven games in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
No 3-pointer for the Spurs was bigger than the one Tony Parker made which gave San Antonio a 101-100 lead with 1:07 left.
"We just have to be better,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "Once again they got us late (with the 3-pointer) in the shot clock.
"We just have to keep working.’’
Monta Ellis led the Mavs with 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting. He also contributed six assists and carried the Mavs offensively until Dirk Nowitzki (18 points) and Devin Harris (17 points) heated up.
A technical foul each on Tyson Chandler and Nowitzki during a 42-second span of the third quarter didn’t help the Mavs’ cause. The Mavs were ahead 57-48 before they started unraveling to the point was the Spurs tagged them for 31 points in the third period.
"I haven’t looked at the film yet,’’ Carlisle said, referring to Chandler’s fourth foul in the frantic third period. "I can’t give you a direct blow-by-blow on everything, but he is important to us and we have to work to keep him out of four trouble, no question.’’
Tony Parker (23 points), Manu Ginobili (20 points) and Tim Duncan (14 points, 13 rebounds) led the Spurs.
The Mavs committed just 10 turnovers and turned 21 San Antonio turnovers into 22 points. But whenever the defending champs needed that one basket, or that one defensive stop, they always seemed to find a way to produce it.
"I really liked the way we battled back all the way to the end,’’ said Nowitzki, who was 7-of-11 from the field. "It was a hell of a first game of the season.
"We showed good character and now we just need to move forward.’’