Mavs’ spirited practice in D.C. sparked road win over Wizards

DALLAS — Ending a six-game losing streak in its tracks Tuesday night with a wire-to-wire 113-99 road win over the Washington Wizards, the Dallas Mavericks credited a spirited practice the day before in the nation’s capital for the victory.

Hitting the practice court with a focus on defense, the Mavericks (2-10) scrimmaged and competed at a high level against themselves before dueling with All-Star point guard John Wall, sharpshooter Bradley Beal and the high-octane Wizards’ attack. The outcome was then a dominant performance on the road, leading by as many as 17 and never once trailing en route to the win. Now, the Mavs are hopeful that competitive edge can carry over to Saturday’s matchup at home against the reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers, looking to use the additional practice time to their advantage.

“Well, in the huddle the team was sticking together and talking about, ‘We knew it was going to be tough, and we’re going to play through this. Don’t worry, they’re not going to get the lead.’ Everybody was positive and upbeat, and optimism is a big factor in success. You’ve got to see that things can be great, and then you’ve got to make it happen. And I can’t say enough about our practice (Monday). It was geared towards defense, it was geared towards keeping the opponent under one point per possession, and (Tuesday) I believe we kept these guys just barely under one point per possession. So, that’s where our focus has to be to be successful,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said after Tuesday’s win.

“We came into the game with a great collective force and a collective will, and we’ve been getting kicked around. It’s no fun, and (Tuesday) our guys drew a line in the sand and really brought things to another level defensively,” the coach added. “They’ve got great players over there. Beal and Wall in terms of backcourts, there aren’t many better, if there are any better on a two-position basis, and we got up to play these guys. We know how good they are.”

Scoring a season-high 31 points on 11-of-18 shooting and grabbing nine rebounds, versatile forward Harrison Barnes led the Mavericks to the win at the offensive end of the floor. The Mavs also outshot the Wizards for the game, 47.3 percent to 42.7 percent. Perhaps more importantly, the Mavericks finished the game solving the two issues that have plagued them this season, holding a 53-39 rebounding advantage and forcing 15 Washington turnovers while surrendering 12 giveaways of their own. That said, Barnes and 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki both credit the team’s engaging practice on Monday for the win.

“It was huge,” Barnes said. “Honestly, we just rolled the ball out there and just played (Monday), ’cause our biggest thing this season has been competing and how we’ve been competing for four quarters. We got after it. We had a hard scrimmage, and I think that carried over to (Tuesday). I think now guys know the level that they have to play at every single night for four quarters, and now it’s just about doing it again.”

“I mean, it’s definitely a good win for us on the road against a very good team,” Nowitzki added. “You know, when you’re struggling, instead of everybody going their own way, you’ve got to pull together even more. I thought we had a good practice (Monday) where we competed and went through some of our coverages again. You know, the 11-games-in-18-days stretch was tough for us, and we didn’t really have a lot of practice time. We have a bunch of young guys, so I thought (Monday) was a big day for us, and now we have three days off and can work on some stuff. Hopefully we’ll get better here the next couple of days, and we’ll see what happens.”

Note: The Mavericks will now return to American Airlines Center on Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) — out

Mavs know importance of protecting ball better after consecutive high-turnover games

Practice Report: Dennis Smith Jr.

Mavs PG Dennis Smith Jr. dishes on how other teams are scheming for him defensively, tomorrow's game against the Clippers and more.

LOS ANGELES — After committing a combined 56 turnovers while suffering a three-game losing streak, the Dallas Mavericks know they must take much better care of the ball in order to collect a coveted road win Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Committing 14 turnovers while trailing by as many as 22 points last Thursday night in Memphis, the Mavericks (1-7) fall to a 96-91 defeat to begin their downward slide. The Mavs followed that up with an 18-turnover game two nights later against Philadelphia, suffering a 112-110 narrow loss at home in the process. The Mavericks’ turnover woes then proved to be their demise Monday night in Utah as they gave up 33 points to the Jazz off a season-high 24 giveaways. And according to Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, the team’s Tuesday practice focused on better ball protection going into Wednesday’s nationally-televised matchup with the Clippers (4-2).

“Well, we need to focus on daily improvement in all areas,” Carlisle confessed after the Mavs’ team practice at the University of Southern California on Tuesday. “The turnover problem last night was a huge one, and we worked on that today. We’re continuing to work on the rebounding, and we’ve just got to keep the ball moving and be able to play through tough spots.

“I love the rebounding and hated the turnovers (Monday in Utah). You know, it’s real disappointing, but it’s a metaphor for where we are. We’ve got to put everything together to give ourselves the best chance, so tomorrow’s another opportunity and we’ve just got to keep working. Guys’ spirits are good. Everybody is sticking with it and working hard. We’ve just got to keep pushing.”

Outshot by the Jazz during Monday’s matchup, 47.5 percent to 44.7 percent, the Mavericks appeared to have solved their season-long rebounding issues while finishing with a 42-34 advantage on the glass. However, the Mavericks failed to adjust to the Jazz’s defensive pressure and center Rudy Gobert’s rim protection during Monday’s loss, leading to their piling costly turnovers by the end of the night.

All told, the Mavericks rank in a tie for 14th in the NBA while committing 14.9 turnovers a game. They’ll now match up with a Clippers team that ranks in a tie for fourth in that department while surrendering just 13.5 turnovers a game as a team. Respectively, the Clippers and Mavericks both are forcing 14.8 giveaways a game by their opponents so far this season, tying to rank 20th in the league in that category. And after facing a physical Jazz team, Mavs rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. says he will try to engineer the Mavericks better at the offensive end of the floor to keep the team’s turnovers to a minimum.

“I’ve got to do a better job of controlling the tempo of the game,” Smith matter-of-facty said after averaging 3.2 turnovers in his first six outings. “I can’t let them really force us into anything we don’t want to do. Get my guys into position, and I think if we do that the turnovers will drop.

“I mean, the season is still super early,” he added. “We’ve played some tough defensive teams. Golden State is one of those teams, Memphis is good defensively, and the Jazz is really good as well, but they’ve got Rudy Gobert. That’s something we haven’t seen yet until last game, especially me myself as a rookie. It’s an adjustment. It’s something I’ve never seen before, but I’ve got to keep being aggressive the way I can be. Everything else will take care of itself.”

Note: The Mavericks will now travel to Los Angeles for Wednesday’s matchup against the Clippers. The game will tip off at 9:30 p.m. CT, airing nationally on ESPN and locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee soreness) — out
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) — out

Dirk Nowitzki hopes to return during Mavs’ upcoming East Coast road trip

Practice Report: Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk dishes on the birth of his new baby boy, Morris, his health, Harrison Barnes and more!

DALLAS — After managing to split a daunting back-to-back on the road without their veteran leader, the Dallas Mavericks could receive a boost by the possible return of 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki in time for Monday’s matchup in New York.

Sprinting to a 109-97 win over the up-and-coming Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday without the services of Nowitzki (sore right Achilles), starting point guard Deron Williams (left calf strain) and veteran reserve Devin Harris (right great toe sprain), the shorthanded Mavericks (2-6) couldn’t keep the momentum going one night later while suffering a 116-95 loss to the Golden State Warriors. The Mavs are now expected to continue playing without Williams on Monday and Harris for an extended period of time, hoping that Nowitzki can slide back into the lineup when they begin a two-game road trip on the East Coast. And after seeing Nowitzki go through half of Saturday’s team practice, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle says he believes that the 7-footer will make his return in the very near future.

“D-Will is going to be out for New York and most likely Boston, and then we’ll maybe have an update Friday,” Carlisle said following the Mavs’ Saturday practice. “Dirk went through a good portion of practice, but he’ll be a game-time decision pretty much. You know, we won’t know anything until Monday probably before the game. But relatively speaking, he’s doing better.”

Nowitzki has been out of the lineup since sitting during the second half of the Mavericks’ 105-95 loss to Portland at home on Nov. 4. But after resting his aching Achilles during the last week, Nowitzki could give the Mavs a much-needed boost during their upcoming road trip against the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics.

On the season, the 38-year-old Nowitzki is averaging 12.0 points and 6.7 rebounds while battling through the Achilles injury that has bothered him since the opener on Oct. 26. Now, after the birth of his newborn son Morris this week, Nowitzki could be set to rejoin game action in two of his favorite road arenas — New York’s Madison Square Garden and Boston’s T.D. Garden. That said, neither Nowitzki nor the team’s training staff will rush the future Hall of Famer back too soon as the Mavs prepare to fight for wins without him in the lineup.

“I did probably half the practice today. We’ll just see how it responds for tomorrow,” Nowitzki said following Saturday’s team session. “I mean, at this point we’ll just go day by day. Obviously, we all know I’d love to play next week eventually in some of these games. It’s two of my favorite road arenas coming up here, so it would really hurt to miss those. We’re taking it sort of slow, revving it back up, and we’ll see how it feels the next couple of days.

“It’s definitely better. Otherwise, I wouldn’t try to be back out here again. Last week, when we decided to shut it down against Portland, I just couldn’t move anymore. Every step was painful. … I really started slow on Thursday, and before that I didn’t even step a foot on the court. This whole time while they were gone I just did rehab, cardio and lifted. I didn’t step on the court at all, and I didn’t do any jumps. Wednesday, [head athletic trainer Casey Smith] took a red-eye home from Golden State and worked out here Thursday, and that was the first day I did anything on the court. It was OK, and it was OK yesterday walking around. Today, we did a little more than on Thursday, and we’re just ramping up day by day. We’ll see how the Achilles responds.”

Note: The Mavericks will now travel to the Big Apple to begin a two-game road trip on the East Coast, matching up against the New York Knicks on Monday night. The game will tip off at 6:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Friday, hosting the Memphis Grizzlies. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Devin Harris (right great toe sprain) — game-time decision

Dirk Nowitzki (right Achilles soreness) — out

Deron Williams (left calf strain) — out

Mavs face injury concerns heading into Wednesday’s season opener

DALLAS — With the preseason now behind them after limping to just a 2-5 mark in exhibition play, the Dallas Mavericks will try to make the necessary adjustments needed before Wednesday’s regular-season opener in Indiana.

Falling to a lopsided 101-75 loss Friday night in Denver to conclude the preseason, the Mavericks admittedly weren’t able to jell with their new-look team during seven exhibition contests. The Mavs will now attempt to address their miscues on the practice court, reconvening as a team Sunday after a much-needed day off. And after trimming the roster down from 20 to 15 by requesting waivers on Kyle Collinsworth, Jaleel Cousins, Keith Hornsby, Jonathan Gibson and C.J. Williams, the Mavericks will now turn their attention to the Eastern Conference perennial power Pacers.

“Truthfully, there’s going to be a lot of questions about us, because we played poorly in preseason,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle confessed following Sunday’s team practice. “Our starters struggled, and we’ve got a lot of work to do. These three days of practice before we play Indiana are extremely important, because they’re a tough matchup. I mean, they’re an improved team. They’re faster and more athletic than us, and so we’re going to have to be much improved by Wednesday to be where we want to be.”

Looking to hit the ground running on the road Opening Night, the Mavericks will quickly try to forget about their lackluster preseason. The Mavs also hope to have the full roster at their disposal, despite injuries to a few of the projected top contributors off the bench.

The Mavericks played the final four games of the preseason without backup big man Quincy Acy, hoping he can be ready by Wednesday night after practicing Sunday with his right foot sprain. The Mavs also took the floor minus reserve guard J.J. Barea during the final three outings after he suffered a left elbow sprain during a practice last week. Now, after also seeing veteran reserve guard Devin Harris exit Friday’s loss with a right great toe injury, the Mavs could find themselves shorthanded in the backcourt and leaning heavily on newcomer Seth Curry when they take on the Pacers.

“Well, if J.J. can’t go, then Curry is going to be our backup point, and we’re just going to have to figure out something,” Carlisle explained. “I knew that coming into this that we have some veteran guys that are in their 30s, and we have some fragility at that position. But we have four guys if you count Harris as a point guard, which he can do, but he really hasn’t played it the last three years. But if we’re down a couple of guys, we’re going to have to be resourceful and figure it out. It’s not an ideal situation, for sure.”

Curry, 26, led the Mavericks in scoring during the preseason, averaging 10.7 points per outing on 40.7 percent shooting while coming off the bench in six of the seven games. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound combo guard also showed that he can do a bit of everything on the court, pulling down 2.0 rebounds, dishing out 2.0 assists and collecting 1.2 steals a game this preseason in less than 19 minutes an outing. That said, Curry vows to be ready to step up if his veteran teammates aren’t able to play Wednesday night, hoping to give the team a lift to begin the regular season.

“It doesn’t change my approach at all. I don’t know what it means for me on Wednesday, but my approach has been the same all preseason,” Curry confidently said. “Every day I’m just coming in and working hard to just be ready for my opportunities. And when I get on the floor, I’m just being aggressive and trying to make the most of my minutes.”

Note: The Mavericks will now begin the regular season on Wednesday in Indiana, traveling for an Opening Night matchup against the Pacers. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center for the home opener on Friday night, hosting the Houston Rockets. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Quincy Acy (right foot sprain) — day-to-day

J.J. Barea (left elbow sprain) — day-to-day

Devin Harris (right great toe injury) — doubtful

Mavs’ starters expect to learn from 1st exhibition outing together

DALLAS — Although it came in a losing effort following a 112-107 defeat Friday night in Phoenix, the Dallas Mavericks got their first look at the team’s projected starting lineup while dropping to 2-3 in preseason play.

Rolling out a lineup of point guard Deron Williams, swingman Wesley Matthews, forward Harrison Barnes, 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and center Andrew Bogut, the Mavericks took the floor with their starting unit intact for the first time this preseason. However, while still trying to integrate newcomers like Barnes and Bogut, the Mavs admittedly got off to a sluggish start by committing eight turnovers in the opening quarter. The Mavericks then trailed by as many as 11 before eventually falling to the young and athletic Suns on the road. Now, before facing a high-scoring Houston Rockets team on Wednesday that they’ll see four times during the regular season and twice during the first three games, the Mavs hope to get more from the starters in order to even their exhibition record.

“Well, we didn’t play well,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle confessed following the team’s Sunday practice. “We certainly had some things to look at and to work on, and we did. I thought we had a good day of practice. We’ve got two more (preseason games), and we’ve got a team coming in here that’s leading the league in scoring. We’ve had some problems with transition defense the last game or two, and Houston is going to test your transition defense like no other team, so it’s going to be a good challenge for us. We’ve got a lot of things to do in the next two days leading up to the game.”

Playing the entire first unit together for just less than 20 minutes during Friday’s loss, the Mavericks finished the game outshooting the Suns through four quarters, 42.9 percent to 40.4 percent. The Mavs also held a 56-46 rebounding advantage by the end of the night, but they couldn’t overcome the 21 Phoenix points scored off of 18 Dallas turnovers. And after allowing the Suns to score 22 fast-break points, the Mavericks will try to make the proper adjustments against a Houston team that’s averaging 125 points per game through its first five preseason contests.

The Southwest Division rival Rockets are 4-1 so far in the preseason, suffering their first defeat at home Saturday against Memphis in a 134-125 double-overtime thriller. That said, the Mavericks know they’ll be challenged Wednesday night, looking for a much better showing in front of their hometown fans. The Mavs now hope to continue to make strides as the regular season rapidly approaches, continuing the jelling process with their five starters.

“You know, it’s all a process,” Williams explained after scoring a team-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting during Friday’s loss. “It’s more about getting comfortable with everybody out here. Last game was the first time the starters all played together, so we’re still getting acclimated to each other. … Like I said, it’s all a process of learning guys’ tendencies and where they like the ball. The more you play with guys, the more comfortable you are with them and with the system.”

“I mean, there’s going to be some challenges here and there that we’ve got to work through,” Nowitzki added. “I don’t think we’re in the shape we need to be in yet. We need to be better in transition defense. Obviously, we’re not the quickest team, and we know that. We’ve got to use our brains, take good shots and have good floor balance coming back, but we’re going to be challenged in some areas and we’ve got to play hard through it. You know, there’ll be some baskets scored in transition. We’ve just got to get it out, make a smart play and make them pay at the other end, especially if guys go with a lot of small ball against us. You know, with Wes at the two, he’s a big two. D-Will is a big one and Harrison has got matchups at the three, so we’re a pretty big team. We’ve got to take advantage of that.”

Note: The Mavericks will now home to host the Houston Rockets at American Airlines Center on Wednesday night. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on TXA 21 and 103.3 FM ESPN. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Quincy Acy (right foot injury) — out

After two offseason surgeries, Mavs’ Devin Harris expects to return to game action soon

Bedgear Training Camp Practice Report: Devin Harris

Mavs G Devin Harris weighs in on his health, Saturday's homecoming game against the Bucks and more.

DALLAS — Despite being limited when the Dallas Mavericks opened training camp on Sept. 27 following two surgeries this offseason, 12-year veteran guard Devin Harris could make his long-awaited return to game action soon after recently stepping on the practice court with his teammates.

Undergoing surgery on his left great toe and another procedure on his left thumb on May 10 at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, Harris was reduced to rehabbing his way back onto the court as his 13th season approached. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Harris averaged 7.6 points, 1.8 assists and 20.0 minutes in 64 games with the Mavericks last season, looking to bring even more to the table during the upcoming schedule. However, despite returning to practice last Friday, Harris doesn’t know when he will see his first action on the court this preseason, hoping to be available Saturday night when the team takes on Milwaukee in Madison, Wis.

“You know, it’s the second practice and I’m feeling good,” Harris said after going through full-contact drills during Tuesday’s team practice, which is presented by Bedgear. “You know, we’re still working our way into game shape, but I’m feeling good and getting a grasp of things.

“You know, this week in practice we’ll see how it responds. To be honest, I feel good on the court, but we’ll see how the foot progresses. But so far, so good. … I’m still working, but it’s getting better.”

Proving to be a valuable contributor once again during his second stint with the Mavericks, the 33-year-old Harris came off the bench to average 7.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists during the team’s first-round playoff series against Oklahoma City last season. He also played through his fair share of aches and pains to suit up in all five games during that series, connecting on 50 percent from the field as the shorthanded Mavs put up a valiant fight. Now, while nearing a return to 100 percent, Harris hopes to pick up where he left off at.

With his thumb completely healed, Harris is closely monitoring the left great toe injury after undergoing surgery to repair his second toe on the same foot during the summer of 2013. That said, it’s unclear if the former Wisconsin Badger and No. 5 overall pick in the 2004 draft will be available when the team travels to his old stomping grounds for an exhibition matchup. And with a plan to have Harris ready before the regular-season opener on Oct. 26 at Indiana, the Mavericks will take a cautious approach to bringing the cat-quick guard back onto the court.

“He’s doing well and looking good,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said while updating the media on Harris’ health status Tuesday. “You know, he’s worked extremely hard this summer on his rehab, on his conditioning and on his strength, and so far things are going very well.”

“On the court, I feel good. It’s just about how it responds, especially after a hard practice like (Tuesday),” Harris added. “After Friday’s practice, I felt pretty good. There was no swelling or anything like that, so hopefully throughout this week and the three practices that we have everything goes to plan.”

Note: The Mavericks will travel to Madison, Wis., to take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night in the third preseason test. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on 103.3 FM ESPN.

The Mavs return home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Center next Tuesday night. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Andrew Bogut (rest) — out

Devin Harris (left great toe surgery) — out

Salah Mejri (right knee surgery) — out

Dirk Nowitzki (rest) — out

Deron Williams (sports hernia surgery) — out

With Dirk Nowitzki sidelined, Chandler Parsons comes to Mavs’ rescue

DALLAS — With 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki scratched from the lineup Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves due to a right knee effusion, the Dallas Mavericks saw the reemergence of one of their budding stars at just the right time.

Pushed into overtime for an NBA-record fourth straight home game, the Mavericks admittedly could have used their leading scorer and the face of the franchise as Nowitzki watched in street clothes. However, the Mavericks (25-19) didn’t skip a beat without the league’s No. 6 all-time scorer in the lineup, leaning on versatile forward Chandler Parsons’ season-high 30 points and eight rebounds to carry them to the win. And with both Nowitzki and veteran guard Raymond Felton (left eye injury) unavailable for Wednesday’s matchup, the 6-foot-10 Parsons says he was comfortable putting the Mavs on his back in order to move to 2-0 on their current three-game homestand.

“With Dirk and Raymond out, those are two guys that provide a lot of offense for us and two big holes to fill, so I definitely wanted to be aggressive with the understanding of not forcing it or taking bad shots,” Parsons explained following Wednesday’s win. “You know, definitely be involved from the get-go. And I thought teammates did a great job of getting me open looks and getting me in the right spots, so I could get to the rim early. And I just made some shots.”

Parsons certainly showcased his ability to make shots, hitting 13 of 20 from the field to lead six scorers in double figures. He also continued his recent hot shooting from behind the three-point arc, connecting on 3 of 6 from long range as the Mavericks rallied from a 10-point deficit with 6:46 remaining in regulation.

And after the Mavs completed their epic comeback by outlasting the Timberwolves in overtime, Parsons praised the play of his teammates as Dallas collected its 10th win of the season when trailing by at least 10 points.

“We’re just a composed, experienced and veteran team. You know, a lot of us have played a lot of games in the league, and we never get too high or too low in a game. We never have doubts, so I think that has a lot to do with it. And we have a lot of guys that hate losing and are never going to give up, which is a huge sign,” Parsons proclaimed. “In the [Western Conference], there’s going to be a lot of close games. There’s going to be a lot of nights like this, so it’s definitely a positive thing that we have the maturity level to pull games out like this.”

Coming back after a hybrid microfracture surgery to repair cartilage damage in his right knee on May 1, Parsons has seen a spike in his numbers in the month of January.

Assuming a reserve role earlier in the season, Parsons has averaged 10.3 points in 36 appearances, pulling down 3.9 rebounds and dishing out 2.4 assists an outing. He’s also shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from three-point range for the season. Vice versa, Parsons has averaged 12.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists in January, shooting 50 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from behind the three-point arc in that span. Those numbers figure to continue surging upward as he gains strength and confidence in his knee.

And after spending extra time alongside Nowitzki refining his shooting form, Parsons believes he’s starting to see the fruits of his labor.

“Even on off days we come in, and I wouldn’t want to work with anybody else in the league ever,” Parsons said of his brotherly bond with Nowitzki. “It’s a resource I’ve had for over a year now, and I’m just now starting to take advantage of it. And he’s been great. Just little pointers and nothing too drastic. And a lot of (trash) talking. Pretty much that’s it.

“I mean, my knee is what it is. It’s going to continue to keep getting better. Just ’cause I had a good game like (Wednesday) doesn’t mean my knee is magically 100 percent. It’s not going to be probably all season long. But as long as I can manage it and continue to get stronger and better and keep playing confidently, I can play at a high level.”

Last season, Parsons battled nagging injuries to play in 66 games during his first campaign with the Mavs, averaging 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 33.1 minutes per outing. He then had his season cut short after Game 1 of the first-round playoff series against his former team, the Houston Rockets, due to his injured right knee.

With that said, Parsons showed glimpses of his old self during Wednesday’s breakthrough performance. And according to Nowitzki, much more personal success will head Parsons’ way as he continues to put in work during his downtime.

“He was fantastic. He actually told me that I’m holding him back, so I might have to sit out a couple more,” Nowitzki joked. “But he was great. Actually, shooting-wise, the last few weeks he’s been getting in a groove and getting the ball up. He’s taking his time, and now he’s shooting it better. Guys have to come up on him a little more and have to go for his pump fake, and that opens up his drives. And the last week or two he’s been taking it to the basket and finishing, so he’s been in a great groove.

“Sometimes, it’s just a matter of being in a good groove. You know, we all sometimes have it where you feel great for two or three weeks, and you feel like you can’t miss. And then you go through some weeks where you just can’t buy one, and those are the weeks you’ve just got to keep fighting through it. But right now, he’s looking great, he’s looking confident and he’s making shots for us.”

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their three-game homestand on Friday night, hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder. Oklahoma City leads the season series 2-0. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

baylor

Injury updates presented by Baylor Emergency Medical Centers:

Raymond Felton (left eye injury) — probable

Dirk Nowitzki (right knee effusion) — questionable