Chandler Parsons ‘chipping away at that rock’ to find form for Dallas Mavericks

Chandler Parsons had major knee surgery in the summer, and it's been a slow recovery – Monday night, though, might have been one of the best signs yet for the forward.

Chandler Parsons of the Dallas Mavericks shown in action against the Atlanta Hawks last week. Tony Gutierrez / AP / December 9, 2015
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Chandler Parsons looks for benchmarks in his slow recovery from off-season knee surgery.

The Dallas Mavericks forward found another one against the Phoenix Suns on Monday night.

Parsons scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, Raymond Felton followed his second career triple-double with 17 points and the Mavericks beat former teammate Tyson Chandler and the Suns 104-94.

Usually struggling to find a rhythm and now coming off the bench because of restrictions on his playing time, Parsons played a season-high 28 minutes and had eight points during a 20-4 run to finish the third quarter. Dallas made 13 of their last 14 shots in the quarter to take a 77-58 lead.

After the Suns pulled within 10, Parsons had a four-point play and another three to help Dallas push the lead back to 15.

“It’s all about confidence right now,” Parsons said. “I am going to be rusty. I’m going to miss some shots and go through some slumps. I just got to stick with it.”

Deron Williams led Dallas with 18 points, including a three-pointer to help hold off another Phoenix push.

Eric Bledsoe led the Suns with 23 points and seven assists.

The Mavericks snapped a three-game home losing streak while beating Chandler’s new team for the second time following a win at Phoenix on opening night.

Chandler left in free agency for the second time since helping Dallas win their only championship in 2011. He had six points and three rebounds coming off the bench for the second straight night after missing eight games with a right hamstring strain.

The 7ft 1in centre entered in the first quarter to a nice ovation from fans that have forgiven him twice for going elsewhere. That’s partly because the Mavericks decided both times to pursue other options.

“It will always be special as long as I’m in the league, and even when I’m not in the league it will always be special to come to a game here,” Chandler said. “It’s always been so much love here. The love is right back.”

Parsons has had a hard time getting in the flow with his minutes limitations and made just 5-of-18 from the field his previous two games. But he was 5-of-10 from the floor and made all five free throws against Phoenix, finishing three points shy of his season high of 20 against the Philadelphia 76ers.

“He’s going to outlast this situation,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “There’s a big rock. He’s just got to keep chipping away at that rock. It takes an amazing amount of persistence and wherewithal to get through something like that.”

The Suns fell to 0-9 when held under 100 points despite a late push that included seven straight points from TJ Warren to get within 96-90 with 2:30 remaining. Warren finished with 10 points.

Phoenix had a chance to get closer, but Jon Leuer, who had 15 points and 13 rebounds, couldn’t handle an alley-oop pass on a fast break. Williams’s final three-pointer pushed Dallas’ lead back to 101-92 with 1:01 left.

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