Mavericks' Chandler Parsons, Devin Harris out for Game 2 vs. Rockets

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Mavericks' Chandler Parsons, Devin Harris out for Game 2 vs. Rockets
Mavericks' Chandler Parsons, Devin Harris out for Game 2 vs. Rockets

The Dallas Mavericks enter Tuesday's Game 2 against the Houston Rockets needing a win to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole, and they're going to be pursuing their split short-handed.

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Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle announced about an hour before tipoff that swingman Chandler Parsons will be on the inactive list for Tuesday's tilt, as he continues to suffer from a right knee injury that cost him the final six games of the regular season. Parsons returned to action in Game 1, showing a bit of explosiveness in scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds in 37 minutes of work.

Parsons reaggravated the injury midway through the second quarter, though, and seemed labored thereafter. He struggled to get lift on his jumper en route to a 5-for-15 finish from the floor and looking a couple of steps slow as he tried to move laterally on defense in Saturday's 118-108 loss.

Dallas hoped that two days of rest and treatment before Game 2 would help Parsons get back to full health, but he still isn't 100 percent. In fact, it sounds like he's quite a ways away from it:

Even if Parsons misses just the one game, his absence deals a major blow to a Mavericks team that desperately needs his talents on both ends of the floor.

His combination of off-the-dribble creativity, driving prowess and keep-you-honest 3-point shooting represents Dallas' best chance for making Rockets guard James Harden work on the defensive end of the floor, which, in turn, represents Dallas' best chance for limiting the MVP candidate's effectiveness on the offensive end late into high-leverage games. And as Carlisle continues to hunt for workable lineup combinations that provide enough spacing, playmaking and offensive juice to challenge a Rockets defense that ranked among the league's best this season and looked awfully formidable during the 17-plus minutes that center Dwight Howard stalked the paint on Saturday.

Without the 26-year-old Florida product, who averaged 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 33 minutes per game in his first season in Dallas after leaving Houston in free agency, the Mavericks figure to rely more heavily on their corps of veteran wing reserves to do battle with the Rockets' perimeter players. Unfortunately, they'll be without one of those key pieces, too:

No Parsons and no Harris, who aggravated a lingering injury to the big toe on his left foot in the Game 1 loss, likely means increased roles for three veteran backups — 34-year-old Richard Jefferson, who logged just four minutes and four seconds of playing time in game 1; Charlie Villanueva, who scored six points in less than two minutes of burn in his postseason debut; and fourth-line point guard Raymond Felton, who didn't see any action in Game 1. If starting guards Monta Ellis and Rajon Rondo continue to struggle as they did in Game 1, combining for 31 points on 32 shots, one or more of those reserves figures to have to pick up the slack to keep Houston from taking a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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