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Parsons optimistic about Game 1 availability

DALLAS -- Chandler Parsons emerged from his most strenuous workout since being sidelined by a sore right knee encouraged that he'll be ready for Saturday's playoff opener against the Houston Rockets.

The starting small forward for the Dallas Mavericks went through a series of full-speed drills before Wednesday's regular-season finale against the Portland Trail Blazers, which was the sixth consecutive game that Parsons missed. The workout included catching and shooting or driving after full-court sprints as Parsons attempted to simulate game speed.

"I feel good about today," Parsons told ESPNDallas.com after completing the workout. "Yesterday, I wouldn't have been able to finish that. It's definitely better. It's definitely positive from yesterday."

Parsons was originally injured when he took a hard fall during the March 29 loss to the Indiana Pacers. He played in the next two games, leaving in the third quarter of the April 2 loss when the swelling and soreness in his knee increased to the point that he couldn't perform.

Parsons, who averaged 15.7 points and 4.9 rebounds this season, originally planned to play in the final two games of the regular season to attempt to chip off rust and establish a rhythm entering the playoffs. However, the Mavs altered that plan when he suffered a setback during a pregame workout Sunday at the Staples Center, which put his availability for the start of the playoffs in question.

"Parsons is going through a critical period here with his rehab," coach Rick Carlisle said after Wednesday's win. "He's doing well, making progress, but the next 48 hours are really key. We need to have him continuing to trend the right way to make sure we have him involved in this series, because he's a huge part of our team."

Key reserve guard Devin Harris also did not play Wednesday night due to an injury to his left big toe suffered in Monday's loss to the Utah Jazz. Harris said he had been diagnosed with turf toe and received an injection Tuesday to decrease the pain. His toe was still discolored Wednesday, but Harris expects to play in Saturday's Game 1.

"I should be fine for the weekend," Harris said.