DALLAS — It’s way too early to start the clock on when Devin Harris becomes the Mavericks’ starting point guard.

DALLAS — It’s way too early to start the clock on when Devin Harris becomes the Mavericks’ starting point guard.

Coach Rick Carlisle doesn’t deal in knee-jerk reactions like that.

However, given the way the wily veteran has played the last two games, including a superb showing off the bench in the Mavericks’ 116-106 victory over Detroit on Sunday night, the possibility of Harris being a go-to point guard for them at some point certainly is blipping on the radar.

If nothing else, he showed Sunday he’s a capable finisher, regardless of whether he’s a starter or not.

Harris had 14 points and seven assists in 24 minutes of playing time against the Pistons as the Mavericks started a four-game stand at American Airlines Center on a positive note, stopping their season-high-tying two-game losing streak.

The Mavericks were met with only modest resistance by the Pistons, shooting nearly 58 percent for the game and running away from the visitors after scoring the first 10 points of the fourth quarter for a 13-point lead.

Harris was on the floor when the Mavericks pulled away. This came after a loss Friday at Brooklyn in which Harris had 14 points and four assists.

"He’s been going better and better each game," Carlisle said. "He’s getting more rhythm and more feel. On a night when Monta (Ellis) couldn’t get it going, it was a godsend to have a guy like Devin.

"And he’s smart. He knows what we need."

That last point cannot be overstated. Harris had major surgery on his left foot and missed the first 41 games. He’s been back for five. What he’s shown is that he provides something defensively that Ellis and Jose Calderon lack. And he’s also much like the two starters in that he can play both positions in the backcourt. As a trio, the potential is obvious.

Finding how each of them fits together will be the challenge for the players and the coaching staff.

"I do believe so," Harris said when asked if the Mavericks have three hybrid guards rather than specific point and shooting guards. "The way we can use Jose, along with myself and Monta with the spacing, any one of us can be effective (at either position)."

Perhaps the best news is that Harris believes he has only scratched the surface.

"I still don’t feel like I’m there with my side-to-side movements," he said. "I’m not trusting the foot as much yet. I’m having trouble keeping some guys in front of me (defensively). But I’m getting better.

"I tried not to have too high expectations, knowing how much time I was off. The last two games have been good for me. I know my minutes will be sporadic, but I’m just making the most of my minutes on the floor and get used to playing with guys. I’m using this as my training camp. I didn’t get a chance to put in much time with these guys. I’m just trying to figure out what they like."

He does know what Dirk Nowitzki likes. And the Mavericks’ anchor came through with 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting and nine rebounds as the Mavericks had nearly a push on the glass against the NBA’s best rebounding team.

"It was good for our team morale," Harris said of the win. "The last two games were tough on us, and Coach got on us a little at shootaround. It was important for us to come out and play the way we did."

Harris broke a 79-79 tie with a jumper and a 3-pointer in the final minute of the third quarter.

He then assisted Vince Carter for a 3-pointer to start the fourth period. When Harris nailed his second 3-pointer with 10:07 to play, the Mavericks were up 94-81 and never looked back.

"He’s been great," Nowitzki said. "He’s a game-changer for us at both ends of the floor. He quickly elevates, and he’s one of our best perimeter defenders. And he’s tough in there. On offense, it’s fun to see another guy with speed out there. It’s great to have him back for sure."

Copyright 2014 The Dallas Morning News