The Dallas Mavericks(15-12) head to Houston on a two game losing streak to face state rival Houston Rockets.
Houston is coming off a 114-97 win of the Detroit Pistons. Dwight Howard tallied 35 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Rockets who were without James Harden and Jeremy Lin.
The season series is tied with each team winning one game at home. Maverick fans will happily remember game two as the Mavericks rallied to stun the Rockets.
In the previous two games in the series the Mavericks have allowed the Rockets to put up an average of 39 first quarter points. The emphasis must be to slow the Rockets down and not allow them to get hot early.
The Rockets will be without Harden (ankle) and Patrick Beverley (hand). Harden has averaged 28.5 ppg in the season series.
Without Harden the focus will be on Howard. The Mavericks bigs have struggled to contain Howard as he is averaging 23.5 points (18.3 ppg on the season) and 13.5 rebounds with most of his damage coming in the last game as he dropped 33 points. It will be to no surprise to see the demoted Samuel Dalembert get the start today. The bruising DeJuan Blair stands at just 6’7″ and has struggled against bigger centers throughout the season.
Chandler Parsons will see his role expand with Harden sidelined. Expect Shawn Marion to match up on Parsons who torched the Mavericks for 21 points and 11 assists last game.
Jeremy Lin is active after missing the last four games due to back spasms.
Houston is 11-3 at home. They also are second in the league in points (106.4).
The Mavericks after slipping to the Phoenix Suns are now 4-9 on the road.
Expect a high scoring game as both teams allow 102 point per game.
If any game is a must win it’s this one. Already on a two game losing streak, the Mavericks can’t afford to slip again with the San Antonio Spurs (21-6) waiting Thursday. A loss will also drop the Mavericks out of the top 8 in the West.
Tags: Dallas Mavericks