Mavericks-Bobcats Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 10, 2012
If there's a sure thing in the NBA, it's that the Dallas Mavericks will beat the Charlotte Bobcats. The visiting Mavericks can improve to 17-0 against the Bobcats on Saturday night in a matchup of teams coming off road defeats one night earlier. Dallas (4-2) remains the only team that Charlotte (1-3) has never beaten. The Mavericks routed the Bobcats 126-99 exactly one week ago at home by making 16 3-pointers in their highest-scoring effort since March 10, 2011. O.J. Mayo made seven 3-pointers and scored 30 points to lead six Mavericks in double figures. Dallas shot 61.3 percent. "I think they just move the ball," Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said. "There are three or four teams that we show film of and the Mavericks is one of them. They call it their flow offense. They do a great job of moving the ball to find the open shooter." The Mavericks' average margin of victory in this streak is 11.1 points. No other club has ever won more than nine straight over Charlotte, which has never reached 100 points versus Dallas. This rematch could be even easier for the Mavs since guard Gerald Henderson is out after suffering a left foot sprain in last Saturday's meeting. Henderson's 15.1 scoring average led the Bobcats in 2011-12. Dallas saw its three-game win streak end with Friday's 104-94 defeat at New York. Darren Collison, off to a hot start by averaging 16.2 points through his first five games, was limited to a season-low four on 1-of-8 shooting. Mayo scored a team-high 23 but had a career-high eight of the Mavs' 20 turnovers, leading to 20 points for the Knicks. "New York's a veteran team and if you give them more possessions and you give them possessions on catastrophic turnovers, they're going to convert them into points," coach Rick Carlisle said. Forward Elton Brand returned after missing a game following the birth of a child, and he continued his slow start with eight points and seven boards. Brand is averaging 6.2 points on 34.3 percent shooting. Charlotte dropped its third straight Friday, 107-99 to New Orleans. Ben Gordon came off the bench for 34 points, six more than he totaled in his first three contests. The Bobcats are allowing 109.8 points per game for the NBA's worst mark. "With the players we have we'll be good enough to get some baskets, but it's really on the defensive end where we have to improve," Gordon said. "We have a young team and we'll just continue to work and try to grow in that area." Rookie second-round pick Jeffery Taylor has started the last two games in place of Henderson. He scored seven Friday for his first NBA points. The Bobcats' current lineup features rookies Taylor and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as well as second-year players Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo. Dallas forward Shawn Marion will miss his third straight contest with a knee injury, while it is unclear if the Bobcats will have Brendan Haywood available after the former Mavs center missed Friday's game due to a family matter.
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