Rockets-Mavericks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 16, 2013
Dirk Nowitzki has been the Dallas Mavericks' preeminent scorer through nearly all of his 15 seasons, but he hasn't had to carry the load during one of the team's longest win streaks of 2012-13. Looking for another balanced effort, Dallas will seek a season-high fourth consecutive victory Wednesday night while trying to add to its recent dominance over the struggling Houston Rockets. After starting slowly in his return from knee surgery, Nowitzki has been making progress while averaging 16.9 points over his last seven games. That includes a string of three straight victories in which the Mavericks (16-23) have scored 111.3 points per game. Seven players are averaging in double figures during the win streak, and Nowitzki isn't even the top scorer. O.J. Mayo is producing 18.3 points per game while Nowitzki is one of three players with 14.7. Another one of those, Darren Collison, had a team-best 23 points and nine assists Monday in a 113-98 win over Minnesota while Mayo and Elton Brand scored 20 apiece. "We're playing with more familiarity with one another, with more familiarity with the system. Our reads are better," coach Rick Carlisle told the team's official website. "We've been doing some good things in that area. The challenge will be continuing." The Mavericks will try to extend their run while earning a ninth straight win against Houston. With Nowitzki out, Mayo stepped up to match a career high with 40 points - 10 in the final three minutes - in a 116-109 road win over the Rockets on Dec. 8. Chris Kaman added 20 points despite dealing with a sprained left ankle. The Rockets (21-18) don't appear poised to end their lengthy skid against their in-state rival after a season-high fourth straight defeat overall, 117-109 to the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. Houston shot 50.0 percent and had five players in double figures, led by James Harden's 23 points, but allowed the Clippers to shoot 53.8 percent and make 11 of 19 from 3-point range. The Rockets have also dropped three in a row on the road after winning five of their previous six outside of Houston. They begin a four-game road trip Wednesday. "You can't (lose at home)," Harden said. "We've got to be better, especially on the defensive end. We've got to guard in order to win games. It's simple." Harden, averaging 26.4 points in his first season in Houston, has topped 20 points in a career-best 21 consecutive games, the fifth-longest streak in franchise history. He scored 39 in the loss to the Mavericks in December and had 29 in his most recent visit to Dallas, the clinching game in Oklahoma City's opening-round playoff sweep May 5. Nowitzki had 35 points and went 12 of 12 from the free-throw line in his most recent game versus the Rockets, a 117-110 home victory April 18. He averaged 29.0 points in three games against Houston last season, his second-highest mark against any Western Conference opponent. The Mavericks are trying to win four straight for the first time since March 13-19 and earn a season high-tying third consecutive home victory.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Jimmy Butler recruiting Kyle Lowry to the Timberwolves

WATCH: Tim Tebow didn't waste any time homering after promotion

Nolan Arenado throws out runner from seated position

NFL fans in Florida seem to like Tom Brady more than any of their three teams’ players

Austin Rivers responds to ‘false’ report about Chris Paul issues

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mayweather-McGregor fight is reportedly seeking a $10 million title sponsor

Kevin Durant laughs off Rockets’ acquisition of Chris Paul

Terry Francona wearing heart monitor in case of another 'episode'

Albert Almora denies flipping off President Donald Trump during White House visit

Nationals minor league team will give out ‘Ode to Tommy John’ figurines

Blazers post hilarious tweets after acquiring cash from Rockets

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

Top NBA free agents available

Box Score 6/28: New York loses its zen

Although you have seen this start before, this season is no sequel for the Dodgers

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

2017 is not another disappointing sequel for the Dodgers

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker