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Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks game preview

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The Rockets travel to Dallas to take on the Mavericks. It's a back-to-back for both teams.

Dallas will see them together for the first time this season.
Dallas will see them together for the first time this season.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Do we really need a refresher on the Dallas Mavericks?

The Mavs are coming off a huge 135-131 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder last night and are pretty settled into the seventh spot in the Western Conference. They're 3 games behind the San Antonio Spurs for sixth and are 4 games ahead of OKC for the eighth spot.

The Mavs got Monta Ellis and J.J. Barea back from injury last night and Ellis was his usual self: 26 points, 5 assists, 4 steals.

The rest of the Dallas starters are the same guys they've had since December: Rajon Rondo, Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki, and Tyson Chandler. You know what they bring to the table and all of them can destroy your team. Despite playing well (the five of them combined for 90 points on 75% shooting), none of the starters had a +/- on the positive side against the Thunder.

That brings us to the Dallas bench. Amar'e Stoudemire has been a great addition to the Mavericks. Al-Farouq Aminu decimated the already-decimated-by-injury Houston front line last time these teams met in Dallas. J.J. Barea is the ultimate pest. Devin Harris never gets older or misses a long jump shot against Houston.

The Rockets will have Dwight Howard back tonight and will have Terrence Jones as well. If only Patrick Beverley weren't out for the season Houston could be playing their third game of the season with their projected starting lineup.

Let that soak in for a moment. The Memphis Grizzlies have lost 32 games from starters this season. Houston has lost more games from EACH of Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones. And those teams have the same record.

Anyway, Houston always has issues in Dallas. Expect a back to Earth game from James Harden and for the Mavericks fans to go crazy for everything. All told, this is the type of game that Houston is due to lose.

Tip-off is at 7:30pm CST.

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