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Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks game preview

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The Rockets look to extend their winning streak to 6 tonight against the banged up Mavericks.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets get to return to Houston and will try to move to 3-0 on the season against the struggling Dallas Mavericks.

Make no mistake: this Mavs team would probably be in the thick of the playoff hunt if they were fully healthy. However, they will be missing Dirk Nowitzki, JJ Barea, and Andrew Bogut. The Mavs just got Seth Curry back last night against the Pacers.

Dallas will be able to trot out Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, Harrison Barnes, and Dwight Powell. All have had great games against Houston and Barnes is averaging 20/6 and doing well to make the max contract Dallas gave him a smart idea rather than the joke many thought it was in the offseason. That’s a credit to him. Let’s turn to Charles Barkley and see what he says about Barnes.

Chuck (sucks in all saliva available in the universe, still sounds like he’s retaining a lot of mouth fluid): I’mma need him to get to the line more. Like, 5-6 more times a night. And he needs to stop shooting that sissy 3-point shot.

Despite Chuck’s obvious general stupidity, the fake version here is right that the two blemishes on his stat line. He’s never going to be a playmaker and get assists from his position, but he’s a really good scorer and can get buckets in a variety of ways. You just wonder how he does it when only averaging 3.5 free throws per game. Either way, good for him.

Dallas is coming off a solid win over the Indiana Pacers last night, so both teams will be operating under little rest. The Mavs got 26 from Matthews, 25 from Barnes, and Powell dropped in 14 off the bench in a game where five Mavs finished in double figures. Oh, and Dallas held Monta Ellis to 0 points. Again, don’t look at the record; look at the team.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT.