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Game thread: Rockets vs Mavericks

The Rockets takes on their in-state rival tonight at the Toyota Center.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets are taking on a Dallas Mavericks team that not only has one of the league’s worst records, but they’ll be playing tonight’s contest without three of their main rotation players. Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews, and J.J. Barea are all out for the Mavs.

For their part, the Rockets will still be down Trevor Ariza and have yet to officially announce the signings of Joe Johnson and Brandan Wright, but they’ll have significantly more firepower on the court tonight than Dallas and should be able to take this one, especially at home.

Ryan Anderson is expected to once again come off the bench as he did against the Denver Nuggets, which means both P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute will be in the starting lineup along with Chris Paul, James Harden, and Clint Capela.

Capela is coming off of a monster 23-point, 25-rebound game against Denver, while Harden and Paul are both playing their usual fantastic ball.

Let’s hope the Rockets close this one out early again and get some rest for those main pieces. With championship aspirations on the horizon, it’d be great to not need to play everyone a full load in a mid-season game against an 18-38 squad.

Go Rockets!