MAVERICKS (40-26) AT HOUSTON ROCKETS (17-49)
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Toyota Center, Houston
Radio: The Eagle, 97.1 FM; Univision 99.1 FM (Spanish)
About the Mavericks: The Mavs have turned the page on Wednesday’s ugly 107-77 home loss to the New York Knicks. Tonight’s game starts a five-game road trip for the Mavs and they expect to get their energy back that was lacking against the Knicks. The trip also includes a game Sunday in Boston, Wednesday in Brooklyn, March 18 in Philadelphia and March 19 in Charlotte before the Mavs return home to entertain the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 21. . .The Mavs are 24-8 since Dec. 31 and have won 11 of their last 14 games. . .Jalen Brunson (right thigh contusion) and Dorian Finney-Smith (right arm contusion) are out for tonight’s game, and Frank Ntilikina (non-COVID illness) is doubtful. Marquese Chriss (right knee soreness), Theo Pinson (right fifth finger fracture) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (left foot surgery) will not play in tonight’s game. . .The Mavs are 2-0 against the Rockets this season. Luka Doncic contributed 26 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and two steals in leading the Mavs to a 116-106 triumph over the Rockets in Dallas on Oct. 26. Off the bench in that game, Reggie Bullock scored 16 points in 17 minutes on 4-of-9 shots from downtown, and Brunson added 11 points and 11 assists. . .The Mavs got 67 points from their bench and 63 from their starters during a 130-106 victory over the Rockets in Houston on Jan. 7. Hardaway led the way with 19 points and Josh Green contributed 17 points, five rebounds and two steals. Also, Brunson, Powell and Bullock scored 15 points apiece, while Brunson added 10 assists. Doncic missed that game with a right ankle sprain. . .Doncic is averaging 28 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 8.7 apg and 1.2 spg. In addition, he collected 31 points, six rebounds and four assists in the game against the Knicks. In 10 career games against the Rockets, Doncic is averaging 25.8 ppg, 10.1 rpg and 7.1 apg. . .Bullock was 0-of-8 from the field – all on three-pointers — and went scoreless against the Knicks. But the Mavs are 17-4 when he scores at least 10 points. . .Dwight Powell is averaging 7.7 ppg and 4.6 rpg, and the Mavs are 19-4 when he tallies 10 or more points. . .The Mavs and Rockets will also play each other again on March 23 in Dallas.
About the Rockets: It’s been a long and forgettable season for Rockets, who have the second-worst record in the entire NBA. However, the Rockets enter tonight’s contest having won two of their last three games. . .The Rockets snapped a 12-game losing streak this past Sunday when they stunned the highly-touted Memphis Grizzlies, 123-112. Kevin Porter Jr. (29 points, five assists), Christian Wood (28 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks) and rookie Jalen Green (24 points eight boards) led the way for the Rockets, who outscored the Grizzlies, 71-50, in the second half of that game. The Rockets shot 52.4 percent from the field against the Grizzlies’ rugged defense. . .Despite 22 points from Porter and 20 points from Green, the Rockets suffered a 123-106 loss in Miami this past Monday. Wood sat out that game with an illness. . .The Rockets bounced back this past Wednesday and upended the Los Angeles Lakers, 139-130 in overtime. The Rockets scored the first 10 points of the overtime session. And the victory came despite the Lakers getting 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists from Russell Westbrook, plus a triple-double from LeBron James (23 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists). Green paced the Rockets with a career-high 32 points, rookie Alperen Sengun collected a career-high 21 points, a career-high 14 rebounds, two blocks and two steals, and rookie Josh Christopher added 21 points and six rebounds in 22 minutes. . .Green, the No. 2 overall pick of last summer’s NBA Draft, is averaging 21.7 ppg and shooting 50 percent from the field in his last nine games. Overall, Green averages 15.7 ppg. . .Eric Gordon and Porter are each averaging 13.9 ppg. . .Jae’Sean Tate (left ankle soreness), Dennis Schroder (right ankle sprain) and Wood (illness) are all questionable for tonight’s game. . .In that 130-106 loss to the Mavs in Houston on Jan. 7, the Rockets trailed 43-23 after the first quarter, 80-60 at halftime and 110-86 after the third quarter. In other words, the Mavs scored more points after three quarters than Houston scored in the entire game.
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