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Preview: Rockets (54-28) at Mavericks (49-33)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: March 06, 2013 8:30 PM EDT
  

A win to begin this home-and-home set let the Houston Rockets finally halt the Dallas Mavericks' domination of the series. A victory to close it would further turn the tide and leave these rivals that much closer to having their playoff trends reversed.

Houston can further put the Mavericks' postseason streak in jeopardy and continue its climb up the standings by avoiding a sixth straight loss in Dallas on Wednesday night.

The Rockets (33-28) had lost nine in a row to their Southwest Division rival before rolling to a 136-103 win Sunday. No victory during the Mavericks' streak, including two this season, was decided by more than 10 points.

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"We had lost nine straight to them and so it feels good," said Jeremy Lin, who had 21 points and nine assists. "It feels like we got a monkey off our back. We're going to have another tough one at Dallas coming up."

Houston has lost five consecutive trips to Dallas since an overtime win Dec. 18, 2009, a game Dirk Nowitzki left in the second quarter with an injury after scoring five points. That's part of a key trend in this series since the start of 2005-06: Dallas is 22-2 when Nowitzki scores at least 15 points and 1-5 when he doesn't, including two games he missed.

Nowitzki shot 2 for 8 and had eight points Sunday after scoring in double figures in every previous game he had played during 2013.

"We want to get him the ball and we need good things to happen, but the problem was we just couldn't guard these guys," said coach Rick Carlisle, adding that Houston often double-teamed Nowitzki in the first half. "We didn't guard them and that has got to change before Wednesday."

Carlisle's club had a chance to pull within three games of the Rockets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference by sweeping this home-and-home series. Instead, a loss Wednesday could drop Dallas (26-33) seven games behind Houston, which jumped a half-game ahead of Utah for seventh when the Jazz lost Monday.

The Rockets could move into a tie for sixth if they win Wednesday and Golden State loses to Sacramento. They haven't been to the playoffs since 2009, and Dallas has qualified every year since 2000.

"We're losing and losing (close) games at home, and those are the games you have to win if you want to be in the playoffs," Nowitzki said. "We haven't shown consistently that we can win big games. We have to fight."

Nowitzki likely can't be badly outplayed by Chandler Parsons again if the Mavs are to avoid a fifth loss in six games.

Parsons scored a career-high 32 and went 12 of 13 from the floor Sunday, hitting six 3-pointers. The second-year forward is averaging 24.3 points in the past four games while shooting 65.0 percent, including 16 for 28 from beyond the arc.

"He got his opportunity – great system, great role – and really took off with it similar to me in New York," Lin said. "He deserves everything he's getting. There really is no ceiling."

As the Rockets get increased production from Parsons and continued contributions from James Harden, who has scored more than 20 points in 10 straight games, Dallas likely needs Nowitzki and leading scorer O.J. Mayo to step up.

Mayo is averaging 13.1 points in the last eight games. The Mavs are 16-9 when he scores 19 or more, compared to 10-24 otherwise.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 HOU  +105   +1.5   221 
 DAL  -125   -1.5   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 HOU     +1.5   221 
 DAL     -1.5   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 HOU  n/a   66%   81% 
 DAL  n/a   34%   19% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA HEAD TO HEAD
 Mar 3, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 DAL 103 Over: 239 
 HOU 136 Cover: 27.5 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Jan 16, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 HOU 100 Under: 205 
 DAL 105 Cover: 1 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Dec 8, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 DAL 116 Cover: 13 
 HOU 109 Over: 225 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Oct 15, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 HOU 104 Over: 227 
 DAL 123 Cover: 14 
 Tools:   Recaps

 NBA PREVIEWS
 Wednesday, Mar 6
 
    Jazz at Cavaliers
7:05 PM EDT
    Celtics at Pacers
7:05 PM EDT
    Nets at Bobcats
7:05 PM EDT
    Magic at Heat
7:35 PM EDT
    76ers at Hawks
7:35 PM EDT
    Knicks at Pistons
7:35 PM EDT
    Lakers at Pelicans
8:05 PM EDT
    Wizards at Timberwolves
8:05 PM EDT
    Trail Blazers at Grizzlies
8:05 PM EDT
    Rockets at Mavericks
8:35 PM EDT
    Bulls at Spurs
9:05 PM EDT
    Raptors at Suns
9:05 PM EDT
    Kings at Warriors
10:35 PM EDT
    Bucks at Clippers
10:35 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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