NBA Basketball: Dallas Mavericks at Houston Rockets - Mavericks Favored

Team Page: Dallas :: Houston

86% of Bets Placed on Houston -2.5 | Matchup | NBA Picks
After another clutch performance from Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas Mavericks look to head into the All-Star break on a nine-game winning streak Thursday when they visit Tracy McGrady and the surging Houston Rockets.

Oddsmakers have made Dallas -2.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 183.5 total points (View NBA Sports Books).

Nowitzki made a layup with 1:04 left in the fourth quarter Tuesday and his assist on Jason Terry's 16-footer with 34.9 seconds to go helped Dallas (43-9) overcome a 16-point second-half deficit and win 99-93 at Milwaukee.

"Dirk Nowitzki is incredible. Man, sometimes, I get caught watching him, he's so good," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said.

Nowitzki finished with 38 points, 11 rebounds and matched a career-high with eight assists to help the Mavs win for the 16th time in 17 contests. The lone loss in that span was a 96-85 defeat at Chicago on Jan. 25.

The Mavs, owners of the best record in the NBA, are accustomed to Nowitzki's superb performances. The 7-foot German power forward leads the team in scoring (25.2 points per game) and rebounding (9.5) for the seventh consecutive season.

"A lot of people don't give him a lot of respect," Mavs swingman Josh Howard said. "He should have been MVP the last two years for what he's done for this team. I think he's proven his point."

Those two NBA MVP awards went to Phoenix's Steve Nash, while Nowitzki finished a distant third both seasons. Nowitzki, though, did lead the Mavs to the NBA finals last season, where they lost to Miami in six games.

The only thing that appears capable of stopping Nowitzki and Dallas right now is the All-Star break. Dallas, concluding a three-game trip, has won 19 of 23 on the road since losing its first two away from home this season.

On Thursday, the Mavs will have to contend with McGrady and a surging Houston club that has won eight of its last 10. The Rockets (33-18), though, have lost six of seven against Dallas and are 6-19 in the series since March 3, 2001.

Nowitzki has been key to the Mavs' success against Houston in that span, averaging 25.3 points and 8.1 rebounds while playing in 23 of those contests. McGrady has faced Dallas just seven times since being acquired by the Rockets in June 2004, averaging 28.3 points, 6.0 assists and 5.3 rebounds, but Houston is just 3-4 in those matchups.

McGrady had a clutch performance of his own Tuesday, scoring 12 of his 28 points in the last 4 minutes of regulation and making a fadeaway jumper over Ron Artest with 1:29 to go in overtime to put the Rockets ahead for good in a 109-104 win over Sacramento.

"When you're struggling for three quarters, your best player has to take over in the fourth quarter, I don't care what he has to do," said McGrady, who missed nine of his first 14 shots. "I knew I was struggling. That's why I wanted to attack in the fourth quarter."

McGrady, who also had 12 assists, has been a catalyst for Houston since returning from a sore lower back that sidelined him in a loss to Phoenix on Jan. 17. The All-Star starter is averaging 27.0 points in 11 contests since sitting that game out to help the Rockets improve to 17-7 since losing center Yao Ming to a broken right tibia on Dec. 23.

Forty-year-old Dikembe Mutombo is averaging 5.3 points and 11.2 rebounds since taking over for Yao in the starting lineup.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Knicks trade for Derrick Rose The Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks made a big trade on Wednesday when the Knicks acquired Derrick Rose in a...
Thumbnail 2017 NBA Finals Odds With the NBA Finals now complete, here is a look ahead to which teams will be favored to contend for next year’s championship.
Thumbnail NBA Finals Game 7 Pick It’s all come down to one game. Who will prevail in Game 7 of the NBA Finalsas the Golden State Warriorshost the Cleveland Cavaliersat 8PM ET?
Thumbnail NBA Finals Game 7 Total Pick Will Game 7 of the NBA Finalsbe another high-scoring affair, or will it be a grind out between the Golden State Warriorsand Cleveland...
Thumbnail NBA Finals Game 6 Pick Can the Golden State Warriors get back on track in Game 6 of the NBA Finals or will the Cleveland Cavaliers create...
More inNBA Articles  

NBA Headlines

More inNBA News  

NBA Team Pages