Mavs Look For 6th Straight at Hornets

The Dallas Mavericks have not lost a road game in more than two weeks. It's been considerably longer since they've lost a game to the New Orleans Hornets.

The Mavericks look to complete the first perfect six-game road trip in franchise history and go for their 21st straight win over the Hornets on Tuesday at the Ford Center.

With the best record in the league, Dallas (58-11) already has clinched a playoff berth, and needs just three more victories in its final 13 games to break the franchise mark for single-season wins.

Oddsmakers have made Dallas -6.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 196.5 total points (View NBA Sports Books). Our public betting information

shows that 68% of bets for this game have been placed on Dallas -6.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

In an already very memorable season, the Mavericks won a club-record 17 straight games from Jan. 27-March 11 before losing 117-100 at Golden State on March 12.

Dallas hasn't dropped a road game since that loss and has displayed some impressive defense while winning the first five games on this road trip, holding opponents to 89.4 points per game and 39.9 percent from the field.

The Mavericks have had two perfect five-game road trips in franchise history, but have never gone unbeaten on a longer trip.

Dallas has a good chance to accomplish that feat against a New Orleans team it has dominated lately.

The Mavericks are winning by an average of 10.8 points during their 20-game win streak over the Hornets (32-38), currently the most consecutive victories by one team over another in the four major North American professional sports.

Dallas has not lost in this series since a 104-99 defeat on Nov. 17, 1999, when the Hornets franchise was based in Charlotte, N.C.

The Hornets have lost all seven home games against the Mavs since moving to New Orleans in 2002, and fell 90-79 at the New Orleans Arena on Dec. 16.

Dirk Nowitzki, one of the front-runners for this season's MVP award, lost in his first meeting with the Hornets, but has been on the winning side ever since.

Nowitzki and fellow All-Star Josh Howard are averaging 21.7 and 17.7 points, respectively, in three meetings with New Orleans this season. Those averages lead the Mavs but are below their season totals, as Dallas has been dominant defensively in the series by holding the Hornets to 77.3 points and 39.1 percent shooting.

Nowitzki and Howard each scored 28 points in the Mavericks' 104-97 victory over Atlanta on Sunday, extending their winning streak to six games.

Dallas led by as many as 23 points, but allowed the Hawks to take the lead briefly in the fourth quarter, bringing about some uneasiness from coach Avery Johnson.

"We're pretty good when we're healthy but we're not where we need to be," Johnson said. "We aren't anywhere close where I need them to be. If we had to start the playoffs tomorrow, I would really be concerned, but again, we've got some time."

Guard Jason Terry had 27 points on Sunday, and is averaging 25.7 points - 9.0 better than his season average - in his last three games. He had 25 points in his last game against the Hornets, a 94-80 win on Dec. 30.

New Orleans defeated Houston 106-94 on Sunday, winning for the fourth time in six games following a season-high six-game losing streak.

The Hornets finished Sunday's game on a 13-3 run to move within two games of the eighth-place Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference playoff race.

It was New Orleans' first victory over a team with a winning record since beating Houston on Feb. 3.

"It's a big step in the right direction, but it's one game," said Chris Paul, who scored 28 points on Sunday. "We've got to continue to do this the rest of the season."

Paul, who hit a career-high four 3-pointers on Sunday, is averaging 22.9 points on 54.7 percent shooting in his last seven games. Last season's Rookie of the Year averaged 14.3 points on 37.0 percent shooting in his previous seven outings.

Paul has 42 points in two games against the Mavericks this season.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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