Still Looking For No. 1

The Charlotte Bobcats have spent March rewriting their franchise record book, but they'll have even more history to overcome if they hope to keep their run going.

The Bobcats will be looking for their first-ever victory against the Dallas Mavericks as they try to extend the longest winning streak in team history Wednesday at American Airlines Center.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Dallas -11 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at X total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 69% of bets for this game have been placed on Dallas -11 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Charlotte (24-39) set a team record with its fifth straight win on Saturday, 100-97 over Washington. The Bobcats, in their fourth season in the league, are suddenly within two games of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"It tells us a lot about ourselves. If we play together and go out there and play hard, we have the chance to win a lot of games," said Jason Richardson, who scored 34 points against the Wizards. "We're just playing for pride right now, and fortunately that pride has translated into getting back into the playoff picture."

Charlotte, which went just 1-11 in February before reeling off the five wins this month, certainly impressed the Wizards, who had won the first three meetings between the teams.

"This is a different team than we've seen," Washington's Antawn Jamison said. "The chemistry looks different. You see guys jumping up on the sideline, guys playing with a little bit more emotion than normal. Of course, J-Rich is playing at a high level."

Richardson, the NBA Eastern Conference player of the week, has averaged 28.8 points during the winning streak and he could be getting some help Wednesday. Gerald Wallace, who hasn't played since suffering a concussion on Feb. 22, returned to practice Monday and hopes to play against the Mavericks.

"It felt great to get back on the court with the guys and run," Wallace, who has averaged a career-best 20.6 points in 49 games, said Monday. "I went up and down, kind of scrimmaged, kind of mixed it up with the guys. It felt pretty good."

Of course, the Bobcats will likely need all the help they can get against the Mavericks (41-23), who have won each of the seven previous meetings between the teams. Dallas is one of just two teams, along with Phoenix, that Charlotte has never defeated.

The Bobcats have already earned their first-ever wins against two other teams this season, beating the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 12 and Memphis on Jan. 19.

"We're playing with a confidence that I don't think we've had all season long. We're playing just as a team, unselfishly together," said Matt Carroll, who made six of nine 3-pointers and scored a season-high 23 points against the Wizards. "Everyone is just playing for one reason - and that's to win games."

The Mavericks are coming off Monday's 108-79 rout of the New York Knicks. The win was Dallas' second straight and came in the second game of a stretch of five against teams under .500.

"This gives us a chance to get our feet under us," said coach Avery Johnson, whose team beat New Jersey 111-91 on Saturday. "We need some small victories within these games we're playing now. ... It's a good time for us to lay some sort of foundation."

The Mavericks, who haven't trailed in either of the two wins, improved to 6-5 since acquiring point guard Jason Kidd from the Nets. Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry each had 18 points against the Knicks as the Mavericks improved to 27-4 at home.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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