Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks in the Bubble

Dallas Mavericks NBA Basketball

NBA Has Tipped Off in the Bubble

The Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks will do battle at ESPN Wide World of Sports Arena on Friday night. This is the first full day on NBA regular season action after it resumed from the COVID-19 shutdown.

TIME: 9 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN, AT&T SportsNet, FS Southwest; LINE: Dallas -2: TOTAL: 231

The Rockets and Mavericks are battling for playoff positioning in the 8-game shutout to end the regular season. The Rockets are tied for fifth place in the Western Conference with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Mavericks are just 1-1/2 games behind as they sit in seventh place.

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ABOUT THE ROCKETS

The Houston Rockets are 40-24 as the 2019-20 regular season resumes in the bubble in Orlando. Danuel House and Ben McLemore are in line for increased playing time. One of them expected to start in Houston’s small-lineup configuration. They want to push the ball more than normal.

The Rockets may need some time to find their stride. Point guard Russell Westbrook is still working his way into shape after testing positive for COVID-19. Guard James Harden leads the NBA with a 34.4 ppg scoring average. He is well on his way to his third straight scoring title.

Veteran guard Eric Gordon will miss at least two weeks after injuring his left ankle during a scrimmage earlier this week. “Of course, Eric is a huge part of what we’re doing and what we’re trying to do,” Harden told reporters. “Hopefully he can get his ankle healed as soon as possible, but just like we’ve dealt with adversity all year, it’s about having guys step up.”

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS

The Mavericks are 40-27 as the regular season resumes. Dallas is still trying to sort out its fifth starter and the guard-oriented attack of the Rockets could mean Seth Curry will get the call.

Dallas has thrived this season behind star point guard Luka Doncic and big man Kristaps Porzingis. The latter is looking forward to his club making a playoff dash. “Our excitement level is going to go a few levels up now,” Porzingis told reporters. “I think we’re ready to go. We know we’re going to be able to do some things just because we can score the ball, and I think we’ve got to catch ourselves in those moments and just come out ready.”

Porzingis and Dorian Finney-Smith are the frontcourt starters and Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. the backcourt pair, making Curry (20 starts this season) seem like the right fit. “Anything’s possible,” Carlisle told reporters while saying he won’t discuss lineup particulars. “Seth’s been very effective as a starter and coming off the bench. We’ll keep looking at what we’re doing.”

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This, That, and a Dart Throw

1. Harden averaged 33.5 points as the teams split two meetings earlier this season. Doncic scored 41 points in his lone appearance, a Dallas victory.

2. Houston G Austin Rivers recently returned from tending to a family matter. He is available to play in the opener.

3. Doncic scored at least 30 points in 10 of his 14 triple-doubles. He scored 40 twice.

The Dart Throw: Mavericks 116, Rockets 108

Dallas Mavericks
Dallas is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Dallas’s last 7 games
Dallas is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games at home
Dallas is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Dallas’s last 8 games at home
Dallas is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Houston
Dallas is 3-11 SU in its last 14 games when playing Houston
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Dallas’s last 15 games when playing Houston
Dallas is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Houston
Dallas is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Houston
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Dallas’s last 8 games when playing at home against Houston
Houston Rockets
Houston is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games
Houston is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Houston’s last 6 games
Houston is 5-10-1 ATS in its last 16 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Houston’s last 8 games on the road
Houston is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Dallas
Houston is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games when playing Dallas
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Houston’s last 15 games when playing Dallas
Houston is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Dallas
Houston is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Dallas
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Houston’s last 8 games when playing on the road against Dallas

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