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Rockets @ Mavericks

Your guide, preview, and game thread for tonight when the Rockers travel to north to take on the Mavericks.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

H-Town takes on Big-D when the Houston Rockets (8-4) travel north to face the Dallas Mavericks (7-4). It's the late game on ESPN tonight and here's what you need to know:

Time: 9:30 eastern, 6:30 pacific

Watch on: ESPN

Venue: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

Probable Starters:

Patrick Beverly Jose Calderon
James Harden Monta Ellis
Chandler Parsons Shawn Marion
Terrence Jones Dirk Nowitzki
Dwight Howard Samuel Dalembert

Injuries: Devin Harris (foot) and Brandon Wright (shoulder) are both out for the Mavericks, Ronnie Brewer (calf) and Greg Smith (knee) are out for the Rockets.

The last time these teams met: Just a few weeks ago; on November 1st the Rockets hosted the Mavericks and won 113-105. Dwight Howard had a double-double and James Harden dropped 34 points.

Story: The second of four meetings between these two teams from Texas. In their first meeting, Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle went to the "Hack-a-Howard" technique. Tonight he may not need to do that if the Mavericks offense can get a solid lead on this Rockets team, whose defense has been suspect at best lately. Will we see "Hack-a-Howard" tonight? Will Omer Asik be effective tonight after requesting a trade? Can the Mavericks take advantage of the Rockets poor defense?

History watch: Dirk Nowitzki needs 17 points to pass Reggie Miller for 15th on the all-time scoring list. He also needs to make just six more three-pointers to pass Antoine Walker for 24th all-time on that list and Vince Carter needs just three three-pointers to tie Steve Nash for 10th all-time.

Stat you didn't know: The Mavericks are undefeated at home this year (5-0) and they are undefeated when Monta Ellis dishes out at least 5 assists (5-0).

Prediction: Dirk and Monta play great and take advantage of the Rockets defense to even up the series.

Rockets: 106, Mavericks: 114

Now... hit the comments!