Thursday , Feb , 15 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Texas hold ’em: Mavs, Rockets set for showdown

(Sports Network) – The red-hot Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets meet for
the fourth and final time in the regular season, as they battle tonight at the
Toyota Center.

Dallas has won two of the three contests between the clubs this season. The
Mavericks defeated the Rockets twice at American Airlines Center, while
Houston crushed Dallas, 107-76, on November 4th at the Toyota Center.

The Mavericks have won four of their last six at Houston.

Both teams play their final game before the All-Star break. The 2007 NBA All-
Star Game will be played on February 18th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las

Dallas, which plays the finale of a three-game road trip, enters tonight’s
contest on an eight-game winning streak. Dirk Nowitzki poured in 38 points and
grabbed 11 rebounds as the Mavericks rallied from a double-digit deficit in
the final quarter to beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 99-93, at the Bradley Center.

Josh Howard scored 15 points, while Jerry Stackhouse netted 13 in the win for
the Southwest Division-leading Mavericks. Jason Terry finished with 11 points
and 10 assists for Dallas, which led for a total of 49 seconds in the win and
outscored Milwaukee 28-11 in the fourth quarter.

Nowitzki and Howard will be reserves for the Western Conference in this year’s
mid-season classic.

The Mavericks are an impressive 19-6 on the road this season. They have won
three in a row as the visitor.

Houston, which is 9 1/2 games behind Dallas in the standings, enters the game
on a two-game winning streak. Tracy McGrady scored 28 points and dished out 12
assists as the Rockets defeated the Sacramento Kings, 109-104, in overtime at
the Toyota Center.

Shane Battier registered 25 points and Rafer Alston scored 18 for the Rockets,
who have won four of five and eight of their last 10 games overall. Luther
Head netted 15 points and Chuck Hayes grabbed 14 rebounds for Houston, which
has won three in a row and six of its last seven home games.

McGrady is a starter for the West in Sunday’s All-Star Game.

The Rockets are 19-6 at the Toyota Center this season.