Tonight’s best game: Houston at Dallas

The Houston Rockets currently share an identical record with Utah and Denver.

mavs small logoThat will change tonight — as the other two teams have the night off — when the Rockets look to avenge their recent overtime loss against the well-rested Dallas Mavericks in Tuesday’s best game.

The two teams faced off last Saturday in a game filled with playoff intensity. The game featured 15 ties, 17 lead changes and four stitches above the right eye of Dirk Nowitzki, but his team ultimately came out with a nail-biting 101-99 victory.

After losing eight out of 10 games and looking like one of the oldest teams in the league, Dallas (28-22) has come together to win five of the last seven contests largely because of the resurgence of Nowitzki, who is averaging 25.3 points on 47.3% shooting in the month of March.

Brandan Wright has provided a much needed defensive presence in recent games, blocking 16 shots over the past six games, including seven blocks in the previous contest. He may be permanently moving up the depth chart over Lamar Odom who by comparison has 17 total blocks on the season and continues to be in the biggest funk of his career.

For Dallas, it will be a home-and-home contest after getting the past two days off.

Houston (27-23), however, will be playing on back-to-back nights after defeating Sacramento in another overtime game that featured Patrick Patterson  scoring a career-high 24 points, including the game tying jumper in regulation — and Earl Boykins who played his first game of the season and knocked down four game-clinching free throws on his way to 10 points and 5 assists.

The Rockets have found a way to stay in the intense Western Conference playoff race despite missing key players: Kyle Lowry (bacterial infection) has missed the last 10 games while Kevin Martin (shoulder) missed the last eight games. Both players continue to be out indefinitely.

rockets small logoGoran Dragic has filled in at the point guard position more than admirably. In 12 starts as a starter this season, Dragic is averaging 16.4 points on 51.5% shooting, 9.5 assists and 1.8 steals.

Luis Scola has also picked up his play in the month of March, averaging 17.5 points on 53% shooting and 7.4 rebounds.

Rookie Chandler Parsons has put his variety of skill sets on full display as of late, averaging 15.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, four assists and eight 3-pointers made through the last four games.

James Park is a regular contributor to Sheridanhoops.com. Follow him on twitter.

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