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Reply To: NBA • Friday Service Plays • 12/4/15

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Preview: Houston At Dallas

When: 8:30 PM ET, Friday, December 4, 2015

Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

Deron Williams is coming off a throwback performance and the test is whether he can string together two dominant outings when the Dallas Mavericks host the Houston Rockets on Friday. Williams had his best showing since joining Dallas this summer when he had 30 points, eight assists, six rebounds and two blocked shots in Tuesday’s 115-112 overtime victory over Portland.

The three-time All-Star has been in decline mode over the past few seasons and is averaging 14.8 points and 5.8 assists after his strong effort. “I think as my confidence gets back and stays the way it is, hopefully I can put together some of these nights,” Williams told reporters. Houston recorded a 108-101 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday to win for just the fourth time in 12 games. Center Dwight Howard collected 16 rebounds in the contest to raise his career total to 10,486, passing Ben Wallace to move into 30th place on the NBA’s all-time list.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ROOT (Houston), FSN Southwest (Dallas)

ABOUT THE ROCKETS (8-11): Point guard Ty Lawson has underachieved all season but has shown life with back-to-back double-digit outings. Lawson had 12 points and six assists in 29 minutes off the bench in the victory over New Orleans and mixed better with star guard James Harden, who likes to play with the basketball in his hands. “It feels a little bit more comfortable,” Lawson told reporters. “I’m trying to find my way in the offense. I don’t have the ball as much as I normally do but I am figuring it out day by day.”

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (11-8): The overtime victory over Portland was just the second win in six games for Dallas, and it took overcoming a seven-point deficit with less than 90 seconds remaining in regulation. Forward Dirk Nowitzki scored the final five points of regulation – he had 28 overall – to force the extra session and the Mavericks went on to the unlikely victory. “We just kept fighting,” Williams told reporters. “I don’t know where it came from but I’m glad we had it. I’m glad we had this resilience and we were able to fight back and we didn’t lay down.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Mavericks PG Raymond Felton scored 23 points in a 110-98 win over the Rockets on Nov. 14.

2. Houston swingman Corey Brewer is just 11-of-38 shooting over the past seven games.

3. Dallas C Zaza Pachulia had 14 points and tied his career best of 21 rebounds against Portland for his seventh double-double in eight games.

PREDICTION: Mavericks 118, Rockets 116