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- Dallas comes into tonight’s game riding a five-game winning streak on the season and have won 17 of 18 match-ups between these two teams. The Mavericks are also 14-6 against the Eastern Conference. Dallas picked up a 102-91 win at Boston and were led by all-star Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavericks held Boston to 35.9 percent shooting and now sit at 21-4 when holding teams to under 46.0 percent shooting from the floor.
- The Bobcats are focused on playing better and eliminating mistakes as they start a tough stretch of games over the next month. “I want us to make less mistakes than we did the other night,” Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said. “We did a lot of good things, but we shot ourselves in the foot with a few detail things that we should be better at. Dallas is as skilled a team as there is in the league. They can score and they’re extremely well coached. If we’re not on top of it, they can come in here and put up 115.”
- Charlotte’s Al Jefferson is averaging 27.3 points and 11.8 rebounds over the last 13 games. He scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the team’s 89-82 loss in Dallas on December 3. On the season, Charlotte is 4-when he fails to score 20 points. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle knows that Jefferson will play a key role tonight. “If you just let him go he’s going to score a bundle of points,” Carlisle said. “He’s averaging 28 in the last five games. He’s a great player in the low post, we’ve got to throw a lot of guys at him and be ready to guard the shooters if we send double-teams at him.”
– Derek S. Smith