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Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks Prediction & Preview

#565 Charlotte Hornets
#566 Houston Rockets
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 8:05pm
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The Charlotte Hornets have struggled to get their way in the right direction throughout much of the year, being well out of the playoff picture. The Hornets are coming off a blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets have stayed within the top of the mix for the playoffs picture in the Western Conference. The Rockets are heading into the contest after topping the New Orleans Hornets.

Hornets stumbling as season rolls along

Following the loss of their All-Star point guard Kemba Walker in the offseason, it has been an uphill battle for the Hornets to push their way into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. Their youth has seen plenty of growing pains along the way with them struggling on both ends of the floor at times. The bulk of that has come in the way of their lack of offensive production as they are averaging just 103.0 points per contest while shooting 43.3 percent from the floor. Charlotte has hit a bit of a rut over the last five games as they have failed to score more than 100 points three times in the last five contests.
Charlotte Hornets
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Their offensive issues have been the core of their shortcomings on the court this year as they have had some major trouble finding their way on that end of the floor. They have had some solid play from their backcourt duo of Devonte' Graham and Terry Rozier at times throughout the year, but that hasn't equated to much-sustained success. Instead, the team has lost nine out of their last 10 games that have put any chance of truly competing for the playoff out the window. If they hope to compete with the Rockets that will need them to step it up offensively to even have an opportunity to derail a stout team on their home floor.

Rockets looking for some home cooking

Heading into the season, there was plenty of optimism around the Rockets after making another splash move in hopes of pushing their way further into the title picture in the stacked Western Conference. That has seen them experience some ups and downs along the way, but they have had some strong play as of late from offseason addition Russell Westbrook, who has earned another selection behind his strong campaign as he's averaging 26.4 points on 52.4 percent shooting from the floor. Westbrook has been one of their most consistent scoring factors on the court, but the team will likely be without him for Tuesday's game as he's dealing with a thumb injury.
Houston Rockets
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That will only shift more of the offensive workload onto former league MVP James Harden's shoulders in the contest, which he has been used to carrying a huge workload throughout the last several years. Harden has put up another impressive year as he's leading the league with 35.7 points on 43.6 percent shooting from the floor. His production has "dipped" a bit over the last couple of weeks, but he has bounced back in the last two games with at least 35 points in each contest. Harden is coming off a 40-point outing in the win over the Pelicans. Although the Rockets will be without Westbrook, Harden's presence and production should be more than enough to lift them to a victory on their home floor.

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