The Dallas Mavericks seem to have hit their stride and target a season-high four-game winning streak Wednesday versus the rival Houston Rockets in the third portion of a four-game homestand.
The Mavericks have scored 100-plus points during their winning streak and have won three straight games on three separate occasions this season. In Monday's 113-98 victory versus the Minnesota Timberwolves, Darren Collison scored 23 points and Elton Brand scored a season-best 20.
O.J. Mayo also scored 20 points, while Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Kaman and Vince Carter each netted 10 points for the Mavericks, whose current winning streak comes on the heels of a four-game slide.
"We're playing with more familiarity with one another, with more familiarity with the system," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "We've been doing some good things in that area. The challenge will be continuing."
Nowitzki has scored 10-plus points in eight straight games, averaging 16.1 ppg in that stretch.
Dallas is 10-7 in Big D this season and will close out the homestand versus Oklahoma City on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Rockets are mired in a season-high four-game losing streak after winning five in a row and will begin a four-game road trip Wednesday.
In the thick of seven of eight games on the road, Houston was the recent victim of the Los Angeles Clippers in a 117-109 home setback Tuesday night. James Harden scored a team-high 23 points, while Chandler Parsons and Carlos Delfino finished with 17 and 16 points, respectively, in defeat.
Houston shot 50 percent for the game, but couldn't overcome Jamal Crawford's 30 points off the bench and 16 turnovers for 31 L.A. points.
"As a team, we have to learn to play together and overcome the tough situations we're having right now for the last four games," Delfino said. "It has been tough for us to come back, stick together and work hard, try to watch a little video and come back to do what we do best, which is win."
Harden has scored at least 20 points in 21 consecutive games for the Rockets, who are first in the NBA with 105.5 ppg. Before joining Houston in a trade with Oklahoma City, Harden's longest streak of 20-point games was two in a row.
The Rockets will also visit Indiana, Minnesota and Charlotte, and is 7-11 as the guest as opposed to a 14-7 home record. They recently went winless on a three-game junket through New Orleans, Boston and Philadelphia from Jan. 9-12.
Houston dropped a 116-109 home decision to the Mavericks back on Dec. 8 in the first of four meetings between the Southwest foes. The Rockets will host Dallas on March 3 before visiting Big D three days later.
Dallas has won eight in a row and 11 of the last 13 meetings with Houston, which has lost four straight, six of seven and 16 of its last 20 as the visitor in this heated series.