Mavs try to continue dominance of Bobcats

If only the Dallas Mavericks could play the Charlotte Bobcats every night.

The Mavericks and Bobcats will renew their lopsided rivalry Saturday in the Tar Heel State, while Dallas looks to go 17-0 in the all-time series.

Dallas defeated the Bobcats, 126-99, back on Nov. 3 in Big D and has held Charlotte under 100 points in every meeting. The Mavericks are 7-0 as the visitor in this series, too.

The Mavs had their three-game winning streak come to an end in Friday's 104-94 setback against the undefeated New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. With Dirk Nowitzki still sidelined with a balky knee, O.J. Mayo picked up the slack once again with 23 points.

"They're a very good team, and in my opinion, they are one of a handful of teams that has a chance to come out of the East," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of the Knicks. "I like their talent, they are well coached, and they have Jason Kidd, and he's going to bring everyone's level of focus and intensity up."

Vince Carter and Chris Kaman scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, while Brandan Wright netted 11 points in a losing cause. New York scored 20 points off 20 Dallas turnovers and held the Mavs to 37 points in the second half.

The Mavericks averaged 116.3 points on 56.2 percent shooting during their win streak. In other injury news, forward Shawn Marion (knee) is expected to miss about a week of action.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats have dropped three straight since a season-opening win over Indiana, and are coming off Friday's 107-99 setback to the New Orleans Hornets in the Big Easy.

Ben Gordon had 34 points to lead the way, while Ramon Sessions and rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.

"I just tried to be aggressive while I was out there," Gordon said. "My teammates did a good job of finding me on various plays. The bigs did a solid job of setting various screens allowing me to get some space and I was able to score some points."

Kemba Walker ended with 11 points for Charlotte, which shot a decent 48.2 percent and has lost 13 straight road games dating back to last season. Bobcats big man Brendan Haywood missed the game for personal reasons and could return this evening.

The Bobcats will play two straight and six of the next seven games at home.