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Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks: Watch Live TV Stream Online For Free; Preview

By Melissa Siegel - Posted: 10/15/12 07:32PM UTC
Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks take on the Houston Rockets tonight in NBA preseason action. (Photo: REUTERS)

The Houston Rockets play their fourth preseason game tonight as they face off against the Dallas Mavericks. The game will be broadcast live locally at 8:30 p.m.  ET, and you can also watch a live TV stream online for free here.

Houston is coming off a 34-32 season under coach Kevin McHale. The Rockets averaged 98.1 points per game but finished two games out of a playoff spot. While the squad had a top-10 offense in 2012, Houston finished just 19th in the league in points allowed per game.

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The Rockets are 2-1 this preseason and are coming off a loss to the San Antonio Spurs. New point guard Jeremy Lin particularly struggled, scoring just four points on 1-of-10 shooting. But the entire team faced a clinic at the hands of the experienced Spurs, who could have blown the game open early had they not missed some open shots in the first quarter.

Houston may face many games like this in 2013, especially with such a young roster. No one on the squad has more than eight years of NBA experience, and 15 of the 18 players currently on the team have been in the league for three years or less.

The Mavericks, meanwhile, were swept in the first round of the playoffs last season by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Dallas then spent much of the offseason chasing after guard Deron Williams, who ultimately chose to return to the New Jersey Nets.

 So instead, the Mavericks brought in some younger talent, including guards OJ Mayo and Darren Collison. Mayo has averaged over 15 points per game in his four-year career, while Collison averaged 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game last year with the Indiana Pacers.

Dallas also parted ways with some of its more veteran players. Guard Jason Kidd spurned the Mavericks for a three-year deal with the New York Knicks, while Jason Terry, the team's second-leading scorer from a year ago, signed with the Boston Celtics in the offseason. Terry was the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year in 2009 and shot nearly 38 percent from three-point range last season.

The Mavericks are 1-1 this preseason after a two-game tour through Europe. On Tuesday the squad lost to a team from Barcelona, 99-85.  Forward Dirk Nowitzki missed the contest with a swollen knee but is expected to play in tonight's matchup.

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