Dallas Mavericks

Carlisle: home crowd will help Mavs play better


DALLAS – Now that they’re back home and back playing in their friendly confines, the Dallas Mavericks believe it’s only a matter of time before they even their best-of-seven first-round playoff series with the Houston Rockets at 2-2.

That’s how much confidence the Mavs have in winning Games 3 and 4, which will be played at American Airlines Center.

"We’re excited for Game 3,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "We’re back at home.

"They’ve done what they’re supposed to do, now it’s our turn. It’s our job to defend home court and that’s what we intend to do."

Game 3 is at 6 p.m. Friday and Game 4 is at 8 p.m. Sunday, and the Mavs believe the home crowd will be a major factor in both games.

The Rockets took a 2-0 lead in this series by capturing the first two games in Houston.

Even with Dwight Howard in constant foul trouble and James Harden only 4-of-11 from the field, Houston won the series opener 118-108, last Saturday. And with Howard accounting for seven of the Rockets’ 14 dunks, Houston rallied to beat the Mavs in Game 2 on Tuesday, 111-99.

The Mavs have the longest active sellout streak among the four North American professional sports. They’ve sold out 555 consecutive regular season games dating back to Dec. 15, 2001, and also have sold out 63 playoff games in a row.

Carlisle is banking on that crowd being a factor on Friday and Sunday.

"We’re looking forward to getting back home,’’ he said. "That’s what this thing is about.

"We do have to play better, but with our crowd we will play better."

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @dwainprice

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