Rockets at Mavericks
7:30 p.m. Friday, American Airlines Center, Dallas
TV: FSSW. Radio: ESPN/103.3 FM; ESPN/1540 AM (Spanish)
Records: Rockets 8-11, Mavericks 11-8
About the Rockets: The Mavericks will catch a break, because Rockets center Dwight Howard will not play due to maintenance on his body. Howard is not yet playing both ends of back-to-backs. He will play Saturday in Houston against Sacramento. … James Harden is second in the NBA in scoring with 29.5 ppg, and also averages 6.7 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.89 steals. The league’s Most Valuable Player runner-up last season is shooting only 39.8 percent from the field and only 29 percent from 3-point range. … The Rockets are 4-4 since interim coach J. B. Bickerstaff replaced Kevin McHale, who was fired. That includes wins in three of their past four games.
About the Mavericks: Fresh off a 1-1 split on a West Coast road trip, Dallas will start a two-game East Coast road trip Sunday in Washington after the Interstate 45 matchup with the Rockets. … Zaza Pachulia has been a huge surprise for the Mavericks. He is tied with Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook for second in the NBA in double-doubles with 12. … Guard J.J. Barea will miss his fourth consecutive games with a sprained right ankle. … The Mavericks have three players averaging 30-plus minutes — Deron Williams (32.6), Wesley Matthews (30.2) and Dirk Nowitzki (30.1). … Chandler Parsons and JaVale McGee will be back on the court after missing Tuesday’s game due to maintenance.