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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Monday, December 13th (All times eastern)

Dallas Mavericks (14-8) at Chicago Bulls (4-14), 8:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls try to win consecutive games for the first time this season, as they welcome All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks to the United Center.

The Mavericks have dominated the Bulls, as they have won 12 straight in this series. The last time Chicago defeated Dallas was on December 29, 1997 on its homecourt. The Mavs have won five straight at Chicago.

On Saturday, Michael Finley had 26 points and Nowitzki added 22 points and 14 rebounds, as the Mavericks thumped the Houston Rockets, 102-78, at the Toyota Center. Josh Howard added 13 points and Marquis Daniels 11 for Dallas, which has won 13 of its last 16 against meetings with the Rockets, including nine of the last 10.

There was little suspense to this contest. Dallas jumped to a 10-0 lead, and never led by less than six the rest of the way. Nowitzki had 17 points and 11 rebounds in the first half, as Dallas built a lead of as many as 18 points before taking a 50-41 edge into the locker room. Finley, meanwhile, was the star of the final 24 minutes, scoring 20 of his total after intermission. A Devin Harris three-pointer with 4:12 left in the contest gave the Mavericks their biggest lead at 98-68.

Nowitzki has scored more than 20 points in 10 straight contests. He is averaging 29.2 points and 11.5 rebounds in that span.

Dallas is 7-3 on the road this season.

The Bulls enter tonight's contest having won two of their last three. On Saturday, rookie Ben Gordon poured in a career-high 31 points, Kirk Hinrich added 19 with 12 assists and Chicago earned a rare win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 99-88, at the United Center.

Eddy Curry added 13 points in the win for the Bulls, who snapped a 10-game losing streak to Minnesota. Tyson Chandler and Andres Nocioni each chipped in with 10 apiece. Chandler also collected a team-high 16 boards, as the Bulls won for just the fourth time in their first 18 games of the young season.

Gordon is averaging 18.7 points and three rebounds in his last three games.

Chicago is 3-6 as the host this season.

12/13 10:14:00 ET

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