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The Toronto Raptors came out on top in a close finish at the ACC beating the Dallas Mavericks 103-99 and sweeping the season series. Gratefully the Raptors started out strong, brimming with confidence and knocking down 5 of their first 7 shots. The Raptors survived a near 14-point comeback by the Mavericks (who sat out most of their starters for that comeback) in the final five minutes to win the game and improve to 18-12 on the season.
Playmaking from all three point guards (Kyle Lowry, Cory Joseph and Delon Wright) led the Raptors to victory in this one. Right from the gate the Raptors moved the ball and shot with confidence. The 3-point game was also on point as the Raptors shot over 46% from beyond the arc which led to 36 points.
Since it is the giving season, I might be a little generous with this one. The Raptors were unusually poor in the fourth quarter, especially given that the Mavericks’ main players sat out most of it. For most of the game, the Raptors were aggressive defensively in the backcourt and combined that with solid rim protection. However, after Rick Carlisle emptied out his bench, the Raptors became complacent, giving up on shots and nearly costing them the game.
There’s no overstatement here, the Raptors were absolutely dominant on the glass and outrebounded the Mavericks 53-34. Bismack Biyombo was an absolute beast with 7 rebounds in the first 8 minutes. He finished with 20 while Lowry added 10 himself as the Raptors pounded the glass with authority.
Game Ball: Kyle Lowry
I almost feel as if he gets this award too much and I liked the work of Biyombo and the breakout Joseph had offensively, but Lowry did pretty much everything tonight. With pure determination, he willed his team to victory even through a hard-to-understand rough stretch to end the game.