The Toronto Raptors ended up dropping their third straight game, losing 99-92 in a chippy battle against the Dallas Mavericks. With the loss, the Raptors end their 4-game road trip with a losing record of 1-3. Their lone win coming on the first game of the series against the Atlanta Hawks. This game was once again a tale of two halves as the Raptors failed to put together a complete game once again. DeMar DeRozan led Toronto in scoring with 18 points on 33% shooting. Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis were magical in their offensive output, helping will their team back to victory contributing with 20 and 18 points respectively. The Raptors were able to contain the Mavs for most of the contest, until a pivotal moment on the Dallas bench seeing coach Rick Carlisle and point guard Rajon Rondo go at it. Rondo sat for the remainder of the game with the Mavs stuck 7; from that moment on, it was all Dallas basketball.
Toronto came out with energy tonight, doing all of the positive things required for a team to be successful on the road. They were feeding the ball inside to Jonas Valanciunas, they were attacking the paint and getting to the line and their offence was getting good looks thanks to their defensive intensity. Everything looked good until the Mavericks defence clamped down on Toronto, forcing them into many difficult shots and rushed possessions. Kyle Lowry‘s struggles continued through this game as he finished with a line of just 11 points & 6 assists. With the Splash Brothers coming into town, we’re going to need KLow7 to return to his all-star form.
The Raptors played sound defence for a good part of tonights contest against the Mavs. With the energy displayed during the earlier portions of the game, Toronto was able to force Dallas into many turnovers helping create a gap in the score to give the Raps some breathing room. Dallas finished the game with 19 turnovers, and shot 48% which is more than enough to get you a win in the NBA. Spark-plugs J.J. Barea and Devin Harris came off the bench and gave the Raptors fits on defence with their quickness and ability to penetrate in order to create opportunities for their teammates.
Tonight the battle on the glass was won by the Mavericks who out-rebounded Toronto 40-37. Al-Farouq Aminu brought incredible intensity and used his length to clean up the glass with authority piling up 12 on the night. JV was rebounding well in limited minutes as he racked up 9 rebounds in 25 minutes of action.
With the absence of starting point guard Rajon Rondo to close out the game for Dallas; tonight’s game ball goes to reserve guard Devin Harris. In 28 minutes, Harris provided defensive intensity and leadership allowing his team to reestablish the lead and seal the game for the Mavericks. Harris’ final line was 14 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 big steals.