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Game 44: Mavs at Raptors presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

Mavericks vs. Raptors

DeMar DeRozan scored a career high 40 points as the Raptors defeat the Mavs 93-85.

After gutting out a 102-97 win Monday in Cleveland, the Dallas Mavericks hoped to continue feasting on the Eastern Conference while making the second stop on their three-game road trip.

Touching down in Toronto for Wednesday’s matchup against the Raptors and looking to avenge a 109-108 overtime loss at home back on Dec. 20, the Mavericks looked to improve on an 11-4 record against the East. However, the Mavericks would have to make up for the loss of their leader and franchise player, taking the court minus 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki as he received a night of rest.  Meanwhile, point guard Jose Calderon made his return to Toronto after spending his first 7 1/2 seasons with the Raptors, looking to replicate his 23-point, nine-assist outing against his former team back in December.

But, without Nowitzki in the lineup, the Mavs wouldn’t have enough firepower to hold on to an early 21-point advantage, after also losing a 19-point lead in the previous meeting between the two teams. And after falling to a 93-85 defeat, the Mavericks (25-19) suffered their fifth loss of the season when leading by at least 17 points.

“It’s a 48-minute game,” a disappointed Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said after the loss.

He added: “This is the year of no lead too big, no deficit too great. You’re seeing big leads disappear all the time and we’ve got to be better. We’ve got to be better with leads, because they’re hard to get.”

Without the services of his leading scorer, Carlisle was forced to make a change to his starting lineup, inserting second-year standout Jae Crowder into the first unit at small forward and sliding four-time All-Star Shawn Marion to Nowitzki’s customary power forward spot. Meanwhile, starting center Samuel Dalembert stepped onto the court, despite battling a left shoulder strain suffered in the third quarter of Monday’s win.

The Mavs also leaned on Calderon, who engineered the Dallas team to a quick advantage on the scoreboard while making his return to Air Canada Centre. The starting backcourt of Monta Ellis and Calderon then swished in back-to-back 3-pointers to cap off a 13-0 run, before a vintage Vince Carter slam took the Mavericks into the second stanza with a 34-15 advantage.

After leading by as many as 21 in the opening period, the Mavs would see the momentum begin to swing in favor of the Raptors (21-20) in the early stage of the second quarter. Carlisle was then forced to call timeout with 6:56 remaining in the half, after Terrence Ross’ triple brought the gap between the two squads down to six, 38-32.

But the Mavs would quickly push the lead back to double digits with a 7-0 spurt. Not to be outdone, the Raptors came rumbling back as well, climbing to within three. Still, led by Calderon’s 12 first-half points, the Mavericks took a 51-46 edge into the intermission.

Led by Calderon’s 5-of-8 shooting, the Mavericks’ 53.8 percent from the field bettered the Raptors’ 39 percent through two quarters. The Mavs also overcome Toronto’s 19-17 edge in rebounding and 13 points off Dallas’ nine turnovers, holding a 28-16 scoring margin in the paint.

Locked in a dogfight early in third, the Mavs would gain a little traction as Crowder calmly connected a corner 3-pointer to make it a 58-50 score. The Mavericks would quickly receive a scare after that, however, as Ellis went down throbbing in pain after a collision with DeMar DeRozan.

But Ellis would stay in the game, continuing to lead the Mavs with Nowitzki in street clothes.  And despite foul trouble for both Dalembert and Carter, the Mavericks escaped into the fourth period with a 73-68 lead as Ellis matched DeRozan score for score.

Playing just his third game since returning from offseason toe surgery, veteran guard Devin Harris would get the Mavs off to a fast start in the fourth after raining in a trey to open the period. But the Raptors would stay in the game with frequent trips to the free-throw line at the other end.

Ellis then returned to the floor, quickly finding backup big man Brandan Wright above the rim for an alley-oop finish. But the Raptors refused to go away, briefly taking charge of the scoreboard as Jonas Valanciunas came alive inside.

Meanwhile, the Mavs struggled to control the ball, committing costly turnovers before moving into the bonus at the foul line with 4:21 remaining. DeRozan then went back on the attack, lifting his team to an 85-82 edge on a reversing three-point play with 3:38 still on the clock. Amir Johnson followed that with a triple of his own, giving the Raptors an 88-84 edge with 2:59 left for the Mavs to recover. A short time later DeRozan capped off his career night, collecting a steal on the Mavs’ 20th turnover of the game and racing down the court for the two-handed slam to put the Raptors up 92-85 with 1:51 left.

The Mavs wouldn’t score the rest of the way.

“They made plays and we didn’t,” Carlisle confessed, “so you’ve got to give them credit. The crowd got into it and all that, and we’ve got to be better.”

“We couldn’t match their intensity in the second half. They made their run and we couldn’t keep up with that,” Calderon added.

Leading the way in a losing effort, Ellis scored 21 points on 9-of-18 shooting and dished out six assists, but he also committed eight turnovers. Calderon and Wright were the only other Mavs in double figures with 13 points apiece.

DeRozan led three Raptors in double figures with a career-high 40 points, hitting 15 of 22 from the field.  Toronto also collected a 40-33 advantage in the rebounding department. The Mavs did, however, outshot the Raptors in the loss, 46.6 percent to 42.1 percent. But the Raptors forced the Mavericks into 21 turnovers (nine in the fourth) as well, scoring 25 points off the miscues at the other end.

“We just have to do better,” Carter confessed.  ”More so than this is the second time against the Raptors, this is more than the second time this year for us. I think we just have to zero in on staying focused, staying the course, continuing to do what got us to that point. I think that sometimes we get comfortable and we’re still learning how to win. It’s very frustrating.  This is a game that we should have won, regardless of if Dirk was on the floor or not. I think we set the tone for how we wanted to play and what needed to be done, and then they stepped their pressure up and we didn’t.”

“I believe in our team and I believe in these guys, and we’re going to keep working at it,” Carlisle concluded. “I’m going to keep believing in them and telling them I believe in them, and we’ve got to do better. I know we’re capable, and it’s a hard league. The games are long, so you’ve got to keep playing and everything is meaningful. You can’t throw the ball away 21 times for 25 points and give up a 40-point night to a guy that’s a good player, so we can do better and we’re going to work at it.”

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their road trip in Brooklyn, facing off with the Nets for the first time this season. The game will air locally Friday on Fox Sports Southwest at 6:30 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, to begin a four-game homestand against the Detroit Pistons. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting

Dallas Mavericks
Shawn Marion, F303-110-20-013421010-106
Jae Crowder, F202-31-22-21340012337
Samuel Dalembert, C171-30-02-23470103454
Monta Ellis, G379-182-51-201160083-421
Jose Calderon, G345-112-41-213450012-413
DeJuan Blair174-50-00-01671002218
Vince Carter223-71-21-101141015-88
Brandan Wright255-70-03-503301012-1213
Shane Larkin111-30-10-000010012-22
Devin Harris141-31-30-001131001-43
Wayne Ellington70-20-10-001100010-50
Ricky Ledo00-00-00-00000000000
Bernard James00-00-00-00000000000
Gal Mekel00-00-00-00000000000
Dirk Nowitzki00-00-00-00000000000
34-737-2010-147263322512124 85
Toronto Raptors
Terrence Ross, F191-71-50-00333100323
Amir Johnson, F314-71-10-015601002109
Jonas Valanciunas, C253-60-06-8281000043212
DeMar DeRozan, G3715-221-19-1412331141-540
Kyle Lowry, G350-100-63-404452014-53
John Salmons211-41-20-00220000033
Patrick Patterson193-70-10-041510022-66
Greivis Vasquez335-133-74-6022730222117
Charles Hayes160-00-00-014513002180
Dwight Buycks00-00-00-00000000000
Austin Daye00-00-00-00000000000
Landry Fields00-00-00-00000000000
Tyler Hansbrough00-00-00-00000000000
Steve Novak00-00-00-00000000000
Julyan Stone00-00-00-00000000000
32-767-2322-3293140201111319 93

Ellis to Wright

Monta Ellis passes to Brandan Wright who finishes with the dunk.


Carter Finishes

Vince Carter drives to the basket and finishes strong with the dunk.

After fearing that they’d have to take the court minus their starting center Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors, the Dallas Mavericks were pleasantly surprised to see big man Samuel Dalembert during the team’s morning walkthrough.

Losing Dalembert to a left shoulder strain in the third quarter of Monday’s 102-97 win in Cleveland, the Mavericks (25-18) called up rookie second-rounder Ricky Ledo Wednesday morning from the NBA Development League’s Texas Legends to give the team an extra body. But, after an MRI came back negative and Dalembert vowed to play following the Mavs’ Wednesday shootaround, the team should receive a boost from his big body in the interior.

Dalembert has averaged 6.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 20.2 minutes of work per game this season, starting 29 of his 41 outings. He played just six minutes Dec. 20 and scored two points the last time the Mavs squared off with the Toronto team, as the Raptors (20-20) rallied from a 19-point deficit in the first half to claim a 109-108 overtime win at American Airlines Center.

This time around, however, the Mavericks hope to leave Air Canada Centre on the winning end while attempting to move to 2-0 on their current three-game road trip. And while continuing to position themselves in the ever-changing Western Conference playoff picture, the Mavs will look to improve on an 11-4 record against the East.

“It’s a must-win game for us,” sixth man Vince Carter said. “It’s an important road trip for us just to kind of position ourselves, ’cause right now the West is very strong and there’s a lot going on the way we’re fluctuating in the eighth spot right now. This is a game on our calendar that we need to pull out a victory. And we’re playing a young and athletic team that’s playing with a lot of confidence, so our focus has to be great.”

Note: The Mavericks will continue their road trip in Toronto, looking to avenge a 109-108 overtime loss back on Dec. 20. The game will air locally Wednesday on Fox Sports Southwest at 6 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, to begin a four-game homestand against the Detroit Pistons. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting

After watching big lead after big lead evaporate this season, the Dallas Mavericks made a stand down the stretch Monday in Cleveland.

Leading by as many as 24, the Mavericks (25-18) would eventually find themselves in a dogfight as the Cavaliers rallied on their home floor. Still, after sneaking away with a 102-97 win as six scorers reached double figures, the Mavs began their three-game road trip victoriously. And while trying to avenge a 109-108 overtime loss at home to the Toronto Raptors back on Dec. 20, which was one of four defeats the Mavericks have suffered after leading by at least 17, the Dallas team will try to carry over the lessons learned from their last win to Wednesday.

“Hopefully we can learn from that,” starting point guard Jose Calderon said as he gets set to make a return to Toronto after spending his first 7 1/2 seasons with the franchise.

He added: “We have seen this whole year that this league is getting closer and closer talent-wise.  If you have a lead, you have to work at it.  It doesn’t matter who you play, everybody is going to be right there.”

Calderon did his part the last time he faced the Raptors (20-20), scoring 23 points, dishing out nine assists and committing just one turnover. But the Raptors weren’t to be denied as they staged a comeback from 19 down in the first half to claim the win on the American Airlines Center floor.

However, after building a large advantage in their last game and hanging on down the stretch, the Mavericks believe they now have the formula for playing winning basketball for a full 48 minutes. They’ll put that equation to the test Wednesday, facing a Toronto team that has lost five of nine since a 9-2 stretch following the Rudy Gay trade on Dec. 9.

And with the Raptors trying to avoid their first three-game losing skid since moving Gay to Sacramento, the Mavs know they’ll have to get back to executing in order to improve on an 11-4 mark this season against the Eastern Conference.

“I think we have to continue to do what we were doing in the first half — sharing the ball, getting defensive stops and getting out,” starting shooting guard Monta Ellis said following Monday’s win. “This is the NBA. You know, teams are going to make runs, but we’ve got to stay together as a team and continue to help one another and try to find ways to win the game, like we did (Monday).”

Note: The Mavericks will continue their road trip in Toronto, looking to avenge a 109-108 overtime loss back on Dec. 20. The game will air locally Wednesday on Fox Sports Southwest at 6 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, to begin a four-game homestand against the Detroit Pistons. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting



The Mavs former assistant coach Duane Casey was great to watch last. He inspired his team and I thought he was going to play some himself. Its always good to see our former assistants do well, but I would hope not against us. I have faith in Rick. We have a VERY GOOD TEAM...we have a new team, way better than last year. At the old sportatorium off industrial blvd. where wresting use to be, the announcer would say from parts unknown its the missing link . That's what my Mavs need THE MISSING LINK.... to go from a very good team to a great team.


When is the trading deadline?

The Mavs had a five point lead going into the fourth quarter of a game they lost by eight. They gave up twelve points on turnovers and offensive rebounds in that quarter.

This is a horrible team. I’ve been a fan since the very beginning, and Dallas has had a lot of bad teams over the years. Most of the bad teams, however, didn’t pretend to be good. This year’s Mavs consider themselves to be a good team, but—very much like last year’s collection-- they just don’t have the heart or basketball sense for that.

Never mind losing a 21 point lead, since we’ve come to expect that in any game the Mavs aren’t blown out from the start. They always take a big lead and blow it. Always—and sometimes more than once.  That tells you something about the team, though. Never mind that nobody in America thought the Mavs might engineer a comeback when they were down seven with something like a minute and a half to go (sadly, of course, everyone in America would assume a Mavs opponent could manage such a comeback, or come close). That also tells you something about the team. Never mind the five offensive rebounds the Mavs gave up in the 4th, since—due to ineptitude by the Raptors—those rebounds only cost three points (they were more than half the OR given up in the game, though, so that’s awful ). That tells you something about the team’s heart and sense, though. We DO, however, have to draw the line and really mind NINE turnovers in the fourth quarter, leading to nine points. Terrible, terrible basketball.

That’s twelve self-inflicted points given up by the Mavs in the fourth quarter-- which is the same number of points the Mavs themselves scored in the quarter. The Mavs had more assists to the Raptors in the quarter than they did to teammates.  That is terrible basketball.

This is a bad team. It doesn’t matter that Dirk didn’t play. A good team would not have lost this game even if its Dirk was out. The only good team that would fold without its star right now is OKC, and that’s because its other star is already out.

I’ve come to like Monta Ellis as a player, and he seems like a decent guy, but he’s rapidly turning into this year’s O.J. Mayo.  He can score in bunches, but he can’t score when the team MUST have points, and his late turnovers and other mental lapses are killing us. He’s simply not a leader and clearly doesn’t want the pressure of being a leader. His numbers in the fourth quarter tonight are as bad as they get for any player, let alone someone who has to carry his team with his co-star out: four turnovers, one assist, zero FG, one out of two FT, two fouls. It would just be rubbing it in to note that his opposite number had a career high scoring night. Might as well have had Mekel in there.

When’s the trading deadline again? Let’s see if we can find one or two players who can box out on defense and get rebounds to start, but I’d trade anyone on this team but Dirk, Crowder (yes, I believe he will be that good) and Marion (he’s not playing very well most nights, but he’s an important cog). It’s time to make a move, even if that means rebuilding. That’s better than suffering through this combination of players. They do not have the basketball IQ or heart to win easy games, let alone playoff series. 


I agree, lets go after Asik!!