A pair of trifectas are at stake Sunday evening at American Airlines Center – one that the Mavericks are desperately seeking and one the Toronto Raptors hope to avoid.

The Mavericks are trying to close out what would be a perfect 3-0 home stand if they can beat the 36-15 Raptors.

Toronto has already lost at Indiana and Houston and will be finishing up the road trip against the Mavericks. A loss means an 0-3 journey, which would be unlike a team that is 15-11 on the road for the season. They have won at least once on every multi-game road trip they’ve had this season.

A big part of the equation for the Mavericks will be their first quarter starts. They have trailed going into the second period in both of the games on this homestand, but rallied to win. They are 5-3 at home when trailing after a quarter, but they know that’s playing with fire. They are 12-3 at home when leading after a quarter.

They are 0-15 on the road when the opponent leads after 12 minutes.

“We got to get better starts for sure,” said Luka Doncic. “I don’t know what it is, but we have to get better starts.”

Toronto lost the first two games on this trip by a combined six points. Kawhi Leonard sat out against Indiana, but had 32 points and seven rebounds at Houston. Pascal Siakam is averaging 19 points and 10.5 rebounds in the two games.

Clearly, the Raptors will be desperate for a win on the trip’s finale.

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