Game 26: Mavs vs. Raptors

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Postgame: Jose Calderon

Mavs PG Jose Calderon weighs in on the tough loss against the Raptors, how important it is to bounce back Saturday against the Suns and more.

DALLAS — Entering Friday night with an 11-2 record at American Airlines Center, the Dallas Mavericks stared a great opportunity in the face as they welcomed in the Toronto Raptors.

Looking to complete their three-game homestand with a clean sweep of three opponents with losing records, the Mavericks also tried to surge six games above .500 for the first time since ending the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season with a 36-30 mark. But, following two dominant wins on their home floor, the Mavs would find themselves in a dogfight, despite building a 19-point lead in the first half. And after being pushed into overtime for the first time this season, the Mavericks (15-11) walked off their home floor on the downside of a 109-108 loss.

“It went wrong in the first half,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said while summing up the loss. “We built a big lead, and then we had breakdowns and we had too many mistakes. They chewed into the lead very quickly. It’s hard to build a 19-point lead in this league. You have to play well and you have to do a lot of things on both sides of the ball. To give up the lead that easy gave them a lot of life, and they outlasted us.”

Coming off Wednesday’s 105-91victory over Memphis, the Mavericks sprinted out of the gates as point guard Jose Calderon connected on a corner 3-pointer against his former squad to lift the home team to a 14-6 advantage. Shawn Marion’s versatile offensive attack and Monta Ellis’ playmaking skills then helped the Mavs take a double-digit advantage, sliding into the second stanza with a 33-22 lead.

After a 15-of-22 shooting period in the first, the Mavericks continued to find the bottom of the net with regularity early in the second quarter. But, after the Mavs went ahead by as much as 19, the Raptors (10-14) responded with 10 straight points of their own to keep the Dallas team from pulling away.

Postgame: Shawn Marion

Mavs F Shawn Marion talks about Friday night's loss against the Raptors and the says the team needs to do a better job of responding when a team like the Raptors challenges them.

“We got a 19-point lead and just kind of gave it away in five or six minutes,” Calderon explained. “It was tough. We got some miscommunication on defense, we had some trouble, they scored easily, and they got their mojo back.”

The visiting squad didn’t stop there, storming all the way back to take a 49-47 lead on a score by Terrence Ross while forcing a timeout by Carlisle with 57.3 seconds left in the half. However, led by Ellis, the Mavericks would settle down to take a 52-49 edge at the intermission.

“I mean, we’ve got to be the team that loses leads quicker than any other team in the league,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki admitted. “We gave up a 19-point lead within a couple of minutes. You know, you’ve got to be more solid. … We’ve got to learn if we do have a lead to keep it a little longer and not lose it within three or four minutes.”

Led by Ellis’ 11 first-half points on 4-of-6 shooting to go with six assists, the Mavericks outshot the Raptors through two quarters, 57.5 percent to 43.5 percent. Meanwhile, Toronto stayed in the game with a 23-17 rebounding advantage and 13-4 margin in second-chance points.

After allowing the game to come to him in the first half, Nowitzki began to assert himself early in the third quarter. Ellis then reassumed the scoring duties when Nowitzki headed to the bench for a breather. But Nowitzki would return to the court in time to screen for Ellis on an inbound play with 2.9 seconds in the period, as the cat-quick guard’s finger roll beat the buzzer to take the Mavs into the fourth with an 81-78 edge.

Beatin’ the Buzzer

Monta Ellis drives to the basket and sinks a tough shot.

But the momentum would be very short-lived as 3-pointers by Greivis Vasquez and DeMar DeRozan powered an 11-0 Toronto run to begin the final quarter. Meanwhile, the Mavericks’ turnovers continued to pile up before Calderon took matters back into his own hands, draining back-to-back treys from the top of the key to bring Dallas within one, 93-92.

The veteran floor general then drove and kicked it out to Nowitzki for a 3-pointer from the wing to take a 95-93 lead, forcing a Toronto timeout with 3:25 remaining on the clock. But the Raptors would come right back, regaining the momentum on a triple by John Salmons.

“They saw some weak spots and they went at them to get them back in the game,” Marion said as the Raptors continued to convert down the stretch.

Ellis then answered another jumper by Salmons to keep the Mavericks within an arm’s reach. The Dallas defense took it from there, forcing a stop as Calderon secured the rebound and fed a streaking Marion for the slam to take a 99-98 edge with 1:06 left to play. Still, after a foul by Nowitzki, Amir Johnson’s 1-of-2 trip to the free throw line tied the game with 51.9 seconds left.

That’s when the Calderon-to-Marion connection hooked up again for the four-time All-Star’s jumper with 20.9 ticks left, only to be answered at the other end by DeRozen with 16.5 seconds still on the clock. And after a timeout, Nowitzki’s attempt to end the game in regulation would bounce off the rim, sending the Mavericks into overtime for the first time this season tied at 101-all.

“It is what it is. I’ve got to make that last turnaround,” Nowitzki said after playing a season-high 42 minutes and missing his last six shots.

He added: “I just didn’t finish the way I would have loved to, and we still had enough chances. That’s a game we can’t lose.”

After the two teams exchanged scores, the Mavs would have an opportunity to surge ahead in the extra period as Nowitzki’s pass to Brandan Wright inside earned the big man a trip to the foul line. However, Wright would come away empty on both foul shots, sending the ball back over to the Raptors with 2:02 remaining. Calderon’s career high-tying seventh 3-pointer of the night then answered a slam by Jonas Valanciunas, but again DeRozan would provide the Toronto response with a jumper over Marion with 1:10 left.

Nowitzki to Marion

Shawn Marion finishes with a tough layup.

Down one, a stagnant Dallas offense would come away empty at the other end. The Dallas defense would do its job, however, forcing a miss by Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry as second-year standout Jae Crowder secured the rebound and called for timeout with 10.2 seconds left for the Mavericks to win the game.

Carlisle then drew up a play for Ellis to work off of a screen by Nowitzki at the top of the key. But, with the  game on the line, the guard’s jumper in the final seconds drew all iron as the Mavs fell to the one-point defeat.

“[Ellis] had a decent look, but it just didn’t go in. But, you know, really against Toronto at home, it shouldn’t come down to the last couple of plays where we have to make shots to win. It just shouldn’t,” Nowitzki concluded.

Leading the way in the loss, Calderon connected on 8 of 13 from the field and 7 of 10 from 3-point range to collect his 23 points, dishing out nine assists to boot. Nowitzki added 22 points and Ellis tallied up 21 points to go with his season-high 11 assists.  Marion pitched in 14 points and Wright registered 13 points to give the Mavs five scorers in double figures.

“We should have had this game,” Marion said. “We had to go overtime … but we should have never been in that position in the first place. They’re a talented team, and I don’t want to take anything away from them, but that was our game to lose and they came in here and took it.”

Lowry led six Raptors in double figures with 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting, but the Mavericks’ 50.5 percent from the field bettered Toronto’s 46.2 percent. Toronto also ended the night with a 46-45 rebounding edge, making up for Dallas’ 60-40 advantage in points in the paint by scoring 32 points off the Mavs’ 17 turnovers.

“Bad offense and bad mistakes led to catastrophic plays that are unguardable,” Carlisle said of his team’s giveaways. “It’s a recipe for failure, turning it over that much and having them get that many points off of turnovers.”

Note: The Mavericks will now head to Phoenix on the second night of a back-to-back, taking on the Suns in Saturday’s showdown. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 8 p.m. CT.

“We’ve got to win tomorrow to forget about this one,” Calderon matter-of-factly said while turning his attention to Saturday night. “If not, we’re going to be counting on this one later in the season.”

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Thursday when they play host to the Southwest Division rival San Antonio Spurs. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting


All Stats

T. Ross, F 29 5-9 3-4 2-2 0 2 2 0 1 0 2 1 10 15
A. Johnson, F 38 5-8 1-2 4-6 2 4 6 0 3 0 0 5 11 15
J. Valanciunas, C 34 8-13 0-0 2-2 4 9 13 0 1 1 1 1 -1 18
D. DeRozan, G 42 6-18 1-2 2-3 2 5 7 9 1 1 6 1 1 15
K. Lowry, G 40 7-16 3-7 3-3 2 3 5 6 1 0 3 2 -7 20
J. Salmons 31 2-7 1-1 0-0 0 3 3 1 1 0 1 3 -4 5
P. Patterson 24 3-8 0-1 1-2 2 4 6 1 1 0 0 1 -6 7
G. Vasquez 14 6-11 2-4 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 3 14
T. Hansbrough 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 -4 0
C. Hayes 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
D. Buycks 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Daye 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
L. Fields 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Novak 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Stone 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   42-91 11-21 14-18 14 32 46 17 9 3 15 14   109
    46.2% 52.4%                      

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All Stats

S. Marion, F 40 7-14 0-2 0-0 1 8 9 2 4 0 2 1 -16 14
D. Nowitzki, F 42 10-22 2-6 0-1 2 7 9 5 0 0 0 4 13 22
D. Blair, C 21 2-4 0-0 0-0 0 4 4 0 1 0 0 0 -2 4
M. Ellis, G 45 9-19 0-0 3-3 1 1 2 11 4 0 3 2 3 21
J. Calderon, G 37 8-13 7-10 0-0 1 3 4 9 2 0 1 1 1 23
V. Carter 17 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 2 2 0 6 4 -11 0
J. Crowder 14 2-4 1-2 0-0 0 6 6 0 0 1 1 0 4 5
B. Wright 26 5-8 0-0 3-6 5 1 6 0 0 2 1 2 9 13
S. Larkin 13 2-4 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 2 2 4
S. Dalembert 5 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 -8 2
W. Ellington 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Harris 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B. James 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
R. Ledo 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
G. Mekel 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   46-91 10-21 6-10 11 34 45 31 13 3 15 17   108
    50.5% 47.6%                      

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Hear the Mavs head coach after Dallas blows a 19-point lead Friday night.

Shootaround: Vince Carter

Mavs G-F Vince Carter reminiscences about his days in Toronto prior to Thursday's tilt against the Raptors, the rash of injuries affecting NBA veterans and more.

DALLAS — Although they missed playing with each other by just a season in Toronto, both Dallas Mavericks point guard Jose Calderon and sixth man Vince Carter will take the court Thursday with plenty of emotions as the Raptors invade American Airlines Center.

After spending six and a half seasons with the Raptors (9-14), Calderon finished the 2012-13 campaign in Detroit following a mid-season trade. He then joined the Mavericks (15-10) this offseason as a free agent and quickly bonded with Carter, who also spent his first six-plus seasons in Toronto before a deal sent the highflyer to New Jersey.

The two now provide veteran leadership for a Mavericks team that will try to reach six games above .500 for the first time this season.

Shootaround: Jose Calderon

Mavs PG Jose Calderon looks back on his days with Toronto prior to Thursday's tilt against the Raptors, how easily he's fit in along side the veterans in Dallas and more.

“We talk sometimes, but we never played with each other,” Calderon said of his bond with Carter. “We missed (each other) by a few months. He was traded and I got there the next training camp, but he’s one of the biggest guys to play there and we talked. We know the same guys that’s still working for the team, so we’ve got some stories.”

“When he first got here we just talked about different things, situations and places we’ve been,” Carter added. “It’s funny to kind of hear him talk about it and the great memories for him. We both shared some good times.”

The two are now sharing good times in Dallas, looking to help the Mavericks complete an unbeaten homestand with a win Friday night to improve to 12-2 this season at home. And with Carter just two made 3-pointers away from becoming only the 10th player in NBA history with at least 1,700 career triples, you can bet that he, like Calderon, will be out to treat his former team to a hospitable welcome.

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their three-game homestand Friday night against the Toronto Raptors. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.

Shootaround: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle on matching up against the Raptors, going up against one of his former coaches, how Jose Calderon has fit in with the team so far and more.

DALLAS — While it will go down as just another dominant win on their home floor, Wednesday’s 105-91victory over the Memphis Grizzlies was much more for the Dallas Mavericks.

Still awaiting the return of guard Devin Harris from offseason toe surgery, the Mavericks (15-10) took the court Wednesday the healthiest they’ve been all season. The end result was another lopsided home win as five Mavs scored in double figures against a short-handed Grizzlies team, improving to 11-2 at American Airlines Center this season.

“Well, it was a good win against an obviously undermanned team,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said after leading the way with 20 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and one blocked shot. “They’re scrappy and they’ve got a bunch of guys that play hard, so it was a good win.”

“Like I’ve been saying since the beginning of the season, we’ve got a lot of scorers on this team and any given night anybody can get hot,” starting 2-guard Monta Ellis added after the Mavs dished out 25 assists on their 40 made field goals. “As long as we continue to share the ball and play with one another, we’ll come out like we did (Wednesday night).”

Friday, the Mavericks will attempt to continue that dominance, concluding their three-game homestand against the Toronto Raptors before traveling to Phoenix on the second night of a back-to-back for a showdown against the red-hot Suns.

Despite sitting five games below .500, the Raptors (9-14) find themselves in playoff contention under head coach and former Dallas assistant Dwane Casey. They’ve also played better of late, after moving forward Rudy Gay to Sacramento in a seven-player exchange back on Dec. 9. And with the Raptors coming to town still feeling the sting of a last-second 104-102 overtime loss Wednesday at home to Charlotte, the Mavericks expect to get the visiting Toronto team’s best effort.

“[Casey] has had a massive impact on their defense,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said with high praise for his former defensive coordinator. “When he went there they were one of the worst defensive teams in the league, and they’ve made the greatest gains defensively in that period of time of any team in the league. He’s done a great job there. It was a total culture change and a needed culture change. They’ve done it, and now they’ve got a roster of energetic, athletic, hard-playing, tough, young players.

“He’s done a great job with them, and since the trade they should be 4-1. They let one get away (Wednesday night), otherwise they would be 4-1 since the trade. I know that loss is going to be very motivating for them, and we’ve got to be ready for that.”

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their three-game homestand Friday night against the Toronto Raptors. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.


Vince Carter has 1,698 career 3-pointers and needs two treys to become the 10th player in NBA history with at least 1,700 career triples.