Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/8/12
DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks' streak of shooting at least 60 percent ended at two games, but they did extend their winning streak to three in a row, dumping the Toronto Raptors 109-104 Wednesday at the American Airlines Center. The Raptors trailed by double digits for most of the game but came back with a late charge, getting to within five points twice in the final minute. Toronto's Alan Anderson missed a 3-point attempt with less than 10 seconds to go, a shot that could have cut the deficit to two points and forced the Mavs to make free throws at the other end to ice the game. The slow-starting Raptors lost for the second time in as many nights and for the fourth time in five games to start the season. "The group we had out there (in the fourth quarter) played with a purpose and momentum," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "They really put us in a position to almost win the game after having a slow start. I like what I saw in the second half, but we have to do something about the first quarter." Dallas improved to 4-1 without injured star Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs were led by Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo, both of whom scored 22 points. Dallas, with four rotation players out of uniform, got scoring from all 10 players who saw action. "Our bench is deep," Kaman said. "(Rookie center) Bernard James came in and gave us a big lift at the 4 and 5 spot. We've got guys picking up where guys are injured, so it's been a full team effort." Toronto big man Andrea Bargnani led all scorers with 25 points. DeMar DeRozan added 24 points, but he had just 10 points in the first half on 2-of-5 shooting while mostly being guarded by Mavs rookie Jae Crowder. Crowder, making his first start of the season, wound up with eight points and four rebounds. Raptors forward Landry Fields struggled again, going 1-of-4 from the floor for two points. Toronto rookie Jonas Valanciunas started but had just four points and played less than 11 minutes. Toronto starting point guard Kyle Lowry missed the game with a sprained ankle sustained in Tuesday's blowout loss at Oklahoma City. With his team 1-4, Casey said he might need to shake up the rotation. "We will talk about it as a staff, and we have a couple of days before we get together to talk about that," he said. "We really need to get Kyle healthy, and we'll go from there." Dallas got 17 points from Vince Carter in 26 minutes off the bench. Darren Collison added 15 points for the Mavericks, who got 12 points and seven rebounds from Brandan Wright. The Mavericks picked up Wednesday where they left off two nights earlier in their romp over Portland, shooting the lights out and putting up 61 points on 48.9 percent shooting to lead 61-50 at halftime. In the first quarter, Dallas shot at least 60 percent for the fifth time in its past nine periods. Eight players scored in the quarter for the shorthanded Mavs, while Toronto shot just 35.3 percent. "I like the way we played for the most part," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "We had some lapses during the game, but the starting lineup got us off to a good start." The Mavericks cooled off and wound up shooting 46.4 percent for the night. Despite playing with a depleted front line, Dallas out-hustled the Raptors at nearly every turn and outrebounded them 31-13 in the first half, 47-38 for the game. NOTES: Toronto guard Jose Calderon started in Lowry's place. ... Dallas was without its top two rebounders. Shawn Marion missed his first of at least three games with a sprained right MCL, and Elton Brand flew to New York to be with his wife for the birth of their child. ... The Mavs were also without Nowitzki, who is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, and backup point guard Rodrigue Beaubois, who missed his third consecutive game with a sprained left ankle. ... The Raptors were playing their fourth game in five nights.
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