Raptors-Mavericks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 07, 2012
The Dallas Mavericks suffered a big blow when they lost 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki to knee surgery. O.J. Mayo's play of late has made Nowitzki's absence a little easier to withstand. Having scored 30 or more points in consecutive games, Mayo will try to keep that streak going Wednesday night against the visiting Toronto Raptors. The Mavericks (3-1) signed Mayo with the hopes of capturing their second NBA title in three seasons but Dallas first has to weather the loss of Nowitzki, who is expected to miss the next six weeks. The team will also play without starting forward Shawn Marion for at least three games because of a sprained left knee ligament. Mayo has done his best to try to fill that large scoring void over the past two games. He had 30 points in a 126-99 win over Charlotte on Saturday and scored a season-high 32 in a 114-91 victory against Portland on Monday, his 25th birthday. "Obviously, (Nowitzki's) our franchise player," Mayo said. "With him going down, we understand that all the guys have to step up and play that much harder and when he does get here, we're ready to roll." After missing the first two games with a strained right calf, the Mavericks' Chris Kaman has contributed 16 points in each of his team's first two home games and made 16 of 19 shots. New point guard Darren Collison has also proved a consistent performer, averaging 16.5 points and 8.5 assists. "(Owner Mark Cuban) didn't just bring in new pieces. He brought in guys who can play," Collison said. "O.J. had a lot of experience in Memphis. ... I had the chance to get playoff exposure in Indiana too." With those players, Dallas will seek its first 4-1 start since 2007-08 and try to earn a third consecutive victory over Toronto (1-3). The Mavericks have won 11 of the past 12 home meetings with the Raptors, including a 99-86 win Dec. 30 in last season's only meeting between the teams. Toronto earned its lone win on Sunday, 105-86 over Minnesota, but couldn't build on that effort two days later in Oklahoma City. The Raptors shot 35.7 percent in a 108-88 loss to the Thunder, and only three players scored in double figures. Jonas Valanciunas was one of the lone bright spots as he tallied 18 points to match his total from his first three NBA games. The Raptors might have suffered a big loss with point guard Kyle Lowry having to leave in the second quarter with a sprained right ankle. Jose Calderon could start in place of Lowry, who is averaging 18.3 points, on Wednesday. "Jose is a veteran player and he'll be ready to go," coach Dwane Casey said. "That's why I kept his minutes to a minimum tonight. He'll have to play big minutes and John (Lucas III) is a capable point guard, so they'll have to be ready to go. Knowing Kyle, he's a tough guy and he'll get back as soon as he can.'' Mayo has averaged 15.0 points over eight career matchups with Toronto and a 38.8 shooting percentage hasn't helped. He missed seven of 10 shots and scored 10 points during an overtime loss for Memphis on March 16. Kaman has averaged 20.3 points and 10.5 rebounds in his past four matchups with the Raptors. Andrea Bargnani scored 30 points in last season's loss to Dallas and has averaged 23.0 in his last four meetings.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Hall of Fame coach: Stephen Curry is the best of all time

Reggie Bush on NFL future: ‘I’m not retiring’

Derek Fisher blasts Rondo over triangle offense criticism

Report: Marshawn Lynch hasn't spent any playing money

Ex-King says he could do 'much better job' than George Karl

Trainer thought Thomas Davis would not play in Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Todd Gurley named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

Durant, Westbrook on loss to Warriors: We're not scared

Report: Eagles interested in bringing back Nick Foles

Report: Manning hinted to teammates he plans to retire

Barry Sanders shares thoughts on Megatron retirement talk

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Fan at Super Bowl 50 wears awesome dual-team jersey

Skip Bayless whiffed badly on Cam Newton prediction

Cam Newton doesn't disappoint with Super Bowl outfit

Stephen Curry to serve as guest drummer for Panthers

Charlie Sheen tweets advice for Johnny Manziel

Cardale Jones predicts he will play in Super Bowl

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Marcin Gortat fires back at critic on Twitter

WATCH: Kerr told Warriors he was happy to have close game

Broncos could have tough decision with franchise tag

WATCH: Steph Curry does 'Dab' on court on eve of Super Bowl

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker