Wed, 25 May 2022

Luka Doncic, Mavs rolling as Raptors come to town

Field Level Media
19 Jan 2022, 07:40 GMT+10

The Dallas Mavericks will go for their 10th victory in 11 games Wednesday night when they host the Toronto Raptors.

The Mavericks continued their success Monday night by holding on to defeat the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder 104-102 after leading by 22 points during the third quarter.

"They kept playing," Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. "We didn't."

The Raptors, who have won seven of their past 10 games, lost 104-99 to the Miami Heat on Monday and have one win in the first three games of a five-game road trip.

In the Mavs' win, Luka Doncic had his fifth triple-double of the season with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists.

In recording his 41st career triple-double, Doncic only made 4 of 17 shots from the field and missed all six attempts from 3-point range. He converted 12 of 14 free throws, however, and added three blocks and three steals.

"I think I've got to shoot way better," Doncic said. "I've got to mix one in at some point. But, I always say, if we get a win, it's great."

Kristaps Porzingis added 13 points and eight rebounds on Monday. Porzingis and Doncic played together for the second consecutive game, the first time they have both been active for back-to-back games since Dec. 8-10.

Porzingis played 28 minutes because Kidd said he wanted to keep him below 30 minutes in his second game back after missing six games due to COVID-19.

Porzingis and Doncic have done well against Toronto. Doncic is averaging 24.2 points, 9.7 rebounds and 8.8 assists in six career appearances against the Raptors, including two triple-doubles. With Dallas, Porzingis has faced Toronto five times and averaged 20.2 points and 11.2 rebounds with four double-doubles.

The Mavericks defeated the Raptors 103-95 at Toronto on Oct. 23 in the first meeting between the teams this season. Doncic had 27 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, Porzingis had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points. OG Anunoby had 23 points and Fred VanVleet added 20 for Toronto.

The Raptors' problem is depth. Coach Nick Nurse used only seven players at Miami and six played most of the minutes after Justin Champagnie suffered a dislocated finger in the second quarter that limited him to nine minutes. He played only 2:55 in the second half.

Chris Boucher had 23 points and 10 rebounds off the bench against the Heat and VanVleet scored 22 points. Precious Achiuwa had six points and 15 rebounds. Former Raptor Kyle Lowry (personal) did not play.

Nurse said he did not feel that fatigue from using basically a six-man rotation was a factor.

"I don't know," Nurse said. "We played as tough as we could. I didn't see anything that was changing. We were battling from start to finish and other than one small stretch where they took it out to nine, but we clawed it straight back, that one probably could have gone either way. That was a hell of an effort by our guys."

Nurse said that he was not considering another option.

"Well, again, I know that is a lot of minutes for some of those guys but I felt comfortable with it," he said. "I thought I had six guys (going) and I wanted them all out there."

Toronto's Gary Trent Jr. (ankle) did not play Monday and is listed as questionable for Wednesday.

--Field Level Media

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