After the Cavaliers and the Celtics lost their Christmas games last night, the Toronto Raptors gained the number one spot in the Eastern Conference with a 23-8 record. The Raptors are currently on a six-game winning streak, hoping to capture their seventh straight win as they take on the Mavericks in Texas. The Mavericks, on the other hand, are looking to avoid a third straight loss. This game will mark the first of two matchups between the Mavericks and the Raptors this season. They have met up a total of 41 times in the past as the Mavericks pulled 24 wins while the Raptors ended up winning 17 of the games.
Lucas Nogueira (calf; 3.9 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.4 APG, 59.6 FG%, 30.0 3P%)
Lorenzo Brown (G-League; 0.5 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.6 APG, 22.2 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Bruno Caboclo (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Malcolm Miller (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Alfonzo McKinnie (G-League; 1.2 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.1 APG, 25.0 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
Seth Curry (leg)
Dorian Finney-Smith (knee; 3.3 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.6 APG, 45.5 FG%, 35.7 3P%)
Josh McRoberts (knee)
Nerlens Noel (thumb; 4.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 0.3 APG, 52.8 FG%)
Kyle Collinsworth (coach’s decision; 1.3 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.7 APG, 50.0 FG%, 100.0 3P%)
Johnathan Motley (G-League; 4.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 100.0 FG%)
The Dallas Mavericks would impress at the beginning of the game as they shot forty-nine percent from the field in the first half, keeping the Raptors at thirty-six percent. Harrison Barnes scored 13 points on seventy-one percent shooting from the field. Maxi Kleber ended up with 13 points, as well, which included two three-pointers in the first quarter. He also had five rebounds while Dirk Nowitzki chalked up 11 points and five rebounds. Yogi Ferrell played 12 minutes off of the bench but was kept scoreless.
As for the Canada team, Kyle Lowry got hot for 16 points as he dropped 3 three-pointers. Jonas Valanciunas contributed with seven points, three offensive rebounds, and three defensive rebounds. Serge Ibaka had five rebounds while DeMar DeRozan was kept to just four points. Pascal Siakam played the most minutes off of the bench but was also kept to four points as the home team went into halftime with a 57-53 lead.
The Mavericks continued to have control as they shot thirty-six percent from the field in the second half while the Toronto Raptors ended up shooting thirty-one percent. Valanciunas would score 10 more points, earning six of those points from the charity stripe. He also got his hands on five rebounds while Kyle Lowry ended up with seven points. Fred VanVleet played 12 minutes off of the bench as he drilled a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter.
On the other end of the court, Nowitzki had seven points on fifty percent shooting from the field. J.J. Barea played the most minutes off of the Dallas bench as he lit the floor up with 15 points. He also grabbed three rebounds and dished off two assists as the Mavericks escaped with a 98 to 93 victory. J.J. Barea finished the game with 20 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists while Kyle Lowry had 23 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and one steal.
The Toronto Raptors will visit Oklahoma to battle Russell Westbrook (23.9 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 9.9 APG, 42 FG%) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (19-15) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. This matchup will mark the first of two games that these two teams will play against each other this season. The Thunder and the Raptors have battled each other a total of 41 times as the Raptors won 16 games while the Thunder ended up winning 25 games.
The Dallas Mavericks will travel to Indianapolis to take on Victor Oladipo (25.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 3.9 APG, 49 FG%) and the Indiana Pacers (19-14) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. This will be the first of two meetings between these two ball clubs this season. They have battled each other a total of 71 times in the past with the Mavericks winning 40 games while the Pacers won 31 games.