NBA: Toronto Raptors at Dallas Mavericks Preview & Picks Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Tuesday, 20 November 2007 07:00
NBA Headline News

Unbeaten at Home

The Dallas Mavericks have been dominant at home since Mark Cuban bought the team in January 2000. The Toronto Raptors are all too aware of that fact.

The Mavericks look to remain undefeated at American Airlines Center this season as they go for their eighth straight home win over the Raptors on Tuesday.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Dallas -9 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 196.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 68% of bets for this game have been placed on Dallas -6 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Since Cuban's first full season as the majority owner of the team in 2000-01, the Mavericks have won at least 28 home games in every season, including a league-best and franchise record-tying 36 in 2006-07.

Their success at home has been particularly visible against the Raptors, who haven't won in Dallas since Dec. 30, 1999 - two weeks before Cuban bought his majority stake in the franchise. Dallas has averaged 114.0 points during its seven-game home win streak against Toronto.

Overall, the Mavericks have won 13 of 15 games against the Raptors during Cuban's tenure, including both meetings last season.

This year's Mavericks (7-2) appear to be in good position to continue their dominance of Toronto in Dallas. They are 5-0 at American Airlines Center, winning by an average of 12.2 points while shooting 50.8 percent from the field and holding opponents to 43.5 percent.

The Raptors (5-5) are 3-1 on the road, but all of those victories came against teams that currently have losing records.

Dallas got its biggest home test of the season on Saturday, but managed to hold off Memphis' late rally to win 108-105 for its third straight victory.

"We didn't play well tonight, but we came away with the win and are on to our next task," said Dallas guard Jason Terry, averaging 20.4 points off the bench.

Josh Howard had 27 points on 13-for-23 shooting, and Devin Harris added 19 points with eight assists and a career high-tying five steals.

The Mavericks, though, had trouble putting the game away partly because of uncharacteristic struggles from the free-throw line. They entered the game shooting a league-best 84.3 percent, but missed 12 of their 40 attempts Saturday.

"We'll keep working on that," coach Avery Johnson said. "We have really solid free-throw shooters, but since I mentioned our free throw stats the other day, we've been going down."

Dallas will put its win streak on the line against a Toronto team coming off a disheartening home loss. The Raptors took an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter, but were outscored 26-12 in the final 12 minutes to lose 106-100 to Golden State.

"They out-hustled us, made shots and we didn't," Raptors guard T.J. Ford said after Toronto went 4-for-22 from the field in the fourth quarter.

Ford had 29 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and shot 12-for-22 from the field. The rest of Toronto's starting lineup was 10-for-33 (30.3 percent).

"He's a handful," Golden State coach Don Nelson said of Ford. "He's as close to (Steve) Nash as anyone I've seen."

Ford, though, is averaging just 9.3 points in the Raptors' four road games, compared to his 19.2 average in six games at Air Canada Centre.

The fifth-year point guard from the University of Texas has totaled just 26 points while shooting 34.6 percent from the field in three career games in Dallas.

Reigning league MVP Dirk Nowitzki has scored at least 29 points in four of his last five games against Toronto. He had 38 points and 11 rebounds in his last game against the Raptors - a 97-96 Mavs victory Jan. 14.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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