Mavs Look to Extend Win Streak Tonight at Home Against Raptors
The Mavericks look for a more complete effort and try to win their 11th straight game when they host the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.
Since opening the season with four straight losses for the first time in franchise history, Dallas (10-4) has won 10 in a row to match its fourth-longest streak of all-time.
The Mavericks nearly squandered a 20-point second-half lead Monday, but held on for a 93-87 victory over Minnesota. The contest continued a pattern of lapses after halftime.
Dallas scored just 15 points in the third quarter against San Antonio on Friday, had 15 points in the fourth against New Orleans on Saturday and 17 in the fourth against the Timberwolves.
``We could have easily beat those guys by a little more, but there are some things that we still need to work on,'' center Erick Dampier said. ``We just need to go out and execute and do the things we need to do in order to keep that lead.''
Six Dallas players scored at least 11 points on Monday, as Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Howard paced the Mavericks with 15 points apiece. Nowitzki's point total was a season low, however.
Dallas has not won 11 straight games since winning 13 in a row - one shy of the franchise record - from Jan. 14-Feb. 9 last season.
``It is one game at a time; We still have a lot of work to do, no matter what the record is and no matter who our opponent is,'' coach Avery Johnson said.
The Mavericks have won 11 of their last 13 meetings with the Raptors (5-9), and 21 straight home games against Eastern Conference opponents.
Last season's series with the Raptors wasn't easy, though, as the Mavericks won the two games by a total of four points. They needed to erase a 24-point deficit - the second-largest comeback in team history - to beat Toronto 115-113 in overtime on Feb. 25.
Nowitzki scored 61 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in the two games against Toronto last season, while Jason Terry scored 53 points and hit 9 of 15 3-pointers.
Toronto's Chris Bosh had 19 points and 14 rebounds to help the Raptors defeat New Orleans 94-77 on Tuesday. The win snapped Toronto's 14-game road losing streak dating back to last season.
The 77 points were the fewest allowed by the Raptors this season. Toronto had given up an average of 105.9 points in its first seven road games.
``We're really starting to clog that lane up,'' Bosh said. ``That's what you have to do on the road, play defense well.''
Toronto got another solid outing off the bench from Andrea Bargnani, who scored a career-high 16. Bargnani, the No. 1 overall pick of this year's draft, is averaging 12.4 points in 24 minutes over his last five games after averaging just 4.1 points in nine minutes in his first nine contests.
The Raptors' bench scored 45 points against the Hornets after scoring 43 points in their win over Indiana on Sunday.
Toronto has not won three straight games since Feb. 10-13 of last season.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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