NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, January 17th (All times eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (26-13) at Toronto Raptors (20-20), 12:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Southwest Division-leading Dallas Mavericks will head east for a five-game road trip starting with Sunday afternoon's matchup against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.
Dallas will also visit the Celtics, Wizards, 76ers and Knicks on the east coast trip and owns a 13-6 road record this season. It put the brakes on a brief two-game slide with a 99-98 victory versus the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, as Dirk Nowitzki finished with 32 points and buried a clutch jump shot with 6.4 seconds remaining in the game.
"It wasn't pretty, but definitely before you go on a big road trip you never want to leave with a loss," Nowitzki said on the team's site. "We found a way as a veteran team to grind it out and get a win."
Jason Terry added 21 points off the bench, but missed two big free throws down the stretch that could have cost Dallas a win. Jason Kidd had 11 points and 11 assists, while Josh Howard also had 11 points for the Mavs, who have won three of five games overall and nine in a row against the Seattle/Oklahoma City franchise. The Mavs are two games ahead of San Antonio in the division.
Toronto, meanwhile, is coming off Friday's 112-104 victory against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden thanks to 24 points and 12 rebounds from Andrea Bargnani. Jose Calderon had 21 points and dished out six assists for the Raptors, who almost blew a 28-point lead.
"We were a little wiser with the basketball," said Raptors head coach Jay Triano. "We still did take a couple quick shots and will still did hold it a little bit too much for my liking."
Rookie DeMar DeRozan scored 19 points and Chris Bosh added 18, as Toronto snapped a two-game slide and won for the fourth time in its last six tries.
The Raptors will put their 12-6 home mark on the line Sunday.
Dallas hammered Toronto, 129-101, on November 7 this season at American Airlines Center and got 29 points out of Nowitzki. It has won three straight and 11 of the last 12 meetings with the Raptors, who have dropped four of five as the host in this series.
01/17 10:31:31 ET