Preview: Mavs head north of border for date with lowly Raptors
Earl K. Sneed reports from Toronto and previews the Dallas Mavericks' Friday night meeting with the lowly Raptors, as the Mavs try to erase the loss in Boston from their memories.
Preview: Mavericks (11-11) at Raptors (4-19)
Mavs head north of border for date with lowly Raptors
Committing 28 turnovers for 34 Boston points in a 117-115 double-overtime loss, the Mavericks (11-11) fell back to .500 on the season with a defeat at the hands of former sixth man Jason Terry and the Celtics. The Dallas team needed to look no further than those costly giveaways as it studied the stat sheet of the loss while continuing to play without 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki following his arthroscopic right knee surgery on Oct. 19.
Still, the Mavs didn’t travel north of the border with their heads down after seven scorers reached double figures in a losing effort, focusing on the positive after outshooting the Celtics, 51.1 percent to 43 percent, in addition to a 50-42 rebounding edge.
“Well, I tell you what: looking at the stat sheet, what I am is encouraged,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said, “because we had 28 turnovers, we give up 34 points off turnovers, and to be in the game with this team is encouraging to me. It means we have a lot of positive upside to us and we’ve got to find it. We’ve got to find it with efficiency and we’ve got to do a better job covering the ball one on one. And we can do it. I believe in these guys. I really do. We showed a lot of guts hanging in this thing and we’ve just got to be able to make simple plays.”
“It was a hard-fought game, double overtime,” leading scorer O.J. Mayo added after committing a career-worst nine turnovers himself to overshadow a team-high 24 points in 52 minutes of action. “We had 28 turnovers, so that says a lot right there. I’ll take the most fault for it. I had nine and I want the ball in my hands. … We had so many opportunities to control that game and win and just came up short.”
Fortunately for the Mavs, they’ll get a chance to immediately redeem themselves Friday night in the first half of a back-to-back against the lowly and short-handed Toronto Raptors.
Already handing the Raptors and former assistant coach Dwane Casey a 109-104 defeat in Dallas on Nov. 7, the Mavs will try to continue Toronto’s downward slide. The Raptors (4-19) have lost six straight and 12 of their last 13 games, and continue to lose bodies left and right after playing with just nine players available in Wednesday’s 94-88 home loss to Brooklyn.
Still, if the Mavericks are to get back on track and improve upon a 4-8 mark away from home then they must first take better care of the ball. And after turnovers costed them in a tight-contested thriller Wednesday, the Mavs will try to demonstrate less recklessness at the Air Canada Centre.
“If we had 20 turnovers, we win that game,” eight-time All-Star Vince Carter said while looking back one last time before facing his former team. “You can say should've, would've, could've, of course, but there were opportunities there and we just have to grow.”
Note The Mavericks will continue their road trip by traveling north of the border for Friday night’s contest in Toronto against the Raptors. The Mavs collected a 109-104 home win over the Raptors on Nov. 7. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6 p.m. CT.