Mavs stay hot with win over Raptors; Nowitzki leaves early
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Even the loss of Dirk Nowitzki in the first
quarter couldn’t stop the red-hot Dallas Mavericks, who cruised to a 117-98
victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Nowitzki, the Mavs’ All-Star forward, left with under two minutes remaining in
the opening quarter with blurred vision and did not return.
He finished with six points and six rebounds in just 10 minutes.
After the game, team specialist Dr. Maurice Syrquin examined Nowitzki and
determined that he had a bruised retina. The injury doesn’t appear to be
serious, as Dr. Syrquin cleared him to play.
“He will be day-to-day,” said Dallas head coach Avery Johnson. “He is fine and
stable at home and should be ready to go before the next game.”
With Nowitzki out, Josh Howard and Jerry Stackhouse picked up the slack for
Dallas, scoring 26 and 23 points respectively for the Mavericks, who have
ripped off 11 consecutive victories after starting the season 0-4.
Jason Terry scored 14 points, while Erick Dampier contributed 13 points and 14
rebounds for Dallas, which led from start to finish, shooting 53.6 percent
from the floor and 55 percent from three-point range (11-of-20).
T.J. Ford and Chris Bosh each scored 18 points, while Bosh pulled down 11
boards for the Raptors, who entered the contest having won three of their last
“Not too many times are you going to win when a team shoots over fifty percent
in this league,” said Ford. “They’re one of the best teams in the league. They
came out and showcased it.”
Dallas was all over Toronto from the start, scoring 10 straight points to open
the game en route to a 38-23 lead after the opening 12 minutes.
Led by Howard, who scored 12 of his 26 points, the Mavericks were a perfect 4-
of-4 from three-point range in the first quarter.
The Raptors showed some life in the second quarter, going on a late 10-0 run
as Dallas took a 59-49 lead into the break.
Toronto then managed to get within five, 64-59, after baskets from Ford and
Bosh early in the third quarter, but Howard answered with a three-pointer as
the Mavs went on a 20-10 spurt that effectively put the game out of reach.
Dallas took an 89-74 lead into the final quarter as the Mavs kept Toronto at
arm’s length the rest of the way.
“Not having Dirk takes away our best scorer so we had to have other guys step
up,” said Mavs guard Anthony Johnson. “We played pretty good man-to-man
defense, and we were able to get some easy buckets in transition, and that led
us to the win.”
Devin Harris scored 10 points and dished out five assists for the
Mavs…Dallas outrebounded Toronto, 48-35.