NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, December 14th (All times Eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (11-11) at Toronto Raptors (4-19), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Normally teams celebrate a return home following a lengthy road trip, but the Toronto Raptors barely had enough players to field a competitive team on Wednesday.
The Raptors hope to benefit from some extra bodies and force Dallas into making some more mistakes in a meeting on Friday night with the Mavericks.
Following a victory over Phoenix on Nov. 30, Toronto failed to win a game during its five-game swing out west and the trip's finale in Portland was a costly one as both Andrea Bargnani and Kyle Lowry suffered injuries.
Bargnani, the team's second-leading scorer, is out indefinitely due to a ligament tear in his right elbow and a strained right wrist, while Lowry is expected to be out around 10 days because of a partial tear of his right triceps muscle.
Factor in already existing injuries to Alan Anderson, Landry Fields and Linas Kleiza, as well as a one-game suspension to forward Amir Johnson for throwing his mouthpiece at an official following an altercation with a referee in Portland, and the Raptors had just eight players available for Wednesday's meeting with the Brooklyn Nets.
"Guys looking for minutes are going to get more playing time," Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said. "It's a tough situation. It's a challenge. They're not going to cancel games."
In his second start of the season, Ed Davis matched a career high with 24 points to go along with 12 rebounds, but the Raptors still fell to the Nets 94-88.
Jose Calderon added 10 points and 15 assists for Toronto, which led by 11 points in the third before faltering to its 12th loss in 13 games.
Casey may have some more options tonight in addition to the returning Johnson. Kleiza remains day-to-day with his sore right knee, but Anderson was able to practice on Thursday and is expected to return for this game after missing 17 in a row due to torn plantar fascia in his left foot.
Fields, though, will miss his 19th game due to right elbow surgery.
Dallas enjoyed Thursday's off day for different reasons after taking the Boston Celtics to double overtime the previous night. However, the Mavericks turned the ball over 28 times for 34 Boston points and dropped a 117-115 decision to end a three-game winning streak.
O.J. Mayo had 24 points in the loss and also had nine turnovers.
"Nine turnovers just doesn't cut it," said Mayo. "When you get the ball you want to make a play, make a positive play for our team so turnovers really killed us. The team having 28 (turnovers) and me having nine -- we've got do better in that area."
Darren Collison donated 20 points and Shawn Marion had 16 points, 11 boards and seven assists in a return from a two-game absence caused by a groin injury as Dallas used its 11th different starting lineup in its 22nd game of the season.
The Mavericks have won three straight and 14 of their last 17 versus the Raptors, including a 109-104 victory at home on Nov. 7. Mayo and Chris Kaman both had 22 points, Collison had 15 and former Raptor Vince Carter netted 17 points.
Carter, who began his career with Toronto from 1998-2004 and made five All- Star teams, will return to Air Canada Centre on his fourth different team since leaving the Raptors and has averaged 24.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game at ACC in an opposing uniform.
The 35-year-old is second in Raptors' franchise history with 9,420 points.
12/14 10:26:42 ET