After three days off, the Dallas Mavericks (15-12) now head north of the border to visit the Toronto Raptors (17-12) at Air Canada Centre. Coming off a 97-88 defeat of the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at the American Airlines Center, the Mavs will be playing the first game of a road back-to-back before heading to New York to face the Brooklyn Nets tomorrow night.
Perhaps the biggest positive to come out of the Mavericks’ Friday night victory over the Grizzlies was the play of forward Chandler Parsons who played a season-high 32 minutes, scoring 17 points while shooting 50 percent from the field. It was the fifth consecutive game of 21 or more minutes for Parsons as he continues to work his way back from offseason hybrid microfracture surgery, struggling to play consistently for much of the season.
“Coach has been on me to focus on defense and exhausting myself to make sure I get back into game shape,” Parsons said after the team’s win on Friday. “Nights like this are a step in the right direction and it feels good.”
After falling to the lowly Sacramento Kings on Sunday, the Atlantic Division leading Raptors will look to get back on track with a second straight victory over the Mavs this season. Armed with one of the best backcourts in the NBA in Kyle Lowry (21.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists) and DeMar DeRozan (22.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists), the Raptors will try a take advantage of a Mavs backcourt that will be without the services of guard Devin Harris (strained right hamstring) who is not expected to play.
“They have an All-Star backcourt,” Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said. “Lowry makes so many things happen and DeRozan is one of the best scorers in the league. He’s extremely talented and he’s a big problem.”
In addition to their great backcourt play, Toronto also comes into tonight’s match up with the 4th ranked defense in the NBA, allowing opponents to score just 96.5 points per game on 43 percent shooting.
Just 30 points away from passing Shaquille O’Neal for 6th All-Time in NBA scoring, a vintage Dirk Nowitzki performance may be just what the Mavericks need tonight in tough match up against one of the NBA’s best.
How to Watch:
The game will air locally at 6:30 p.m. CST on Fox Sports Southwest and nationally on NBA TV.
Quotes via DallasNews.com, NBA.com