For their second road game in a row of a three road game stretch, the Dallas Mavericks will head to Scotiabank Arena to face the Toronto Raptors. Both are coming off losses and will look to get back in the win column tonight, with tip-off set for 5:00 p.m. EST.
The Mavericks sit at a 9-8 record following their 125-112 loss to the Boston Celtics. They will need to gain some type of winning momentum back, as their next game after this is against the Milwaukee Bucks. In road games this year they have struggled overall, going 1-5 in their previous six road games, so they will be looking to turn things around.
The Raptors are currently shorthanded, and it showed in their 112-98 loss to the Brooklyn Nets last time out, leading to their 9-9 record. They will enter this game still without Scottie Barnes, Otto Porter Jr. and Pascal Siakam while Fred VanVleet is questionable.
How Dallas Can Win: Luka Dončić had a great game in the loss, putting up 42 points, but the Mavericks turning the ball over 14 times was too costly for it to matter. The Raptors on defense are averaging 17.7 turnovers forced per game. The Raptors overall have a good defense, allowing only 110.1 points per game on top of forcing turnovers which has helped them. So, the Mavericks will need to make sure they make smart decisions while getting the ball constantly in the hands of Dončić. Against the Raptors, Doncic is averaging 27.6 points, 8.3 assists, and 10 rebounds.
How Toronto Can Win: Dallas struggles on offense, scoring only 109.2 points per game and are shooting only 34.4% from deep. Outside of Dončić, Christian Wood has stepped up, but Spencer Dinwiddie is being hampered by a shoulder injury. The Mavericks make up for it defensively, allowing only 106.5 points per game. The offense for the Raptors was bad against the Nets, shooting only 35.6% from the field, and their leading scorer was Gary Trent Jr. with 19 points. The Raptors need to dictate the tempo of the game to make up for their injuries, and have OG Anunoby and Trent Jr. both score efficiently.
Prediction: Dallas Mavericks 108, Toronto Raptors 106
The Raptors, despite the injuries, have the ability to make this a close game. Still, the Mavericks have the best player on the court in Dončić, who will put together another MVP-caliber performance against the Raptors in a win.