Another hard fought, but uneven performance for the Raptors in Dallas on Friday and the score isn’t really indicative of the level of play in a 99-86 defeat.
The veteran Mavs used a run late in the third quarter (led by Vince Carter no less) to erase the Raptors’ 68-61 lead and Toronto was never really the same after that. The Raptors struggled on the glass and with second-chance points early, while major differentials in turnovers (-7 for Toronto) and trips to the line (-20) were simply too much to overcome.
But that effort was definitely present again and Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle definitely took notice, adding this post-game:
“Last year at this time, they beat us here in this game at the AAC. That was a really tough night for us. It’s a skilled team. Now, as you can see, they’re gaining a defensive mentality. Watching their scores, they’re holding teams in the low 40s in field goal percentage, and they’re doing it playing a playoff style. I give Dwane [Casey] a lot of credit for the approach that he’s taken with that team. It’s the right approach for a young team that’s in a position to make some quantum leaps. For my money, I think they’ll be in the hunt for the playoffs in the east.”