Post-Game: Raptors 109 Mavericks 108 (OT)

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Some thoughts after what was possibly the Raptors’ most impressive win of the season — a 109-108 OT road win over the Mavericks on Friday. Cue videobomb…

- DeMar DeRozan wasn’t exactly brilliant shooting the ball the whole night, with increased defensive attention at least part of the reason why.

“Sometimes you have to be the decoy,” said head coach Dwane Casey post-game. “Some days you’re the pigeon, some days you’re the statue.”

DeRozan shot just 6-of-18 from the floor overall, but he came up big when it mattered most. First, was his jumper for the tie with 17 seconds to play…

Now fast forward to a low-scoring overtime, where he racked up his career-high ninth assist on a sweet feed to Jonas Valanciunas…

… and then give him the game-winning bucket the next time down the floor…

This wasn’t necessarily a line that’s going to jump out at you, but it was a performance worthy of an All-Star late.

- Have to wonder how many tuned this one out mid-second quarter. The Raptors went for over seven minutes without a field goal for a stretch spanning between the first and second quarters and allowed the Mavericks to build a 41-22 advantage — their biggest of the game.

Head coach Dwane Casey proceeds to light his team up in the huddle and they respond with a 25-6 run over the next seven minutes that changed the game entirely.

“They decided that their pride kicked in. They got tired of getting kicked. I thought our defence was too stretched out. We didn’t get the paint covered. We gave up some unbelievable layups. I had to use a timeout to talk about that.”

More from Casey post-game below…

- Terrence Ross had it going offensively last night (5-9 FGM-A, 3-4 3PT FGM-A, 15 pts) and Casey admitted that he wanted to get the second-year swingman more time. But the move to go with John Salmons for the entire fourth quarter and overtime helped keep Monta Ellis in check.

“That veteran play helps a guy like Terrence to watch and learn how to play a guy like Monta. I thought that was one of the differences in the game.”

More from Salmons on guarding Ellis …

- Jonas Valanciunas with 18 points & 13 rebounds and was on the floor for big minutes in key situations, including the full five minutes of overtime.

“His presence under the basket was huge. Those situations, he’s growing into them,” said Casey.

With more minutes post-trade, JV’s December numbers are up across the board.

 Jonas Valanciunas Splits – By Month
GP Mins Pts FGM-A FG% O-REBS REBS BLKS
November 14  26.3 8.7  3.6-7.5 .476 2.4  7.2  0.9
December 9 29.9 12.3  5.1-10.0 .511 3.5 8.9 1.1

- What a night for former Raptor Jose Calderon. He’s taking and making far more threes this season and connected on seven-of-10 from beyond the arc on Friday night. Calderon kept the Mavericks in it with 11 straight Dallas points in the fourth after the Raptors reeled off their own run to nearly blow the game open. The 32-year old veteran finished with a season-high 23 points to go with nine assists and four rebounds. 

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