Toronto At Dallas
When: 8:30 PM
ET, Saturday, March 25, 2017
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
The Toronto Raptors are doing just fine without star point guard Kyle Lowry, and they may be able to climb the standings in the Eastern Conference for his probable return in the playoffs. They will aim for their fifth straight win and potentially seize third place in the East when they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
Behind another monster effort from DeMar DeRozan - who has reached the 40-point mark in back-to-back games - Toronto rallied from 15 points down to grab a 101-84 win at Miami on Thursday. The triumph gave the Raptors a 10-5 record since Lowry was sidelined with a wrist injury at the All-Star break. "It talks about toughness, heart," coach Dwane Casey told reporters. "Our give-a-crap level is pretty high, and it's one of those things where when you count us out, we find a way. My thing is just find five men who are going to play hard." The surge has Toronto creeping up on third-place Washington in the East, while Dallas utilized a two-point win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday to stay within range of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, TSN (Toronto), FSN Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (43-29): DeRozan was the only starter to score in double figures in the win at Miami, as guards Delon Wright and Norman Powell combined for 27 points off the bench. Powell is averaging 13.4 points in 22.5 minutes this month and had 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting in a 100-78 win over Dallas on March 13 at home. Power forward Serge Ibaka will return to the lineup Saturday following a one-game suspension for a fight with Chicago's Robin Lopez on Tuesday.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (31-40): Dallas has split the first two games of a homestand that features four opponents ranked in the top 10 in the NBA in terms of winning percentage, after which it hits the road for five straight, making Thursday's win a crucial one. It came with a revamped lineup that featured Harrison Barnes - who had 21 points and a steal in the waning moments - at small forward, with Nerlens Noel (12 rebounds) at center and Seth Curry (23 points) starting at point guard. "We're going to give this a look," coach Rick Carlisle told the media when discussing the new lineup. "It may be the rest of the year, it may not."
1. Ibaka was held scoreless in 32 minutes in the previous meeting.
2. Noel is averaging 13.8 points on 63.4 percent shooting and 8.9 rebounds in nine starts this season between Philadelphia and Dallas.
3. DeRozan is 4-for-25 from 3-point range since going 3-for-3 at Washington on March 3.
PREDICTION: Raptors 101, Mavericks 97
Stats and Records
Dallas Off vs
98.0 Points For
103.1 Points Against