Mavs Win At Toronto

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TORONTO — The Dallas Mavericks had trouble closing out their game against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night so guard Monta Ellis took over.

Ellis scored 30 points, including 15 points in the fourth quarter, as the Mavericks held on for a 106-102 victory to snap the Raptors’ six-game winning streak.

“Monta Ellis was great tonight,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “We had a lot of guys step up and play really well. We’ve had some struggles in recent games and this was hard fought, so I give our guys a lot of credit.”

The Raptors lost guard DeMar DeRozan for the game in the third quarter when he left with a left groin strain after slipping near the basket. He came into the game averaging 20.7 points. He had no points on the night after shooting 0-for-8.

“It’s some big shoes to fill,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “The next guy has to be ready to step up and pick up the slack. Hopefully, he’s not out for long.”

The Raptors cut the lead to four points with just more than five minutes

to play in the game when Ellis scored 10 straight points, including two 3-pointers, to give the Mavericks a 14-point lead with four.

Still, the Raptors weren’t done. They clawed back to within six points with 1:33 left in the game after guard Greivis Vasquez hit two 3-pointers.

The Mavericks were up by eight when guard Kyle Lowry scored five points to cut the lead to three but Ellis made two free throws. Lowry then made a layup to cut the lead to 101-98 with 25 seconds to go.

Ellis and Lowry again traded baskets before Ellis made one of two free throws with 15 seconds left and Dallas led 104-100. Lowry cut the lead to two with nine seconds remaining.

Guard Devin Harris made two free throws with 6.8 seconds left to clinch the game for Dallas.

“We couldn’t get over the hump tonight,” Lowry said. “That four or five-point hump. They made some big shots and every time we would make a run, they seemed to make a big play.”

Forward Chandler Parsons added 16 points for the Mavericks. Forward Dirk Nowitzki had 15 points and eight rebounds. Forward Al-Farouq Aminu scored 14. Center Tyson Chandler had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Ellis added six assists.

“They’re a team that’s going to keep coming, no matter what the score,” Chandler said. “We didn’t do a good job of getting stops down the stretch because we were concerned about the 3, especially since we were making free throws, they were going to have to eventually trade the two for the 3.”

Lowry led Toronto with 25 points while forward Amir Johnson scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Guard Lou Williams scored 16 points off the bench, forward Patrick Patterson came off the bench to get 10 points and 12 rebounds, while center Jonas Valanciunas had eight points, all in the second half, and 13 rebounds. Vasquez finished with 14 points.

“We missed some good looks,” Casey said. “I thought they did an excellent job defensively. They challenged our shots and used their length against our shooters.”

Dallas entered the second half with a five-point lead and increased on a 3-pointer by Ellis with 3:24 left in the third. The Raptors whittled the lead to five before Nowitzki completed the scoring in the quarter with a 21-foot jumper and a 71-64 Dallas lead.

The Mavericks worked the lead up to 11 in the fourth but Johnson and Vasquez hit successive 3-pointers for Toronto to cut the lead to 84-79 with 6:36 to play. Johnson’s put-back layup cut the lead to four with 5:09 to play. Ellis went to work and Dallas led by 14 points with 2:21 and it nearly was not enough.

“We never give up and we keep fighting to the last minute,” Johnson said. “The guys did a great job of fighting back. We just came up short.”

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