April 25th, 2024

Doncic’s triple-double leads Mavs to win over Raptors, snap two-game losing skid

By Abdulhamid Ibrahim, The Canadian Press on February 28, 2024.

Toronto Raptors' Immanuel Quickley shoots on the Dallas Mavericks defence during first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – Luka Doncic had 30 points, 11 rebounds and 16 assists in leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 136-125 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

Kyrie Irving contributed 29 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, for Dallas (34-25), which halted its two-game losing skid.

The last time the two teams met was Nov. 8 in Dallas, where the Mavericks won 127-116.

Immanuel Quickley scored a team-high 28 points for Toronto (22-37), which had its three-game winning streak snapped.

RJ Barrett and Scottie Barnes added 26 and 19 points, respectively.

The Raptors fell to 4.5 games behind Atlanta for the 10th and final play-in spot in the Eastern Conference with 23 games remaining in the regular season.

Barrett capped a 9-0 run that gave Toronto its biggest lead, 25-18, with 4:33 remaining in the first quarter. But Doncic closed a 9-2 Dallas run shortly after to tie the game with 2:50 left and the Mavericks eventually went ahead 36-34 to close the frame.

After being down for much of the quarter, and by as many as seven points, the Raptors pulled themselves back into contention late in the second quarter. Barrett put Toronto ahead 67-66 at the break after getting a tough layup to go with a free throw with 57.1 seconds left on the clock.

Doncic scored five points in a 10-2 run that allowed the Mavericks to push their lead to as many as 14 points with just under two minutes left in the third quarter. Doncic had nine points, five rebounds and six assists in the frame alone as Dallas took a 106-92 lead after three.

Irving picked things up with Doncic on the bench, scoring 13 of the Mavericks’ first 16 points midway through the fourth quarter to keep the Raptors at bay, 122-108.

The closest the Raptors got in the frame was within nine with 1:21 left after Quickley’s layup made it 129-120.

PRACTICE

The Raptors have come out of the all-star break strong, winning three straight games entering Wednesday. Head coach Darko Rajakovic attributed it to taking advantage of the break to work.

“We have a young group, young core that’s hungry to improve and they want to get better,” he said. “The biggest thing for us was we were able to practice a couple of days and really to address some things offensively and defensively.

“With such a new group, for us, practice is a privilege and an opportunity to really get better.”

UP NEXT

Toronto plays the second of its four-game homestand against the Golden State Warriors on Friday.

Dallas wraps up its four-game road swing against the NBA-best Boston Celtics on Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2024.

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