Lowry leads the way as Raptors down the Mavericks for their third straight win

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TAMPA, Fla. — Kyle Lowry led the way with 23 points and the Toronto defence came up strong as the Raptors defeated the Dallas Mavericks 116-93 Monday for their third straight win.

Lowry, who made 9-of-12 shots, added nine rebounds and seven assists. Chris Boucher had 21 points, marking the sixth straight game — and eighth this season — that he has scored 15-plus points off the bench.

Pascal Siakam had 19 points while Norm Powell added 17 points.

Toronto's defence stifled Dallas as the second half wore on. Toronto pulled away after leading by nine going into the fourth quarter.

The Raptors (5-8) held Mavericks star Luka Doncic to 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds as Dallas (6-7) suffered its third straight loss. Doncic, who made 4-of-11 shots, appeared upset as the attention he was getting from Toronto, with an elbow thrown in the direction of Stanley Johnson in the fourth quarter.

Kristaps Porzingis led Dallas with 23 points.

The Mavericks were missing Canadian Dwight Powell, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber and Josh Richardson, all out due to the league's COVID "health and safety protocols." On the plus side, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Jalen Brunson both returned to the starting lineup — Hardaway after a one-game absence due to a groin strain and Brunson after missing four games due to health and safety protocols.

Powell delivered a pre-game message on Martin Luther King Day thanking TV viewers "for tuning in to celebrate this amazing man's life." There were no fans allowed into Amalie Arena.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle didn't last long. Irate at the officiating, he was ejected with 58.4 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Jamahl Mosley took over for him.

Thanks to a late 7-0 run, Toronto led 22-18 after a sloppy first quarter that saw both teams shoot 1-of-10 from three-point range. Porzingis (eight points) and Doncic (six) accounted for 14 of 18 points for Dallas in the quarter.

The Raptors built the lead to as many as 10 at 41-31 in the second quarter before Dallas reeled off a 16-6 run to tie it at 47-47 at the half. The Raptors bench accounted for 26 of those points with Boucher contributing 11.

Toronto was 2-of-17 from distance. but had success in the paint, with 34 points in the first half.

Toronto entered the game ranked first in the league in three-pointers made (16.4) and attempted (43.9). The Raptors attempted 99 three-pointers in their last two games, both against Charlotte, including a season-high-tying 50 attempts last Thursday.

Doncic had nine points, five assists and seven rebounds in the half.

Toronto's defence stiffened in the third, helping trigger a 20-6 run. Siakam found his rhythm, combining with Lowry for 21 points in the quarter, as the Raptors led 81-72 going into the fourth quarter.

The Raptors, in the middle of a five-game stretch at Amalie Arena, were coming off consecutive three-point victories against the Charlotte Hornets, both of which went down to the wire. In fact, Toronto's four previous games were all decided by three points or fewer, tying a club record.

The 21-year-old Doncic was coming off a 36-point, 16-rebound, 15-assist performance in a 117-101 loss Sunday to the visiting Chicago Bulls. It marked only the eighth 35-15-15 game in NBA history, joining Oscar Robertson (who did it five times), Wilt Chamberlain and James Harden.

It was also the 29th career triple-double for the third-year NBA pro from Slovenia, moving him past Michael Jordan into 15th on the league's all-time list. Doncic came into Monday's game fourth in the league in scoring (28.3) and second in assists (9.4).

The Mavs arrived having lost two straight after winning five of their previous six.

Monday marked the halfway point of six games in nine days for Dallas with Carlisle calling it "the most difficult scheduling of games in Mavericks history," according to the Dallas Morning News. That stretch includes trips to Milwaukee, Indiana and San Antonio as well as Toronto's temporary Florida home.

NOTES: The last time Toronto face Dallas, the Raptors rallied for a franchise-record 30-point comeback victory on Dec. 22, 2019 at Scotiabank Arena. That tied tying a franchise record for the largest blown lead in Mavericks history … The Raptors host the Miami Heat on Wednesday and Friday before heading to Indiana for Sunday and Monday games. The Mavericks play Wednesday in Indiana.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2021

The Canadian Press