DALLAS -- How it happened: With the Toronto Raptors rolling on a 14-0 spurt late in the third quarter to take a 68-61 lead, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle called timeout at the 3:55 mark and substituted Vince Carter for Shawn Marion. Just as he did Thursday night at Oklahoma City, Carter delivered big points in a pinch, instantly draining a 3-pointer, followed by a step-back jumper to ignite a 13-0 run.
He ended the quarter by getting fouled beyond the arc and sinking all three free throws to give him eight points in the quarter and the Mavs a 77-70 lead.
But the Mavs don’t win this game without the services of active backup big man Ian Mahinmi, who followed up his own impressive outing Thursday with a career-high 19 points (6-of-6 shooting), five rebounds and two blocked shots. Mahinmi was key in the first half of the second quarter, providing energy on both ends and six points to help Dallas build a 12-point lead.
He was also critical during the late third-quarter rally with Carter, hitting 5 of 6 free throws during the 13-0 run and getting to the line because of his hustle.
Carter and Rodrigue Beaubois made an interesting pairing in the fourth quarter, and the younger guard hit a pretty jumper after he pump-faked his man at the arc and dribbled in for a closer look, giving the Mavs a 90-81 lead with less than six minutes to play. Beaubois replaced Jason Kidd at the 10:46 mark of the fourth quarter and allowed the 38-year-old to take the rest of the game off after logging nine points, seven rebounds and six assists in 31 minutes, an important development with Dallas having finished the second of four games in five nights.
Dallas had five players score in double figures, with three coming off the bench: Mahinmi, Carter (10) and Terry (17). Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 and Shawn Marion had 12.
Andrea Bargnani was unconscious for much of the game, finishing with 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting (but he missed his last five shots), including 2-of-3 from 3-point land.
The Mavs did a nice job on athletic shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who finished with 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
Toronto still managed to shoot 45.8 percent -- mostly due to Bargnani -- to the Mavs’ 44.4.
What it means: The Mavs can finally exhale for a moment as they captured that elusive fist victory and improved to 1-3. They’ll spend New Year’s Eve in Minneapolis and then try to double their win total Sunday evening against the Timberwolves and old friend J.J. Barea. That’s a big one to get because waiting for them back in Dallas for a fourth game in five nights will be a rested Oklahoma City Thunder outfit.
Play of the game: Midway through the second quarter, the 6-foot-11 Mahinmi sized up his man at the free throw line, put the ball on the floor, drove to his left and scored it off the glass and drew a foul on Toronto's Anthony Carter. Mahinmi swished the free throw for a 3-point play and a 37-28 lead.
Stat of the day: After being outrebounded by 30 in the first two games, the Mavs have won the battle, 78-76, in the last two games. They won the rebounding edge Friday for the first time this season, 40-38.