There’s no such thing as a gimme game in the NBA, but this is about as close as it gets to one.
The Mavs ought to be above .500 again by the time they cross the border.
Records: Mavs (11-11); Raptors (4-19)
When: 6:00 p.m.
Where: Air Canada Centre
Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: Vince Carter, the Raptors’ original franchise player, is a big story every time he goes back to Toronto. This is Carter’s first trip north of the border as a member of the Mavs, who didn’t play in Toronto during the lockout-compressed season. Carter has 24.1 points and 7.3 rebounds in 11 games as a visitor in the Air Canada Centre.
Key matchup: Mavs’ power forwards vs. Ed Davis – It’s likely that Shawn Marion starts at power forward again, but you never know until 16 minutes before tip with Rick Carlisle. Davis, a lottery pick in his third season, is coming off arguably the best game of his career with 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting and 12 rebounds in Wednesday’s loss to the Nets. Davis’ best game his rookie season came against the Mavs, when he had 17 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and three steals in an upset in Dallas.
Injuries: Mavs – PF Dirk Nowitzki (knee) is out. F Jae Crowder (flu-like symptoms) is questionable. Raptors – PG Kyle Lowry (triceps), SF Landry Fields (elbow) and PF/C Andrea Bargnani (elbow/wrist) are out. F Linas Kleiza (knee) is day-to-day.
Up next: at Minnesota Timberwolves, 7:00 p.m. Saturday