Game 71 Recap: Mavs vs Raptors

On Friday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Toronto Raptors in the final home game at the American Airlines Center in the regular season. The Mavericks can do some “clinching” if they can take care of business with this matchup. The Mavericks look to finish the season strong as the season comes to an end.

On Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks played the New Orleans Pelicans in the second-to-last home game at the American Airlines Center in the regular season. The Mavericks started this game on a roll as they were able to get their offense in rhythm by making good quality shots which resulted in taking a 77-58 halftime lead. The Mavericks used a 45-point second quarter, which is tied for the most points scored in a quarter this season, to their advantage as they were able to put this game away for good in the second half for a 125-107 blowout win. Luka Doncic finished with 33 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists in the win. The Mavericks were able to get production from Tim Hardaway Jr as he scored 27 points in the blowout win. With the win, the Mavericks record improved to 41-29 on the season, as they were able to grab a huge victory to keep their hopes alive of avoiding the “Play-in Tournament”. The Mavericks would get some good news as the Phoenix Suns defeated the Portland Trail Blazers which helps the Mavericks move back to the fifth seed in the western conference standings. The Mavericks can now clinch a top-six seed IF, they win ONE of their final two games of the season. With the help of the Phoenix Suns, the Mavericks can clinch the fifth seed IF, they win the final two games. To make it simple for you, one more Mavericks win clinches a top-six seed and avoid playing in the “Play-in Tournament”, while two wins clinches the fifth seed. The Mavericks still, with two games left on the season, have a lot to play for as the season comes to an end. The Mavericks must take care of business and win these final two games.

The Toronto Raptors are coming into this game by going 2-8 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 114-102 loss against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday to see their record drop to 27-43 on the season. The Raptors were coming into this season with hopes of trying to make the playoffs but they have been officially eliminated as they were unable to qualify for the “Play-in Tournament”. The Raptors are currently the 7th-worst team in the NBA as they have nothing to play for other than securing a good draft pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. This team is led by Kyle Lowry as they look to finish the season on a high note. If their current trend continues, they will capture a good draft pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. The Toronto Raptors will try to play spoilers as they will try to spoil the Mavericks from clinching anything in this upcoming matchup.

Coming into this game, the Mavericks lost their last meeting with the Raptors 116-93 on January 18th, 2021. The Mavericks look to tie the game season series with a win in this matchup. The Mavericks previously tied their regular season series last season 1-1 against the Raptors. Overall, the Mavericks hold the all-time series with a record of 26-22.

The Mavericks started this game by having Maxi Kleber (right Achilles soreness) and JJ Redick (right heel soreness) be ruled out for this game. As a result, the Mavericks went with Doncic, Hardaway Jr, Powell, Finney-Smith and Porzingis as their starting five in this game. The first points in the game would belong to Kristaps Porzingis as he nailed a three pointer for the Mavericks to get this game underway. The Raptors wouldn’t get their first points until the 11:15 mark as Malachi Flynn drilled a three pointer to tie the game at 3-3. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to five points after Luka Doncic knocked down two free-throws to extend their lead to 10-5 with 9:44 left in the quarter. Both teams would go on scoring droughts as neither could knock down a shot for more than two minutes until the 7:40 mark where Dwight Powell knocked down two free-throws to extend their lead to 12-5 that resulted in the Raptors calling a timeout with 7:36 left in the quarter. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the game by making three of their first seven attempts while the Raptors made just two of their first seven attempts. Both teams had trouble getting their offense going as it appeared there was a lid on the rim. The Mavericks were able to generate a 9-2 run to maintain control of the lead thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Raptors turned to Khem Birch as he was able to convert on a three pointer to come within 12-8 of the Mavericks with 7:26 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to once again extend their lead back to six points after Kristaps Porzingis knocked down a driving layup to extend their lead to 20-14 with 4:33 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain control and take a 31-26 lead into the second quarter. The game leading scorer after one quarter of play would belong to Jalen Brunson and Malachi Flynn as they each scored 7 points for their respective teams. Both teams were struggling to knock down shots but it was the Mavericks that was able to finish the quarter strong. At the end of the first quarter, the Mavericks were shooting 47.6% on 10-of-21 shooting from the field.

The second quarter would begin by having Stanley Johnson nail two free-throws for the Raptors to get this quarter underway. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 10:03 left in the quarter after the Raptors shrunk the Mavericks lead to 33-32. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making one of their first four attempts while the Raptors made two of their first four attempts. The Raptors were able to generate a 6-2 run to open the quarter and get themselves back in the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Nicolo Melli as he was able to convert on a three pointer to give the Mavericks their first points in the quarter and resulted in extending their lead to 36-32 with 9:45 left in the quarter. The Raptors would call a timeout with 7:31 left in the quarter with the Mavericks leading 42-39. Prior to this timeout, the Raptors were able to keep up with the Mavericks as it started to become a close game. The Raptors were able to generate a 7-3 run to stay within distance of the Mavericks. The Mavericks better get their offense rolling otherwise the Raptors would be right there to leapfrog them. Coming out of the timeout, the Raptors turned to Jalen Harris but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer that kept the score at 42-39 with 7:26 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to nine points after Kristaps Porzingis knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 50-41 with 5:39 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain control and take a 66-52 lead into halftime. The game leading scorer after two quarters of play would belong to Jalen Harris as he scored 17 points for the Raptors. The Mavericks were led by Kristaps Porzingis and Jalen Brunson as they each scored 15 points. This was a much better quarter for the Mavericks as they were able to get their offense going in the quarter. At the end of the first half, the Mavericks were shooting 48.9% on 23-of-47 shooting from the field.

Coming out of the half, the Mavericks were able to get on the board first in the third quarter by having Dwight Powell nail a slam dunk to extend their lead to 68-52. Khem Birch was able to score the first points in the quarter for the Raptors as he nailed a two pointer with 10:30 left in the quarter to come within 68-54 of the Mavericks. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:10 left in the quarter after the Raptors shrunk the Mavericks lead to 76-61. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making just two of their first eight attempts while the Raptors made four of their first ten attempts taken thus far. The Raptors were able to generate a 4-3 run to force the Mavericks to call a timeout as their lead started to shrink. The Mavericks still need to generate some offense to put these Raptors away for good. These Raptors are very capable of doing anything in this game as you don’t know what could they be up to next. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Tim Hardaway as he was able to draw a foul to go to the free-throw line with 6:56 left in the quarter, which he knocked down two free-throws to extend their lead to 78-61. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to eighteen points after Tim Hardaway Jr knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 82-64 with 6:11 left in the quarter. The Mavericks hadn’t missed a beat as their offense continued to roll while the Raptors had a difficult time in stopping the Mavericks. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain control and take a 92-83 lead into the fourth quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to Jalen Harris as he scored 29 points for the Raptors. The Mavericks were led by Kristaps Porzingis and Jalen Brunson as they each scored 19 points. The Raptors were try to draw something to get closer to the Mavericks but it wasn’t working as they would like with the Mavericks simply surviving the Raptors threat. Through three quarters of play, the Mavericks were shooting 44.3% on 31-of-70 shooting from the field. The Mavericks have one more 12:00 minute quarter, in which they need to play good basketball, if they do then they will clinch a top-six seed and avoid playing in the “Play-in Tournament”.

The fourth quarter would begin by having Trey Burke nail a floating jump shot for the Mavericks to get this quarter underway. The Raptors weren’t able to get their first points in the quarter until the 11:13 mark by having Stanley Johnson nail the “AND-ONE” free-throw to come within 94-86 of the Mavericks. The Raptors was sure making it awfully difficult for the Mavericks to win this game as they were giving the Mavericks a run for their money. Both teams would go on a scoring drought for more than two minutes, which benefits the Mavericks since they hold the lead, but a basket was finally made by Luka Doncic as he was able to convert on a jump shot to extend their lead to 98-88 that forced the Raptors to call a timeout with 7:15 left in the game. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making three of their first nine attempts while the Grizzlies made just two of their first seven attempts taken thus far. The Mavericks were in control of the game and it was their game to lose as the Raptors couldn’t generate enough momentum to flip it to their side. The Raptors would need to go on a serious run to have a chance at leaving the arena with a win. Coming out of the timeout, the Raptors turned to Khem Birch but couldn’t convert as he air-balled a three pointer that kept the score at 98-88 with 7:05 left in the game. The Raptors would call a timeout with 4:30 left in the game after the Mavericks lead was shrunk to 102-94. Prior to this timeout, both teams were briefly answering each other’s shots but the Raptors were able to generate a quick 4-2 run to trim their deficit to under ten points. The Mavericks are almost to finish line but they will need a couple of stops on defense and some good quality offense to take this game home with a win and avoid playing in the “Play-in Tournament”. Coming out of the timeout, the Raptors turned to Stanley Johnson as he was able to convert on a three pointer to come within 102-97 of the Mavericks with 4:20 left in the game. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 3:14 left in the game as they were holding a 105-99 lead. Prior to this timeout, the Raptors were able to generate a 5-3 run to keep this game interesting. The Mavericks still need their offense to finish strong in the remaining minutes of the game if they want to finish with a win. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks allowed Malachi Flynn to knock down a three pointer to come within 105-102 of the Mavericks with 2:59 left in the game. The Mavericks would get a huge bucket from Dorian Finney-Smith as he knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 108-102 with 2:32 left in the game. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 53.2 seconds left in the game after the Mavericks lead was shrunk to 110-106. Prior to this timeout, the Raptors were hanging right there with the Mavericks as they simply won’t go away. The Mavericks would need some quality possessions in these final seconds to leave the arena with a win. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Kristaps Porzingis but couldn’t convert as he missed a jump shot that kept the score at 110-106 with 30.8 seconds left in the game. The Raptors would call a timeout with 13.8 left in the game after they won the jump ball that gives them possession. The Mavericks would need to find a way to prevent the Raptors from stealing this game away from them as it would take a couple of hard fought possessions to put this game away. Coming out of the timeout, the Raptors turned to Freddie Gillespie as he was able to draw a foul to go to the free-throw line with 13.1 seconds left in the game, which he knocked down two free-throws to come within 110-108 of the Mavericks. The Raptors would then play the “foul game” as they sent Josh Richardson to the free-throw line with 9.4 seconds left in the game with the Mavericks holding a 110-108 lead. Josh Richardson would knock down both free-throws to extend their lead to 112-108 with 9.4 seconds left in the game. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 4.9 seconds left in the game after the Raptors shrunk the Mavericks lead to 112-110. The Mavericks would need one good possession to finally put this game away. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Josh Richardson in which he was fouled and would go to the free-throw line with 3.9 seconds left, which he would knock down two free-throws to extend their lead to 114-110. The Raptors would call a timeout with 3.9 seconds left in the game after the Josh Richardson’s two free-throws. The Mavericks would need to stop the Raptors one more time and this game would result in a win. Coming out of the timeout, the Raptors turned to Jalen Harris but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer as time expired.

This team looked like they were just settling in the game as the Mavericks had a difficult time knocking down shots in the first quarter but they were able to fix that by having a much better quarter in the second quarter that resulted in taking a 66-52 halftime lead. This was a pivotal game for the Mavericks as they could clinch a top-six seed and avoid playing in the “Play-in Tournament” with a win in this matchup.

In the end, it was the Dallas Mavericks defeating the Toronto Raptors 114-110 to clinch a top-six seed and officially avoid playing in the “Play-in Tournament”. The Mavericks record would improve to 42-29 on the season. Luka Doncic finished the game with his 36th triple-double of his career by finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the win. The Raptors were led by Jalen Harris as he finished with 31 points and 4 assists. The Mavericks were able to get production from Kristaps Porzingis as he scored 21 points in the huge win. With the win, the Mavericks clinch a top-six seed and officially avoid playing in the dreaded “Play-in Tournament”. The Mavericks have clinched their 23rd playoff appearance in the franchise’s 41-year history. The Mavericks have now reached the playoffs 17 times in the last 21 seasons. Congratulations to the Mavericks on going to the playoffs. The Mavericks can clinch the fifth seed with a win in the final game of the season. The Mavericks would now face either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs depending on how the final games finish.

The Mavericks will conclude their regular season on the road as they will travel to Minnesota to play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

As the season comes to a close, I just want to take the time to thank you for reading my “Game Recaps” throughout this 2020-2021 Dallas Mavericks season. It is an honor to write these Recaps for you to read every game. I hope you enjoyed reading the Recaps as I tried my best to keep it entertaining for you guys to read. Thank You so much for reading them!

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