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News » Raps can't keep pace with Mavs

Raps can't keep pace with Mavs

Raps can't keep pace with Mavs
It's been a while since this jumped up and bit the Raptors on their collective butts.

On what might as well have been a throwback game to a different dismal era, the Raptors were hammered by Dallas on the offensive glass last night in what turned out to be a rather routine and humdrum 109-98 Mavericks victory at the American Airlines Center.

Minus the energetic rebounding of Shawn Marion, who lasted only six minutes before succumbing to a flu bug he's been battling the past two days, Toronto had no answer on the glass as the Mavs turned 15 offensive boards into 18 second-chance points and simply wore Toronto down over time.

"It was a bunch of long shots, we didn't do a good job of boxing out long," said Chris Bosh, who had 28 points and 10 rebounds in his lone appearance of the regular season in his hometown. "We have to keep that in mind: When you have long shots, sometimes you have long rebounds and they had some guys who were really hustling out there.

"When we failed to put a body on them, they pretty much got the board every time."

Obviously feeling the effects of his illness, the Raptors tried to get Marion back for the second half by giving him intravenous fluids while he was in the locker room for most of the second quarter but he couldn't get the energy to play.

Joey Graham, who had missed 21/2 games with a strained hamstring, did get back into uniform and was Toronto's most energetic player. He finished with 14 points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes but it was hardly enough because the Raptors didn't have anyone who could replace Marion.

A Marion-Graham combination can give Toronto an athletic edge for an entire game since one of them will always be on the floor; but last night there was no one to fill in ably when Graham didn't play.

"They seemed to be beating us to the Basketball, maybe that's it," said coach Jay Triano. "Shawn's one of the guys who tracks the Basketball for us a little bit and we certainly didn't do that on the defensive glass.

"Yeah, we're playing with a short bench but we still have to find a way to come up with the Basketball."

The Mavs, buoyed by the return from a hand injury of sixth man Jason Terry, put the game away with a 30-point third quarter. But as much as their offence picked up, they harassed the Raptors into just 37 per cent shooting on the night - just 35 per cent in the second half.

The Raptors, who had been averaging about 18 fast-break points a game in the last three, had just seven last night.

"It's tough to run when 40 per cent of the time, they come up with the offensive rebound," said Triano. "You've got to pick the ball up. Those long rebounds are opportunities for us to get the ball and have a transition play happen for us.

"You can't run when you don't have the Basketball. It's not like we were leaking out, we just weren't coming up with the ball. You have to get the ball before you can run."

Only Bosh, who made 9-of-20 field-goal attempts, was truly effective offensively. Andrea Bargnani went 6-of-18, Anthony Parker was 5-of-12 and Jose Calderon 4-of-12 including a ghastly, and unusual, airballed three-pointer.

"It looked like his shot was short," Triano said of Calderon. "I've never seen him shoot an airball, being wide open like that. And everything else seemed to be front rim. He wasn't alone, though, a lot of guys were missing good looks."

Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 24 points while Josh Howard had 16. Jason Kidd had nine but his 15 assists included the one that put him over 10,000 for his career, just one of four players to top that mark, the others being John Stockton, Mark Jackson and Magic Johnson.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 2, 2009


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