Raps schooled in Big D

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:18 AM ET

DALLAS -- About those defensive strides this team was making a night ago.

Yeah, forget it.

The run-and-gun Mavericks cured any swelled heads the Raptors might have after doing a solid job on Chris Paul the night before in New Orleans.

"They hit every contested shot that we threw at them," Chris Bosh, still 0-for-Dallas in his career said after a humbling 129-101 loss.

And as much as no one wanted to use the "first back-to-back of the season" excuse, it was thrown out there a few times.

Something had to explain the Mavs hitting for a ridiculous 62.4% from the field, the fourth highest success rate by a Raptors opponent in team history.

The second half alone was even worse. The Mavericks shot at just under 75%.

Flying up and down the court the way they were, Dallas definitely made it look like the Raptors were fatigued.

"We'd like to blame it on coverages but it was man-on-man stuff," head coach Jay Triano said. "We were just a step slow tonight and it showed. They went past us when they wanted to and they scored over top of us when they wanted to."

As reluctant as he was to use fatigue as an excuse, Triano had to admit that's the way it appeared to him.

"This is a team that was sitting here waiting for us, watched us the other night and were very prepared for us," Triano said. "We are on a back-to-back but you can't use that excuse 19 times a year, so I'm disappointed but they had more energy, more movement and better confidence shooting the basketball."

Dirk Nowitzki, as he has done so many times against the Raptors, led the charge with a game-high 29 points, including three from three-point range.

With former Raptor Shawn Marion and Josh Howard, who was making his season debut following ankle surgery, giving the Raptors fits inside, Nowitzki had plenty of room to sit back and drain fade aways and triples all evening.

Jason Terry, who looks primed for another Sixth Man Award, was relatively quiet in the first half but wound up with 19 off the bench.

For the Raptors, it was Bosh leading the way with 26 and 12 rebounds, but it was his four-point third quarter when the Mavericks started pulling away that hurt the most.

Bosh said it was a case of the Mavs showing him something he had not seen.

"They started trapping and they did a very good job of it," Bosh said. "It was a trap I haven't seen this season and I may have rushed it a little bit. They came from the top spot on the far side and that's not a safe pass to through it to. Jason Kidd and Jason Terry did a great job of having active hands when I did try to pass out of it."

Marion missed his first two shots but then hit his final nine in a row to finish with 18 points along with eight boards, a steal and an assist.

"Dallas was hitting shots and we weren't able to make them change those shots to try to give them different looks," Raps point guard Jose Calderon said. "And after we were trying just to push it, but we were running the fast break off Dallas makes. We just missed too many open shots."

MIKE.GANTER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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