Raptors at their best

Raptors guard Jarrett Jack blows by Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd during second half action on...

Raptors guard Jarrett Jack blows by Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd during second half action on Sunday. (QMI Agency/Stan Behal)

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 10:33 AM ET

There have been better spurts when the Raptors have played at a high level against quality opponents.

There have been times when the ball would move side to side with purpose.

There have been moments when the Raptors were in sync that it didn’t matter who was on the floor.

But never have the Raptors looked as dominant over an extended stretch against an elite team as they did in Sunday’s 110-88 dismantling of the Dallas Mavericks.

And to think the home side began the day by going 3-for-15 from the field.

And to think the visiting Mavericks were up by three after the opening 12 minutes.

What ensued was Raptors basketball at its finest, three quarters that featured execution at both ends of the floor and contributions from virtually every player to step on to the floor until the expected garbage time arrived in the fourth period with the outcome no longer in doubt.

“As long as our energy is good and we keep contesting and playing on the defensive end, I think we can find ways to score,’’ head coach Jay Triano said in the aftermath of a victory that lifts the Raptors to one game over .500 at the NBA’s mid-season point.

The season began with a home win over Cleveland, a team that came to Toronto having played the night earlier.

Wins against San Antonio and Orlando were somewhat tainted, given the Spurs’ decision not to start Tim Duncan and the fact the Raptors caught a wounded Magic team on the back end of a back-to-back.

There were no excuses with Dallas, the West’s second-best team and one of the NBA’s more formidable road teams.

Toronto received a sublime performance from its point guards and even threw out Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon together.

Chris Bosh was virtually unstoppable on a series of touches when the Mavs threw big bodies at him and the bench stepped up and provided energy.

About the only downside was Hedo Turkoglu’s jumper. He went 2-for-9 from the field, but none of his heaves could have been classified as bad shots.

“Everybody was ready to play and to do good things on the court,’’ Calderon said. “I’m feeling pretty comfortable. We are winning and that’s the main thing.”

It was Calderon who lit the fuse for Toronto’s reserves when they took to the floor to begin the second quarter, a 12-minute period that saw the Raptors outscore the Mavs 34-18. Amir Johnson, Sonny Weems and Antoine Wright also stepped up.

“We’re playing pretty good basketball, right now,’’ Bosh said. On Sunday, the Raptors were very good.


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