Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is most likely contemplating extending the minutes of reserve center Ian Mahinmi after the big man scored a team high 19 points Friday night and helped the Mavericks to their first win of the campaign as the beat the Toronto Raptors 99-86. The big man played limited minutes in 56 games last season for Dallas, however the loss of former starter Tyson Chandler to Free Agency should give the native of France more of the spotlight. If he keeps performing as he did against Toronto his time on the hardwood will increase big time. Dirk Nowitzki added 18 points in the win in front of the Dallas fans at the American Airlines Center.
Raptors center Andrea Bargnani had a powerful night as he knocked down 30 points while Leandro Barbosa came off the bench adding another 20 points; however they got two little offensive support from their teammates. Besides Barbosa the club got a total of six points from six players who came into the game off of the bench. Toronto fell behind at the conclusion of the first and except for a brief period in the third, trailed the rest of the game.
The game was tight for most of the first until the Mavericks got hot near the end of the period. It was a two point game until Dallas went to the line three different times in the last 1:06 of the period and made all their shots. They held a 29-23 advantage at the end of the quarter. Dallas had a double-digit lead midway through the second; however the Raptors chipped away at their deficit and as the game reached the half the Mavericks were still on top; but only by four points in a 50-46 contest.
Toronto maintained the hot hand in the third as Bargnani hit a mid-range jumper with 5:47 in the period knotting up the game at 61-61 with 5:47 remaining. They would go up by as much as 7 points at 68-61 when Amir Johnson knocked down a shot with 3:16 on the clock. The lead for the club from north of the border would not last long however, as J-Kidd drained a 25 foot trey with 1:50 left putting his team back on top at 70-68. Veteran Vince Carter hit three straight shots at the charity stripe with one second to play and Dallas was in charge at the end of the third 77-70. The Raptors never got closer than 5 points down in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks won with ease.
Mahinmi came off the bench with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal while Nowitzki knocked down 18 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and a block. Jason Terry scored 17 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds while Shawn Marion had 12 points, 2 assists and a rebound. Carter came off the bench and added 10 points.
Bargnani scored 30 points, 7 rebounds, an assist and a block while Barbosa added 20 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and a steal. Jose Calderon and DeMar DeRozan each chipped in 11 points in the loss. Dallas now 1-3 will take on the T-Wolves in Minnesota on Sunday while Toronto who have a 1-2 record will face the Magic on Sunday in Orlando.