Dallas Mavericks at Toronto Raptors
- Dallas has won the last three games in this series, including a 109-104 home victory on November 7. O.J. Mayo had 22 points, five rebounds and six assists in that game, while Chris Kaman chipped in with 22 points and eight boards.
- The Mavericks lost to Boston 117-115 in double overtime on Wednesday, and have now dropped their last six OT games dating back to last season (0-3 in 2012-13).
- The Raptors have lost 12 out of their last 13 games. At 4-19, they are off to their worst start since the 2005-06 season (4-19).
- O.J. Mayo is averaging 20.9 points per game this season, after putting up 12.6 ppg for the Grizzlies in 2011-12. That +8.3 scoring increase is best in the NBA (minimum played in 50 percent of games in both seasons).
- The Mavericks have used a league-high 11 different starting lineups so far in 2012-13. They used 13 different lineups last season (t-18th).
- Ed Davis had 24 points and 12 rebounds in Wednesday's loss to the Nets. The 24 points tied his career high, his other 24-point game also coming against the Nets, on April 26, 2012.
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By JORDAN GARRETSON
(AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks have made due without their superstar.
The Toronto Raptors have struggled to remain competitive, and it could get worse because of recent injuries.
Neither team will be at full-strength Friday night in Toronto, though Dallas figures to have the upper hand against a sliding Raptors team which will be very short-handed.
Plus, the Mavericks have won 14 of the last 17 meetings, including a 109-104 home victory Nov. 7 in the only one this season.
Dirk Nowitzki still hasn't played a game for Dallas after undergoing right knee surgery in October. Nowitzki originally hoped to be back by mid-December, but coach Rick Carlisle said Wednesday there is no timetable for his return.
Even without Nowitzki, eighth in the league last season at 21.6 points per game, the Mavericks (11-11) have hovered around .500 and are currently eighth in the Western Conference.
New acquisition O.J. Mayo has assumed the lead scoring role in Nowitzki's absence, putting up career highs with 20.9 points per game and 48.9 percent field-goal shooting.
He scored a team-high 24 on Wednesday but also accounted for a career-worst nine of Dallas' 28 turnovers in a 117-115 double-overtime loss at Boston, ending a three-game winning streak.
Then again, Mayo also converted the tying points that forced both overtime periods while playing almost 52 minutes.
"I wasn't tired at all," he said. "You just can't turn the ball over. Look at the stats, man: nine turnovers out of 27. We had plenty of opportunities to take control of that game and win. We've got to be better in that area. We just can't turn the ball over."
The Mavericks outshot them from the floor, 51.1-43.0 percent, but the turnover margin proved to be the difference as they forced just 13.
"Looking at the stat sheet, what I am is encouraged," coach Rick Carlisle told the Mavs' official website. "Because we had 28 turnovers, we give up 34 points off turnovers, and to be in the game with this team is encouraging to me. It means we have a lot of positive upside to us and we've got to find it.
"We can do it. I believe in these guys. I really do. We showed a lot of guts hanging in this thing and we've just got to be able to make simple plays."
The Raptors (4-19) have lost six straight and 12 of 13.
Things don't figure to get any easier as second- and third-leading scorers Andrea Bargnani (16.0 ppg) and Kyle Lowry (15.0 ppg) will both miss time with injuries suffered in Monday's loss at Portland. Bargnani is out indefinitely with a torn elbow ligament and a strained right wrist, while Lowry will likely miss 10 days with a partial tear in his right triceps.
Toronto had just nine players available in Wednesday's 94-88 home loss to Brooklyn as Amir Johnson served a one-game suspension and Linas Kleiza missed his second game in a row because of a sore right knee.
Ed Davis matched career highs with 24 points and 12 rebounds.
"We ran out of gas," Davis said of the Raptors, who are also still without Alan Anderson and Landry Fields. "We were short-handed, but we were fighting."
Dallas got Shawn Marion back Wednesday, and he posted 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists after missing two games with a strained right groin.
Mayo and Chris Kaman each scored 22 points in the previous matchup with Toronto while Vince Carter added 17 off the bench against his former team.
Updated December 13, 2012