Dallas (3-2) at Toronto (2-1)

Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Thu Nov 6, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Steve Nash is the man that makes the Dallas Mavericks go. They could be stuck for a while.

Nash may not be available to play due to a shoulder injury when the Mavericks travel to Toronto to play the Raptors.

The Mavericks’ floor leader and offensive catalyst, Nash was averaging 13.5 points per game and leading Dallas in assists before leaving Wednesday’s 100-90 loss to Washington in the first quarter with a left shoulder strain.

“It got real sore in the first couple minutes of the game, and the rest of the quarter it just got sorer and sorer—every possession, every movement, every bump,” Nash said.

Nash is unsure how long he’ll be sidelined.

“We don’t really know what’s wrong. I’m hoping I wake up tomorrow morning and I feel great and can play,” Nash said. “But I don’t think anyone is really sure of where it is, how long it’s going to take, and what actually happened.”

Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks’ leading scorer, was clearly impacted by Nash’s injury, shooting just 1-for-9 from the floor and scoring nine points.

Antawn Jamison scored 21 points and Antoine Walker added 18 for the Mavs.

Dallas, which normally shoots 46 percent, was held to 38 percent from the floor (32-of-85).

“Just because we won a few games, it doesn’t disguise the fact that we have work to do, and it shows,” Mavs coach Don Nelson said.

The Raptors haven’t played since an embarrassing 73-56 loss to Minnesota on Saturday. The points scored were the fewest by an opponent in Minnesota’s history and a franchise low for Toronto.

The Raptors, who ended last season with an eight-game losing streak, opened 2-0 for the first time in their eight-year history. But Vince Carter was hounded by Latrell Sprewell and shot just 5-for-15 and scored 15 points.

“It’s tough, we played three games in four days and were a little fatigued,” said Carter, the only Raptor to finish in double figures. “You could see it in our shooting.”

Toronto shot just 27.5 percent (19-for-69) and scored a franchise-low 24 points in the second half in falling to 0-8 all-time in Minnesota.

“It seemed like there was lid on the basket,” said Lamond Murray, who shot 2-for-12.

The Raptors are last in the league in scoring, averaging 76 points, but are among the best defensively, allowing just 79.7 per game, third-best in the league.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 4): Mavericks - 1st place, Midwest Division. Raptors - 1st place (tied), 1/2 GB, Central Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Mavericks - F Michael Finley, F Walker, C Nowitzki, G Tony Delk, G Travis Best. Raptors - F Jerome Williams, F Michael Curry, C Antonio Davis, G Carter, G Alvin Williams.

TEAM LEADERS: Mavericks - Nowitzki, 20.4 ppg and 7.8 rpg; Nash, 7.6 apg. Raptors - Carter, 26.7 ppg; J. Williams, 14.3 rpg; A. Williams, 4 apg.

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Mavericks, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Dec. 2; Mavericks, 113-102. At Dallas, Nash shot 7-of-8 from the field and converted all 10 of his opportunities from the free-throw line to help the Mavs improve to 16-1.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mavericks - 1-1 on the road; Raptors - 2-0 at home.

INJURIES: Mavericks - F Tariq Abdul-Wahad (knee); G Nash (shoulder); F Josh Howard (ankle); G Jon Stefansson (ankle). Raptors - F Michael Bradley (right knee); G Rick Brunson (left quadriceps); C Eric Montross (foot).

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