Toronto (25-34) at Dallas (38-20)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Dallas, TX
Temp: 82° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EST Mon Mar 7, 2005
  • TV: RNET
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Dallas Mavericks could be without Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley for the second straight game as they return home from an unsuccessful road trip to play the Toronto Raptors.

Dallas played without Nowitzki and Finley in Sunday’s 90-69 loss to the Houston Rockets. The Mavericks failed to mount much offense without their top two scorers, leading to a season-low 69 points.

Dallas entered the game averaging almost 103 points a game, but finished just 29-of-78 (37 percent) from the field.

“We had our best two offensive players in street clothes, so you make the decision on how it affected us,” Mavs coach Don Nelson said.

Nowitzki, who was averaging 27 points, sat out with a sprained left knee, and Finley missed his second straight game with a bruised left calf. This was the second game Nowitzki has missed this season, after sitting out a game last November with a sprained left ankle.

Finley, who averages 17.6 points, has been kicked in the leg three times in the last three weeks—the last in Wednesday’s loss to the Clippers. He missed 15 games earlier this season with a sprained right ankle.

Jason Terry led Dallas with 20 points. Keith Van Horn, who started for Nowitzki, added 12.

The Mavericks lost every game on their three-game road trip and four of their last five following a six-game winning streak.

“This was one of our worst trips and we have to rebound and bounce back,” said Terry. “Now we have to turn it around.”

The Raptors will also be playing the second game of a back-to-back after beating the New Orleans Hornets 95-84 on Sunday.

Chris Bosh had 33 points and Matt Bonner added 18 to lead Toronto.

“We had more movement and that gave Chris more room to operate down low and basically both him and Bonner played great,” said Jalen Rose, who added 14 points for the Raptors. “They both had career games and we need that from those guys every night.”

Bosh, in his second season, and Bonner, a 6-foot-10 rookie, came through when the Raptors’ slim playoff hopes could ill afford a loss to New Orleans, one of the worst teams in the league.

Bosh grabbed 15 rebounds and went 9-of-10 from the foul line.

Bonner, coming off the bench, hit all four 3-pointers he attempted. Toronto was 10-of-21 from behind the arc and shot 46.6 percent overall.

STANDINGS (through March 5): Raptors - 4th place (tied), 5 1/2 GB, Atlantic Division. Mavericks - 2nd place, 7 1/2 GB, Southwest Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Raptors - F Morris Peterson, F Bosh, C Rafael Araujo, G Rafer Alston, G Jalen Rose. Mavericks - F Josh Howard, F Van Horn, C Shawn Bradley, G Terry, G Jerry Stackhouse.

TEAM LEADERS: Raptors - Rose, 17.1 ppg; Bosh, 8.5 rpg; Alston, 6.8 apg. Mavericks - Nowitzki, 26.9 ppg and 10.1 rpg; Terry, 5 apg.

SEASON SERIES: Mavericks, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 6; Mavericks, 122-113. At Toronto, Nowitzki had 30 points as Dallas shot a season-high 60 percent from the field. Bosh had 29 points too pace the Raptors.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Raptors - 7-23 on the road; Mavericks - 19-10 at home.

INJURIES: Raptors - G Alvin Williams (knee); G-F Eric Williams (calf). Mavericks - C/F Nowitzki (knee); F Finley (calf); C Pavel Podkolzin (knee); C Dampier (foot); G-F Tariq Abdul-Wahad (knee).

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