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Friday, December 20, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Raptors 109, Mavs 108 (OT)

By Tim MacMahon



DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks blew a 19-point lead and missed potential winners at the buzzer in regulation and overtime before losing 109-108 to the Toronto Raptors.

How it happened: After a 19-point Dallas lead disappeared before halftime, Dirk Nowitzki’s touch disappeared down the stretch.

Nowitzki missed his final six shots from the floor, including a midrange fadeaway on the final possession of regulation. The Mavs gave Monta Ellis a chance to win it on a mismatch isolation play at the end of overtime, but his floater at the buzzer bounced off the back rim and out.

Point guard Jose Calderon’s best performance in a Mavericks uniform went to waste. Against his former team he scored a season-high 23 points and had nine assists -- highlighted by an 11-point, three-assist flurry in the final nine minutes of the fourth quarter after the Raptors went up by eight.

Nowitzki had 22 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, but one of the NBA’s elite closers of this generation went ice cold down the stretch. So did Ellis, who had his third double-double of the season, with 22 points and 11 assists, but only two points and one dime in the fourth quarter and overtime combined.

The Raptors had six scorers in double figures, led by point guard Kyle Lowry’s 20 points. DeMar DeRozan (15 points) had the Raptors’ two biggest buckets of the game -- hitting an off-the-dribble baseline fadeaway to tie it up with 16.5 seconds remaining in regulation, then giving Toronto the lead for good on a double-pump pull-up with 1:10 to go in overtime.

What it means: The Mavs failed to finish off the sweep in their three-game homestand. Dallas dropped to 15-11 entering Saturday night’s road game against the Phoenix Suns, who are just a half-game back in the West standings. The Raptors, who have won three of their past four games, improved to 10-14.

Play of the game: DeRozan dribbled from the left wing to a foot behind the free throw line, got Shawn Marion to bite on a pump fake and hit a prayer of a jumper after drawing contact. He missed the free throw, but the bucket gave the Raptors the lead for good with 1:10 remaining.

Stat of the night: The Mavs this season have lost games in which they led by 17, 18 and 19 points.