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Mavericks Set To Host Toronto Raptors

(Sports Network) - The streaking Dallas Mavericks really don't want to envision life without Dirk Nowitzki but that may be the reality, at least for the short-term, as the club gets ready to host a reeling Toronto Raptors team that hasn't won in Big D in over a decade.

Jason Terry scored 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter on Monday and the Mavericks, despite playing most of the game without Nowitzki, shut down the Oklahoma City Thunder in the final period and posted a 103-93 victory.

Nowitzki departed the game just 2:50 into the second quarter with a sore right knee. The former MVP came down awkwardly on his ankle after hitting a jumper, and he left the contest after completing the three-point play. He finished with 13 points, two shy of Gary Payton (21,813) for 24th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

"This is a weird injury, I've never had it," Nowitzki said. "For a rolled ankle I probably would have walked it off and came right back out there, but this is something else. We're going to look at it and see where it is tomorrow. It's kind of day-to-day from this point."

Shawn Marion posted 20 points and nine rebounds for Dallas, which has won five in a row and 17 of its last 18 games. Caron Butler tallied 21 points, while DeShawn Stevenson scored 12. Jason Kidd narrowly missed a triple-double with 10 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. He also had four steals.

Dwane Casey, who was coaching the Mavs while Rick Carlisle recovered from knee surgery, downplayed Nowitzki's injury but the superstar's status remains uncertain for tonight. Carlisle, however, is expected back.

Nowitzki has been extremely durable in his career, playing at least 76 games in every season since 1999-2000. The Mavs are a respectable 17-12 in the games the German All-Star has missed over that period but that pales in comparison to the gaudy .676 winning percentage the team boasts when he is on the floor.

The Raptors, meanwhile, lost their third straight overall and the opener of a three-game road trip on Monday in Memphis when Zach Randolph led a balanced attack with 21 points and the Grizzlies topped Toronto, 96-85.

Linas Kleiza led the Raptors with a game-high 22 points, DeMar DeRozan scored 18 and Joey Dorsey notched a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds for Toronto, which has dropped five of its last six.

"(Memphis) is a team that forces a lot of turnovers, but there were a lot of unforced ones that are on us," Raptors coach Jay Triano said.

Toronto has lost 10 straight in Dallas since a 109-104 win over Dec. 30, 1999.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.