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Dallas Mavericks Vs. Toronto Raptors: Mavs Look For Sixth Straight Win

(Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki was sidelined with a knee injury when the Toronto Raptors defeated the Dallas Mavericks in late December. The MVP candidate has been at full strength and looks to lead the Mavs past the Raptors tonight from Air Canada Centre.

Toronto recorded an 84-76 victory in Big D and got 17 points and 12 rebounds from reserve Ed Davis. DeMar DeRozan and Linas Kleiza both finished with 16 points in that one for the Raptors, while Jason Terry scored a game-high 18 points for the Mavericks, who have still won 11 of the past 14 meetings between the two clubs.

Terry was at it again with 25 points in last night's 105-99 win at Washington in the opener of a three-game road trip. Tyson Chandler collected 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavs, who have won five in a row and three straight as the visitor. Dallas is 20-8 on the road and got 21 points from Nowitzki.

"I really wanted to get involved because coming out of the All-Star break it's a stretch now where we really have to get focused," Chandler said after Dallas' 15th win in 16 tries. "We're really making our playoff push."

The Mavericks, seeded second in the West, will also visit Philadelphia and have scored 100-plus points in 14 of its last 15 games. They are 31-2 when reaching the century mark.

Toronto will resume a four-game homestand Sunday and is coming off Friday's 110-92 loss to the Phoenix Suns. Andrea Bargnani scored a game-high 26 points and Leandro Barbosa netted 15 for the Raptors, who have lost three of four and six of their last eight games.

"They just came out hot and we came out tonight with no energy and they took advantage of it," said Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, who had 14 points.

The Raptors will also host New Orleans up north and are 11-19 at home this season. Bargnani is questionable tonight with flu-like symptoms and is averaging 25.6 points per game this month. DeRozan is posting 18.9 ppg in his previous 10 games.

Toronto is only 6-16 against Western Conference foes this season, including a 5-7 record when playing at Air Canada Centre.

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