12-12-07 - The Toronto Raptors were determined to hold a lead against the Dallas Mavericks again. This time, they did.
Kris Humphries had 16 points and 12 rebounds, Chris Bosh scored 17 points and Toronto beat Dallas 92-76 Wednesday night for the Raptors' first win over the Mavericks in more than four years.
Toronto won its third straight and ended an eight-game slump against Dallas. The Raptors' last win over the Mavericks was a 77-71 victory on Nov. 6, 2003.
Toronto almost ended its streak earlier this year, but Dallas overcame a 24-point deficit to beat Toronto 105-99 on Nov. 20, the Mavericks' largest comeback for a regulation win.
"We could have been intimidated by them because of what happened in Dallas the last time we played them," Bosh said. "We stood our ground, came out hard and fast. We jumped on them and played good defense."
Dallas' 76 points were a season low. Jason Terry had 21 points for Dallas, while Josh Howard added 19.
"Our defense the past two games has been as good as they can get," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said.
Howard left after being poked in the eye early in the fourth quarter and did not return.
One game after scoring a season-high 36 points, Dirk Nowitzki had just 13 points, shooting 6-for-15.
"He just couldn't get it going tonight," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said.
Nowitzki said Humphries' rebounding hurt the Mavericks.
"Humphries killed us on the glass, which is all hustle," Nowitzki said. "You've got to put a body on him and get some rebounds defensively."
Leading 21-17 after the first, Toronto outscored Dallas 15-2 in the first four minutes of the second.
"Man, we just weren't very good, and that's why they got control of the game," Johnson said.
The Raptors led 54-36 at the half, but refused to get comfortable.
"We built that lead and I think everybody was nervous and on their toes the whole time," Bosh said. "We were trying to stay aggressive. We didn't just sit back and see if we could keep the lead. We went and took it."
A 3-pointer by Howard cut the gap to nine in the final minute of the third, but Toronto ended the quarter with a 7-0 run to push the lead back to 16.
Dallas guard Eddie Jones was assessed a flagrant foul for hauling down Toronto's Darrick Martin on a breakaway wit 17 seconds left in the third.
It was the second night in a row a Toronto point guard was the victim of a flagrant foul. T.J. Ford left Tuesday's victory at Atlanta on a stretcher after his head struck the floor when he was knocked down by Atlanta rookie Al Horford.
Ford, who spent the night in an Atlanta hospital before flying home to Toronto on Wednesday afternoon, received a loud ovation when he walked out to the Raptors' bench during a second quarter time out.
"I wanted to come out and support my teammates. Whether I came out on the floor or not, I just wanted to show those guys that I'm OK."
Johnson said Ford's situation seemed to boost the Raptors.
"They had us down pretty good the first time and we came back and won," Johnson said. "They got a lead tonight and they kept it. They seemed to have more energy tonight, especially after what happened with T.J. Maybe that gave them some extra juice."