After dominating the host Boston Celtics on Friday, the Toronto Raptors hope to continue their success on Saturday night against the visiting Dallas Mavericks.
The Raptors, who lost a dud in their season opener Wednesday against the visiting Washington Wizards, rebounded by humiliating the Celtics 115-83.
The Mavericks will be seeking redemption of their own after dropping their first game of the season 113-87 to the host Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.
The Raptors, playing without Pascal Siakam (shoulder surgery), received an impressive performance Friday from rookie Scottie Barnes, who scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 35 minutes.
Barnes, the fourth pick overall in the draft, shot 11-for-17 from the field sank his first NBA 3-pointer.
“I thought he was excellent,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “What I liked the most is he was at the front of the rim a lot tonight. … That’s what we like to see, using some of that size and length. He had a really good game tonight, that’s for sure.”
Gary Trent Jr., who replaced Goran Dragic in the starting lineup, added 20 points and four steals for the Raptors. Precious Achiuwa had 15 points and 15 rebounds.
The Raptors, who shot 42 percent from the field, held Boston to 39 percent shooting and forced 25 turnovers.
“The one thing I can’t stand as a coach is to get punked out there, and they came out there and punked us,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said.
The Mavericks will be trying to give Jason Kidd his first win as the team’s new coach.
Doncic finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists Thursday but shot 6-of-17 and committed five turnovers.
“We’ll be fine, but today was a terrible game,” Doncic said.
Jalen Brunson scored 17 points in 26 minutes off the bench for the Mavericks, who shot 33.3 percent from the field.
“I thought guys got great looks,” Kidd said. “They just didn’t go in for us,” Kidd said.
Dallas big man Kristaps Porzingis, who scored 11 points, added, “We’ve got to find that balance so we’re not clogging up the paint. Everybody has got to find their most comfortable spot.”
Kidd would like to reduce Doncic’s workload this season as the primary ball-handler to keep defenses off balance and to keep him fresher for late in games.
Doncic was involved in 27.6 percent of the Mavericks’ plays when on the court Thursday, which was lower than all but four of his 73 games last season, when he ranked second in the NBA at 35 percent.
Kidd said his goal for the team’s offense is to be “unselfish.”
“Making a play for a teammate and looking at causing a problem, ball movement,” Kidd said. “Not just relying on one person to carry the load on the offensive end.”
The Raptors will not have much time to rest after their back-to-back games Friday and Saturday. They play again on Monday at home against the Chicago Bulls.
“It comes at you pretty fast in this league, so you’ve got to learn what you can, and as quickly as you can, you’ve got to be ready to go,” Nurse said. “You’ve got to wash that one off you even if you don’t like it and start fresh and new and see what happens.”
–Field Level Media