Toronto Raptors suffer yet another heartbreaking loss to the Dallas Mavericks 102-98

Nickeem Khan
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The Toronto Raptors can't seem to replicate the magic they had from their win streak earlier this month as they leave Dallas with a 102-98 loss to the Mavericks. Offensive struggles were a big highlight of this game but an even bigger highlight is the stellar play of Mavs superstar, Luka Doncic.

This game was a back-and-forth contest from the very beginning. Neither team was able to formulate a substantial lead to provide themselves with separation from the other. After many fans took to social media to make comments on OG Anunoby's performance against the Miami Heat, he responded by being arguably the best Raptor on the court.

Anunoby finished with 19 points and eight rebounds on 50 percent shooting from the field. Many times when the Mavericks were going on a run, it was Anunoby who would turn momentum back in Toronto's favour. Defensively he was great with three steals and even played great defense on Doncic whenever he was guarding him for what it's worth.

Great defense or not Luka was scoring on whoever was guarding him. The two-time All-Star finished with an absurd stat line of 41 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists. He was dominating the game on all fronts especially during the fourth quarter.

Toronto began to make their run and close the gap between themselves and the Mavericks. While doing so Fred VanVleet made a huge three to give Toronto a one-point lead late. Scottie Barnes had the responsibility of guarding Luka and the star's eyes lit up with the rookie guarding him. Knowing Barnes had five fouls, Doncic attacked him and was able to get an easy layup retaking the lead. That would be the 50th point in the paint for Dallas.

The Raptors would get two opportunities to take the lead and both three-point attempts by VanVleet and Chris Boucher were no good. Fred didn't have the best shooting game going 4-20 from the field for 18 points, while Boucher was solid off the bench with 15 points on 6-14 shooting from the field.

Coming down the other way the ball was in Luka's hands and in an uncharacteristic play, Barnes just gave up defensively on a Doncic stepback three that he would end up converting. Not the smartest play by the rookie who finished with just 11 points, five rebounds, and one block.

Too many mistakes down the stretch prevented the Raptors from getting a much-needed win against a formidable opponent in the Mavericks. Toronto drops to 21-21 and will now shift their focus to their upcoming game against the Washington Wizards on Friday at 8 PM ET.