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- The Mavericks won’t have their top two rebounders, forwards Shawn Marion and Elton Brand. Marion (9.0 boards per game) is expected to miss at least three games with a sprained left knee and Brand (6.3) left the team to be with his wife for the birth of their child. Dallas is already playing without All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, who is recovering from right knee surgery. Backup point guard Rodrigue Beaubois will miss his third straight game with a sprained left ankle. Asked about depth issues, head coach Rick Carlisle responded, “What depth? We don’t have it anymore. We need everybody.”
- Toronto is shorthanded, too, after losing starting point guard Kyle Lowry to a sprained right ankle in the first half last night at Oklahoma City. “We’re basically the same team. We’re going to be the same pick-and-roll type team,” said head coach Dwane Casey, an assistant coach on the Mavericks’ 2011 title team. “As far as our depth is concerned, it means John Lucas has to step in and get minutes. We’re going to have to play the same style. We’re not mature enough to change midstream.”
- With the Raptors playing their fourth game in five days, the Mavericks may try to push the tempo. Dallas has shot better than 60 percent from the field in its last two games, the first time that has happened in franchise history, and is averaging 108.3 points per game so far this season.
- The Mavericks have won 11 of the last 12 meetings at the American Airlines Center. Dallas center Chris Kaman has averaged 20.3 points and 10.5 rebounds in his last four games against the Raptors, while Toronto forward Andrea Bargnani has averaged 23.0 points in his last four against the Mavs.
– Dave Ivey