Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors vs. Dallas Mavericks: Game preview, live stream, TV channel, start time

Luka Doncic and the Mavericks are in Toronto
Luka Doncic and the Mavericks are in Toronto (Getty Images)

Who's Playing

Toronto Raptors (home) vs. Dallas Mavericks (away)

Current records: Raptors 5-0 ; Mavericks 2-2

Game Preview

The Raptors enter as one of four remaining unbeaten teams along with the Bucks, Pistons and Pelicans. They have been perhaps the league's most impressive team thus far, outscoring teams by an average of 11.2 points per game during their 5-0 start.

They've trailed in the fourth quarter in just one game, falling behind by one point for a grand total of 11 seconds against the Boston Celtics. They went on to win by 12.

Much to the delight of Raptors fans, Kawhi Leonard looks healthy and is off to a strong start, averaging 28.0 points per game on 51.2 percent shooting. Though it's certainly early, the 28.0 points per game would be a career high, as would his 7.8 rebounds per game.

Leonard is still looking for a big game against the Mavericks as he has just one 25-point game in 28 career games against the Mavericks, topping out with 26 points back in November 2015.

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He isn't the only Raptors player capable of a big night as All-Star Kyle Lowry is off the best start of his career. He's one of two players along with Rajon Rondo, who has played in two games, currently averaging at least 10 assists per game. Lowry has finished with at least 10 assists in three straight games, tied for the longest such streak of his career and longest since January 2016.

He's not just passing well either: Lowry is scoring 19.8 points per game on a blistering 57.6 percent shooting, including 53.3 percent from beyond the 3-point line.

After opening the season with three different starting lineups in three games, head coach Nick Nurse has started Danny Green, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka alongside Lowry and Leonard in each of the last two games.

Jonas Valanciunas, the team's starting centre each of the last six seasons, is coming off a pair of strong games off the bench, averaging 16.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in wins over the Hornets and Timberwolves. Regardless of if he starts or comes off the bench tonight, Valanciunas will play a crucial role in stopping Dallas centre DeAndre Jordan, who enters with averages of 15.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game.

Dallas ranks among the top 10 in the league in 2nd-chance points while Toronto ranks among the bottom 10 in allowing 2nd-chance points, which makes the defensive glass one major area of focus in tonight's game.

Another key to watch? The Mavericks' 3-point shooting. Through four games, Dallas is averaging 42.5 3-point attempts per game, which not only leads the NBA, but ranks ahead of last season's record-setting Houston Rockets who attempted an NBA-record 42.3 per game.

With Dirk Nowitzki yet to make his season debut as he recovers from ankle surgery, Luka Doncic is most certainly the top player to watch on Dallas. One of the most anticipated rookies to ever come over from Europe, Doncic has impressed thus far, averaging 19.0 points per game while showcasing a variety of crafty moves not often seen from the likes of a 19-year-old rookie.

Last time they played...

March 16, 2018

Toronto Raptors 122, Dallas Mavericks 115 (OT)

TOR: DeMar DeRozan - 29 points, 6 assists, +19

DAL: Harrison Barnes - 27 points, 11-20 FG, 5 rebounds

Where to watch

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: SN1

Radio: SN 590

Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON

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