TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points, and Bismack Biyombo grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds to lift the injury-riddled Toronto Raptors over the Dallas Mavericks 103-99 on Tuesday.
Kyle Lowry had a double double with 17 points and 10 boards and added seven assists for the Raptors (18-12), who were down to nine players by the second half. Terrence Ross scored 16 points, while Luis Scola chipped in with 15 and Cory Joseph had 12.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs (15-13) with 20 points, while Wesley Matthews added 15.
Already missing starters Jonas Valanciunas (broken hand) and DeMarre Carroll (knee injury), the Raptors lost another forward when James Johnson sprained his ankle in the pre-game warmup. Patrick Patterson, who was suffering what the team called "flu-like symptoms" didn't return after halftime.
Two nights after their worst first quarter of the season — a 104-94 loss — a fired-up Raptors squad rebounded with its best. They ended the first up 32-16, both their largest first-quarter lead this season, and fewest points they've allowed.
The Mavericks had the Raptors in trouble in the third when they pulled to within three points, and the Raptors led just 72-67 going into the fourth quarter.
But back-to-back threes by Joseph sparked a Raptors' 10-0 run that gave them a 16-point advantage with just under six minutes to play.
The Mavs would make a game of it down the stretch, pulling to four points with 1:20 to play on consecutive baskets by former Raptor Charlie Villanueva.
Villanueva and J.J. Barea drained back-to-back threes, the second with 26 seconds left pulling the Mavs within two points. DeRozan scored on a tough layup, before Jeremy Evans responded at the other end for Dallas.
Ross scored on a pair of free throws in the dying seconds, sending the Raptors into the Christmas break with a victory.
The Raptors dominated the boards 53-34 and shot 47 per cent on the night.
DeRozan led the way with 10 points in the first quarter as the Raptors raced out to an 18-point.
The Mavericks opened the second with an 11-0 run to pull to within five points, but the Raptors would away to take a 49-36 advantage into the halftime break.
The Mavericks chipped away at Toronto's lead and when Matthews drilled a three with 1:15 left in the third quarter, it pulled them to within three points.
The Raptors are off until Boxing Day, when they face the Bucks in Milwaukee. They travel to Chicago to face the Bulls before returning home to host Washington on Dec. 30.
Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press