Raptors remain undefeated, beat Mavs 116-107 behind Kyle Lowry’s 20 points, 12 assists

Associated Press
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TORONTO (AP) — With a strong start and a big finish, Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors added to their perfect start.

Lowry had 20 points and 12 assists, Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points and Toronto set a franchise record with its sixth straight win to start the season, beating the Dallas Mavericks 116-107 on Friday night.

Jonas Valanciunas scored 17 points, Danny Green had 15 and Serge Ibaka finished with 11 as the Raptors eclipsed the 5-0 start they recorded in 2015-16.

DeAndre Jordan had 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Mavericks, who trailed by 17 points in the first quarter. Luka Doncic scored 22 points, and Wesley Matthews had 21.

Jordan struggled to find a family-friendly way to describe Dallas’ poor showing in the first.

“Our defense to start the game has been … what’s a G-rated word? Terrible,” he said.

Dallas clawed back and trailed by three heading into the fourth, but Toronto opened the quarter with a 9-2 run. Dallas shot 7 for 24 in the fourth.

“We just didn’t compete at the same level they did down the stretch,” Mavs forward Harrison Barnes said. “That’s what the big difference was.”

Lowry, who didn’t turn the ball over, recorded 10 or more assists for a career-best fourth straight game. He’s the first Raptors player to accomplish the feat since Jose Calderon had five in a row in March 2012.

“He’s really good,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “Each year that goes by, he starts being able to pick out things and see it more clearly.”

Nurse replaced Dwane Casey last summer. He is staying focused during Toronto’s solid start.

“I’m not getting too far down the road,” Nurse said.

Dallas, which let a 26-point lead slip away in Wednesday’s loss at Atlanta, dropped its second straight after winning two in a row.

“We did a lot of good things tonight but we obviously have some things to clean up,” coach Rick Carlisle said.

Green scored 12 points in the first as the Raptors raced out to an 18-2 lead. Toronto led 39-26 after its highest-scoring quarter of the season so far.

Matthews scored nine points in the second and Doncic had eight as Dallas cut the deficit to five late in the quarter. Leonard scored nine points for the Raptors and Lowry had eight to help Toronto to a 69-60 lead at halftime.