Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 40 points and the Toronto Raptors rallied past the Dallas Mavericks, 93-85, on Wednesday.
Greivis Vasquez added 17 points and seven assists for the Raptors, who lead the idle Brooklyn Nets by 2 1/2 games for first place in the Atlantic Division. Jonas Valanciunas tallied 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Monta Ellis ended with 21 points and eight turnovers for the Mavericks, who have lost three straight against Toronto. Jose Calderon and Brandan Wright each donated 13 points.
"We have to do better," Dallas swingman Vince Carter said. "I think we have to zero in on staying focused and staying the course. A game we should have won, regardless of whether Dirk (Nowitzki) was on the floor or not."
The Mavericks came out of the gate on fire, scoring 34 points in the first quarter. With the score tied 3 1/2 minutes into the game, Dallas used a 26-5 run to build a 21-point lead.
DeRozan stopped the surge with a pair of free throws, cutting the Dallas margin to 34-15 after 12 minutes of action.
The Raptors got back in the game with a 31-point second frame. Toronto went on a 17-4 spurt at the start of the period to cut the gap to six, 38-32.
The home team got within three, 49-46, on DeRozan's jumper with 36.9 seconds to go. Calderon responded with a 12-foot jumper to give Dallas a 51-46 edge at the half.
The Mavericks took a 73-68 lead into the fourth quarter after each team scored 22 points in the third.
Trailing 80-75 with 7:25 to play, Toronto scored five straight points to tie the game.
DeRozan converted a three-point play to give the Raptors an 85-82 lead with 3:38 left, but Wright answered with a jump hook.
Amir Johnson made a 3-pointer on Toronto's next possession to make it a four- point game. After Wright went one of two from the foul line, Johnson was unable to finish an alley-oop dunk. Ellis followed with a turnover and Johnson was still under the Mavericks basket for an easy slam.
After Calderon turned the ball over, DeRozan reached the 40-point mark with a fast-break dunk.
"The first quarter, I thought it was going to be a blowout, but the second half we kind of got things under control," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
Dallas played without Nowitzki, who got the night off ... Toronto guard Kyle Lowry went 0-for-10 from the field and ended with three points ... Raptors forward Landry Fields will be sidelined for several weeks after having surgery on his right wrist ... Toronto went 22-of-32 from the foul line.