Raptors play host to Mavericks

( - The Toronto Raptors will try to end a two-game losing streak Wednesday night when they welcome the Dallas Mavericks to Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors lost at home to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, then lost in Charlotte to the Bobcats on Monday. The Raptors lead in the Atlantic Division is down to two as the Brooklyn Nets are peaking.

Toronto fell 100-95 for its seventh consecutive loss in Charlotte.

DeMar DeRozan tallied 25 points and Kyle Lowry scored 21 for Toronto, which last beat the Bobcats in Charlotte on March 29, 2010. Greivis Vasquez had 15 points off the bench and Chuck Hayes added 12 with 13 rebounds in a reserve role.

The Raps trailed by 30 in the third quarter and fought back to make it a game.

"Right now, we have a bunch of guys who are giving into fatigue and nicked up. It's a long season, but, again, you tell a lot about who you are in these situations," said Toronto coach Dwane Casey. "This was a gut-check game. In the fourth quarter, we turned it around. But it's about what we did in the first three quarters that was disappointing."

Seven of Toronto's next nine are on the road.

The Mavs won the first game on their three-game trip on Monday with a 102-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Monta Ellis deposited 22 points with eight assists and Shawn Marion scored 18 points. Dirk Nowitzki added a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double to help the Mavericks beat the Cavaliers for the sixth time in the last seven meetings.

DeJuan Blair and Brandan Wright added 13 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench in the win. Jose Calderon managed 11 in the victory.

With a 22-point halftime lead, Dallas let the Cavs back in it. Kyrie Irving scored 16 points in the third quarter and the deficit was down to 10. The Mavs had a three-point lead with 2.8 second left, but Cleveland was whistled for a five-second violation.

"It's the NBA. It's supposed to get hairy," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle admitted. "I'd love us to hit every shot and get every stop but when you're on the road, teams battle back if they get behind."

The Mavericks will close their road trip Friday in Brooklyn.

The Raptors have won two straight against the Mavs, including an overtime victory in Dallas on Dec. 20. Toronto has taken two of three at home in this series.