The Raptors defeated the Mavericks, who have had a strong start to the season, 109 to 108.

Dallas have won 15 games this season compared to Toronto's 10, but it was Toronto who came out on top when the sides met on Friday night.

Toronto kick-started their festive period with a impressive win over the Mavericks, even though their start to the game was poor.

The first quarter saw Dallas dominate and this was predominantly down to the fact the Raptors were not prolific. They missed countless chances and found themselves 11 points behind the Mavericks at one point.

However, the second quarter they were far more accurate with their shooting. The momentum was with the Raptors and after the game became level again, the Raptors dictated the tempo and stopped Dallas' early superiority.

Jonas Valanciunas was superb and defensively shone for the Raptors, but was also equally influencial in their attacks.

His presence allowed him to block a plethora of shots and reduced the angles that the Mavericks could shoot from.

Another man who was stupendous throughout was their point guard Kyle Lowry. His distribution of the ball was second to none but also contributed some extra points.

However, it was a real team performance from Toronto and the team as a whole should be praised.

Beating the Mavericks wasn't a fluke and a victory against a physical and experienced side illustrates the quality they have within their roster.

As a team the Raptors are solid and if they can play as well as they did throughout the rest of the season they could be one of the best.

They have two tough upcoming fixtures against Oklahoma City and San Antonio Spurs, but will now play full of confidence thanks to an excellent performance on Friday night.

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#NBA Playoffs
#Toronto Raptors
#NBA Finals
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