The Dallas Mavericks have one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios in the NBA thanks in large part to the steady play of Jose Calderon.
Calderon was greeted warmly in his first return to Toronto, but the receptions have been different for Vince Carter when he's gone back north.
Carter has also been efficient with the basketball and Wednesday night's contest figures to be one of his final games in Toronto as the Mavericks continue a three-game trip.
Dallas (25-18) is third in the NBA with a 1.72 assist-to-turnover mark behind Calderon, who's second in that category at 3.98. The Spanish guard was a popular player while spending more than seven seasons with the Raptors (20-20) before being traded to Detroit on Jan. 30.
Calderon had 19 points and nine assists in his first game back, a 108-98 victory with the Pistons on April 1. He was honored with a standing ovation during pregame introductions and a special video tribute during a first-quarter timeout.
That's in stark contrast to how Carter has been treated in his visits to face the team with which he spent his first six-plus seasons. This will mark his 13th regular-season game as a visitor in Toronto, where he's been booed repeatedly since the days when he was dubbed 'Air Canada' for his high-flying exploits.
Carter turns 37 on Sunday, although this may not be his final season. He's been solid as the Mavericks' fifth-leading scorer with 11.2 points per game while ranking third with a 1.89 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Toronto fans who still have a vendetta against Carter were happy the last time these teams met, as he was held scoreless with a season-high six turnovers in the Mavs' 109-108 overtime home loss Dec. 20. Calderon had 23 points, nine assists and one turnover.
That contest was the Raptors' fourth since the majority of the players acquired from Sacramento in the Rudy Gay deal Dec. 9 made their team debuts.
Toronto has lost five of nine since a 9-2 stretch, falling 100-95 at Charlotte on Monday. DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points for the Raptors, who will try to avoid their first three-game slide since the trade.
'Right now, we have a bunch of guys who are giving into fatigue and nicked up," coach Dwane Casey said. "It's a long season, but, again, you tell a lot about who you are in these situations."
These teams have split four meetings since Casey took over in Toronto in 2011-12 after serving as Rick Carlisle's assistant with the Mavs for three seasons.
Dallas improved to 11-4 against Eastern Conference teams with a 102-97 win at Cleveland on Monday. Monta Ellis had 22 points and eight assists as Dallas built a 24-point lead before holding on.
"We have seen this whole year that this league is getting closer and closer talent-wise," Ellis told the Mavs' official website. "If you have a lead, you have to work at it. It doesn't matter who you play, everybody is going to be right there."
Ellis had 21 points and 11 assists in the last meeting with Toronto. He averages 10.2 drives to the basket and was credited with 17 in that matchup.
The Associated Press News Service
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