Jason Kidd has forged a reputation as one of the NBA’s premier passers during his 14 seasons. The Dallas point guard has the numbers to prove it.
Kidd handed out 15 assists to become the fourth player in NBA history with 10,000 for his career, Dirk Nowitzki added 24 points and 10 rebounds, and the Mavericks beat the Toronto Raptors 109-98 on Sunday night.
Kidd reached the milestone with 1:04 left in the third quarter with his 13th assist of the night, passing to Brandon Bass for a 10-foot turnaround. Kidd received a standing ovation when the feat was announced to the sellout crowd.
“It means a lot of my teammates put the ball in the basket over the years,” Kidd said. “It’s nothing I ever thought I’d accomplish when I started out.”
He trails John Stockton (15,806), Mark Jackson (10,334) and Magic Johnson (10,141) on the NBA career list.
In the final minute of the third quarter, Kidd registered his 14th assist when he passed to Jason Terry for a three-pointer that gave Dallas a 90-75 advantage. Dallas went on to lead by as many as 18 in the final quarter and won its third straight.
“It’s nice to be a part of it,” Nowitzki said of Kidd’s big night.
Josh Howard contributed 16 points and Antoine Wright added 15 for Dallas. James Singleton had a career-high 16 rebounds and scored 12 points.
Former Dallas high school star Chris Bosh paced the Raptors with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Andrea Bargnani added 18 points for Toronto.
The Raptors were unable to get closer than 10 in the final quarter, losing for the 10th time in 14 games.
“Sometimes we get down eight or 10 points and hang our heads,” Bosh said. “This is the NBA. A 10-point lead can disappear in a matter of minutes. We have to keep that in mind.”
Terry, out since last month with a broken bone in his left hand, returned after missing eight games. He went 3-for-9 from the field and finished with eight points in 19 minutes.
Terry, who began the day as Dallas’ No. 2 scorer at 19.9 points per game, entered to a standing ovation with 3:31 left in the first quarter. He sustained the injury in a game against the Chicago Bulls on Feb. 7, and scored his first points since on an 18-footer with 9:41 left in the second quarter.
“It felt great to be back,” Terry said. “I thought my conditioning would be the part that I had to worry about, but I think I did a great job of staying in shape.”
The Mavericks hit eight of their first 10 field goal attempts and were in front after the opening quarter, 27-24. Dallas built a 60-53 halftime lead behind Wright’s 14 points, going 23-for-42 from the field as a team.
Raptors starter Shawn Marion, who averaged 15.4 points and 10.4 rebounds in five games since he was acquired from Miami in a trade on Feb. 13, left in the first quarter with flu-like symptoms. He missed Sunday morning’s shootaround but was among the starters.
Marion went to the locker-room for treatment that included an IV and never returned.
Toronto coach Jay Triano said his team especially missed Marion’s rebounding. Dallas held a 57-45 edge, 20-15 on the offensive glass.
“Too many second-chance points,” Triano said. “We’d get a stop but couldn’t rebound the ball. Shawn is one of the guys who tracks the ball for us and we certainly didn’t do that.”
Notes: Terry played with a protective glove on his left, non-shooting hand. Dallas was 5-3 in his absence. … Dallas opened a stretch of five games in seven days. … The Mavericks have won the last nine games at home against the Raptors. Toronto hasn’t won in Dallas since 1999. … Mavericks G Jose Barea left in the second quarter with two broken teeth but returned in the fourth quarter. Barea was trying to steal the ball from Jose Calderon in the backcourt when he fell, striking his face on the floor. He went to the locker room for treatment, then returned to the bench for the final minute of the first half. Barea has a dental appointment in Dallas on Monday morning, then will fly to Oklahoma City for the Mavs’ game against the Thunder on Monday night.