After trailing by as many as 22 points in the first half, the Orlando Magic made a game of it Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks.
Try as they might, there was still no avoiding an 0-5 finish to their road trip.
The Magic got 21 points from Jameer Nelson and 19 from Glen Davis but saw their losing streak extended to eight games as the Mavericks handed them a 107-88 defeat. Just like the Denver Nuggets did Saturday night, the Mavs shot better than 50 percent from the floor and lit up the Magic from 3-point range. They made 13 of their 27 attempts from that distance, while the Magic were only 7 of 24.
Coach Jacque Vaughn again had only 10 players in uniform because of injuries to leading scorer Arron Afflalo and leading rebounder Nikola Vucevic, while backup guard Ronnie Price remained back in Orlando with a sinus condition. To compound matters, rookie Victor Oladipo picked up two fouls in the opening six minutes and was limited in his effectiveness the rest of the way.
Davis scored 10 of his points during a 16-4 run to begin the third quarter as the Magic cut the Mavs’ lead to 63-57.
Nelson, whose availability was in question after he sprained his right index finger against the Nuggets, had 16 points by halftime. No other starter had more than 6, and except for a 3-pointer by Doron Lamb, the Magic didn’t get any scoring off their bench in the first half. Andrew Nicholson never got in the game until there was 1:45 to go in the third quarter.
The Magic’s road record fell to 3-17. The good news for them is that five of their next six games are at home.
THE TURNING POINT
Monta Ellis, Vince Carter, Wayne Ellington and Dirk Nowitzki all hit 3-pointers within a two-minute stretch toward the end of the third quarter as the Mavericks built their lead back to 20.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Carter, the former member of the Magic who is less than two weeks away from turning 37, turned back the clock with 17 points off the bench in 23 minutes. He outscored the Magic’s non-starters by himself.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Magic have still yet to score more than 94 points since their last win, a 109-102 victory Dec. 29 over the Atlanta Hawks.
Wednesday night vs. Chicago, 7p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).