Nikola Vucevic, Magic make late push but fall to Dallas
NOV 16, 2013 8:59p ET
Dirk Nowitzki and DeJuan Blair added 18 apiece for the Mavericks, who won for the eighth straight time in Orlando.
Arron Afflalo led Orlando with 25 points and four assists. Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and eight rebounds and Jameer Nelson added 15.
Orlando trimmed a 15-point first-half deficit to 91-87 after Vucevic's layup with 6:58 left in the game. The Magic had chances to get closer, but Vucevic missed another layup attempt, rookie guard Victor Oladipo committed back-to-back turnovers and Afflalo missed a jumper.
Shawn Marion ended Dallas' drought with a 3-pointer from the corner, the Mavs first points in nearly four minutes. A 3 from Nowitzki stretched the lead to 100-91 with 3:10 left and the Magic never got closer.
Dallas shot 51.2 percent in the game, but lost that and nearly every other statistical battle. The Magic shot 52.9 percent for the game, but handed the Mavericks 22 points off 19 turnovers. Orlando outrebounded Dallas 40-30.
The game started as a jump-shooting contest with both sides hitting better than 50 percent most of the first quarter and trading baskets with little interruption. There were six lead changes and six ties before the Mavericks went on an 11-0 run near the end of the period to take a 31-24 lead. Dallas finished the period 13 of 26, and didn't have a layup until back-to-back fast breaks in the final minute of the period.
The Mavs shot even better in the second period -- 59.5 percent -- but nearly all of those came around the rim as Orlando's sloppy passing and turnovers led to fast-break opportunities. Dallas stretched its lead to 15 on a jump-hook from DeJuan Blair in the lane and settled for a 59-46 halftime lead. Orlando made it easier with 10 turnovers, four by Oladipo, that the Mavericks turned into 15 points.
The Mavericks hit their first five shots in the second half, including a pair of 3-pointers from Nowitzki, but couldn't get any separation because they also turned the ball over three times. That allowed the Magic to pull 81-74 on a dunk by Oladipo with 3:39 left in the period. The teams traded baskets the rest of the way and Dallas finished the quarter with an 87-80 lead.
NOTES: Kyle O'Quinn, the Magic's backup C, sat out the game with a sprained ankle. F Solomon Jones was activated after missing seven games with a torn meniscus. He played eight minutes and scored two points. . Ellis is the Mavericks' leading scorer this season at 22.2 a game. If he remains there, he would be the first Maverick other than Nowitzki to lead the team in scoring since Michael Finley in the 1999-2000 season. . Magic F Andrew Nicholson has gone 0 for 10 on 3-pointers over the last six games. Nicholson did hit two bombs against the Mavs, but both times referees ruled he had a toe on the line.