NBA

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 - 6:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Mavericks-Magic Preview

Share This Story

   
 

The Orlando Magic's last two victories have come against division leaders. They just haven't been able to get the job done against teams below .500.

Orlando will try to avoid a seventh consecutive defeat to an opponent with a losing record when the Dallas Mavericks seek a seventh straight road win in this series Sunday night.

After ending a 10-game skid with a 104-101 victory over the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 12, Orlando was routed 120-91 by league-worst Washington on Monday.

The Magic (14-25) rebounded with one of their better performances of the season, a 97-86 victory over Central Division-leading Indiana on Wednesday, but they opened a stretch of five in a row against teams with losing records with a 106-100 loss to Charlotte on Friday.

"We're just still maturing as a group on how to (play at a high level) night in and night out," said swingman Arron Afflalo, who scored a team-high 23 points.

Orlando, loser of seven of eight at home, hasn't beaten the Mavericks there since March 2006. The Magic defeated Dallas 100-98 on March 30 in the teams' last meeting.

Dallas (17-24) was hoping to arrive in Orlando on a five-game winning streak, but its longest run of the season ended with a 117-114 overtime loss to Oklahoma City on Friday.

"The thing that I like is that we're giving ourselves a chance to win against good teams," former Magic player Vince Carter told the Mavericks' official website after finishing with a season-best 29 points. "We're getting ourselves into overtime games. Now, we just have to learn how to close it out."

The Mavericks have dropped eight of nine OT games this season, but the fourth-quarter play of Dirk Nowitzki has been a positive sign. In eight contests since returning to the starting lineup, he's averaging a team-best 5.8 points in the fourth after scoring 12 of his 18 in the final 12 minutes of regulation against the Thunder.

Nowitzki had 28 points and hit the go-ahead jumper with 5.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter as Dallas rallied from 15 down March 30.

Defense continues to be an issue for Orlando, as nine of its last 11 opponents have scored at least 101 points. It will face a Dallas team that's averaged 110.6 points in the last five games.

Six Mavs have scored in double figures in each of the last four games.

The last five meetings between these teams at Orlando have been decided by 10 or fewer points.

Tagged: Mavericks, Magic

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..