Ellis leads Mavs to 108-100 win over Magic

The Dallas Mavericks demonstrated the value of experience and
consistency to the Orlando Magic.

The veteran Mavericks made all the right plays at all the right
times against a young, careless Magic team, beating Orlando 108-100
behind 19 points and eight assists from Monta Ellis, who had plenty
of help.

Dirk Nowitzki chipped in 18 points and a game-deciding 3-pointer
to turn back the last Magic attempt at rallying from a 15-point
first-half deficit. Reserve forward DeJuan Blair also scored 18 and
made 4 of 6 free-throw attempts when the Magic intentionally fouled
him late in the game to expose his 41.2 percent free throw
shooting.

Vince Carter, another veteran reserve, added 12 points as the
Mavericks’ reserves outscored Orlando’s 43-25. Shawn Marion and
Jose Calderon had 11 apiece and Calderon added nine assists.

”We had a lot of guys play well,” Dallas Coach Rick Carlisle
said. ”We’ve got to do it collectively. It’s not going to be the
one superstar putting the team on his back. It’s going to be all of
us going together.”

Dallas had only 10 turnovers for the game, compared to 19 for
Orlando. The Mavericks scored 22 points off Orlando’s mistakes.

”We’re sharing the wealth out there and it’s starting to
show,” Marion said. ”We had some lapses on defense, but going to
have those. The more we cut down on turnovers and value each
possession, good things are going to happen to us.”

Rookie point guard Victor Oladipo had a career-worst nine
turnovers, four of them in the fourth quarter. His back-to-back
turnovers, when the Magic had cut the deficit to 91-87 with six
minutes left in the game, effectively blunted Orlando’s attempt to
overtake Dallas.

”I just have to perform better in those circumstances,” said
Oladipo, the second pick in the June draft. ”It was a close game
and I have to learn to execute in those times. Most of it, really,
is on me.”

Oladipo played the entire fourth quarter, despite starter Jameer
Nelson being healthy and having a good game with 15 points, one
assist and one turnover. Nelson didn’t play in the final 17 minutes
of the game.

”If we didn’t have those turnovers down the stretch, maybe the
game could have been different,” Magic Coach Jacque Vaughn said.
”Those are the details we’ll continue to work on. We need to learn
to value the basketball whether it’s the first quarter or the
fourth quarter.”

Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 25 points and Nikola Vucevic
added 16 and eight rebounds. Oladipo had 10 points and six assists
to go with his nine turnovers.

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 and outrebounded Dallas 40-30.

”We played sensibly,” Carlisle said. ”None of us are going to
get too far ahead of ourselves. We’ve done some good things and
it’s really important that we just stay focused.”

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 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 within 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.