Mavs take down Magic in Orlando

The Mavericks’ newcomers made the difference against the Magic —

along with some tight defense by Dallas.

Caron Butler scored 16 points, Brendan Haywood had 15 points

and nine rebounds and the Mavericks rode a strong defensive effort

to beat the Orlando Magic, 95-85, on Friday night.

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 23 points and Jason Terry had

16, as the Mavs won for the second time in three games since

acquiring Butler and Haywood from Washington.

“We’re capable of playing good defense, and we showed that,”

Nowitzki said. “The guy that really made this trade work for us is

Haywood, and he showed why tonight. He was battling in there.”

Dwight Howard had 29 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks for

Orlando, but didn’t get much help. Vince Carter and Jameer Nelson

had 16 points apiece, and the Magic were 4-of-25 from three-point

territory.

After allowing Orlando to shoot 65 percent and score 33

points in the first period, the Mavericks limited the Magic to just

34 percent shooting and 62 points the rest of the game.

Jason Kidd, who had 10 points, eight assists and eight

rebounds, put the game away for the Mavericks with a three-pointer

that made it 88-81 with 1:20 left in the game.

The Mavericks scored the last seven points of the third

quarter and first 12 of the fourth period to go from 11 points down

to a 77-69 lead with 8:54 left in the game.

Terry, Haywood and Kidd had five points apiece in the run

that featured equal parts offense and defense for Dallas. The Mavs

forced six turnovers in the stretch and didn’t give up a second

shot while Orlando went 0-for-6 from the field.

“We obviously needed that spurt to get back in control of the

game,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “We get some stops, get the

ball in Jason Kidd’s hand and great things happen for us, but it

was the defensive end that triggered a lot of good stuff.”

Nelson ended the 19-0 run with a 15-foot jumper, and the

Magic pulled within 81-78 on a free throw by Howard with 4:50 to

go.

“Obviously, our shooting was horrendous, but I can’t really

say I’m upset,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Every shot those

guys took was wide open, and we didn’t make any. That’s not typical

of us.”

The Magic outscored the Mavs 13-2 in the final four minutes

of the first period to open up a 10-point lead. Carter started the

run with the first of two three-pointers, and Matt Barnes finished

it with a driving layup at the buzzer that made it 33-23.

Dallas, which shot only 39.1 percent in the first half, made

a little run at the end of the second period to keep the game

close.

Nowitzki, who was 4-of-11 in the first half, nailed a long

jumper to make it 45-41 and Terry added a free throw to get the

Mavs within three, but Carter’s driving dunk in the final second

gave the Magic a 47-42 halftime lead.

Nowitzki found the range in the third period, scoring 13

points and helping Dallas hang close against Howard and the Magic.

Howard had 10 points in the quarter and helped push the Magic to a

69-58 lead with less than two minutes left in the quarter.

However, Nowitzki hit a baseline jumper and driving layup and

Terry added a three-pointer to cut Dallas’ deficit to 69-65 at the

end of the quarter.

NOTES: Howard has 19 straight games with

double-figure rebounds. Mavs starting center Erick Dampier missed

his second straight game with a dislocated middle finger. … The

two teams were a combined 3-for-22 on threes in the first half.