Dallas Mavericks at Orlando Magic game preview
TV: FOX Sports Florida
Time: Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.
Magic coach Jacque Vaughn is blocking out any talk about his job security ahead of Saturday night’s game against the visiting Dallas Mavericks and remains focused on helping his team turn around its recent string of losses.
Vaughn said Friday morning before Orlando’s practice that he is taking his third season as the Magic’s coach "day-by-day" and that his approach hasn’t changed despite a season-high seven-game losing streak. The Magic (15-34) have lost 13 of their last 15 overall and given up 100 or more points in 11 straight games.
"Day by day," Vaughn said when asked about his approach to the remainder of the season. "That’s what I do, I’ve always done. I do my job the best I can that day. I went home, I watched film – nothing changed. I got up this morning, met with my group, ready for practice and ready for a game."
Asked if reports that his job could be on the line affected the way he did his job, Vaughn said he is blocking everything out. That includes choruses of boos that could be heard during Thursday’s 115-100 home loss to Milwaukee.
"Do my job every day, partner," he said. "I don’t abide by the tyranny of other people’s attitudes and moods. I’m ready to rock and roll."
Magic team officials picked up a fourth-year option on Vaughn’s contract this past offseason. That was followed up by a major offseason roster overhaul that brought in eight new faces, including first-round draft picks Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton, as well as free agent acquisition Channing Frye.
But preseason injuries and a slow start have sunk the Magic’s hopes of improving upon their first two seasons under Vaughn, which produced 20 and 23 wins, respectively.
Second-year guard Victor Oladipo said Vaughn hasn’t mentioned anything about his job status or security with the team.
"No, I mean I don’t think he’s really worried about that," Oladipo said. "I think his worried about us going out there and winning games, and worried about our team. That’s the biggest thing. We just gotta go out there and perform at a high level."
The Mavericks (31-17) had been going through their own funk before finally getting on track offensively late in the third quarter Friday in Miami.
Dallas, which scored a season-low 33 first-half points, was down 16 shortly after halftime and trailed by nine with 2:56 to go in the third before going on an incredible 37-2 run to pull out a 93-72 victory and snap a four-game losing streak.
The late offensive surge was a welcoming sign for Rick Carlisle, who won his 600th regular-season game. The Mavericks are averaging 96.2 points in their last five games – 10.7 less than their season average.
Dallas has averaged 107.4 points in winning five straight against the Magic, and has 12 victories in the last 15 meetings. It has also won eight straight in Orlando since a 108-99 loss in 2006. This is the Mavericks’ longest active winning streak as the visitors and the Magic’s longest active home skid against a single opponent.
Dallas is hopeful Chandler Parsons, who has totaled 40 points and hit 8 of 13 3-pointers in the last two games, can play after sitting out Friday because of an illness.
Magic forward Tobias Harris’ status is uncertain after he injured his knee Thursday. Second on the team in scoring at 17.1 per game, Harris is averaging 10.8 points on 33.9 percent shooting in his last five contests after missing the previous five with a sprained left ankle. The Magic are 1-17 in games when he plays and scores less than 17.