The Orlando Magic played Monday without Arron Afflalo and Nikola Vucevic, their leading scorer and leading rebounder, respectively, and lacked the firepower to stay with the hot-shooting Dallas Mavericks as Dallas ran away, 107-88. The Magic cut a 20-point lead to six late in the third quarter, but could never get over the hump to really threaten the Mavericks.
Monta Ellis led Dallas with 21 points and the Mavericks, as a team, shot 51 percent from the floor and a scorching 48 percent (13-of-27) from behind the arc. Orlando gave up a lot of easy looks, but credit Dallas for taking advantage of those opportunities.
Jameer Nelson scored 16 points in the first half, but couldn't get rolling in the second half, finishing with 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Glen Davis finished with 19 points, 10 of those coming in the third quarter as he spearheaded Orlando's faulty comeback attempt.
The Mavericks jumped out to a 21-12 lead before Nelson found a cutting Tobias Harris on the baseline for an easy dunk. That lead opened up to 12 points before Nelson sunk a jumper in the lane. On Orlando's next possession, Nelson sliced through Dallas' defense and finished a right handed layup, bringing the Magic within eight before the end of the quarter.
Dallas opened up the lead in the second quarter, though, and this happened:
hide your children, hide your wives https://t.co/q5g0PknHcR— Tyler Lashbrook (@lashy) January 14, 2014
Midway through the quarter, Nelson lost the handle and Calderon collected the loose ball, brought the ball quickly up the court and zipped it to his left where Jae Crowder corralled the ball and jammed in the fast break slam, giving the Mavericks a 17-point advantage.That lead extended to 20 points when DeJuan Blair netted a floater in the lane.
Moments later, Nelson dug down to the paint off the ball and flared off a staggered screen from Davis and Harris and sunk a three-pointer from the left wing. Two possessions later, Nelson hit another trey ball, his third of the first half. The veteran point guard led all scorers with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the game's first 24 minutes. Ellis split a pair of free-throws to the end of the half with the Mavericks up big, 58-41.
Davis scored eight points in the first four minutes of the third quarter and Oladipo grabbed an offensive rebound and finished a put back to cut the Dallas lead to eight. A soft touch from Davis on Orlando's next possession cut the lead to six. Moments later after a few scoring possessions, the Mavericks collected an offensive rebound and swung the ball out to an open Calderon who drained the long range jumper, extending Dallas' lead back to 13 points.
That lead ballooned to 18 at several different points and then 20 after Nowitzki drained a three-pointer near the top of the key. Andrew Nicholson, who checked in for the first time with 1:45 left in the third quarter, drained his first jumper, a long two from above the left elbow. The third period ended with Orlando trailing 84-66.
The Magic cut that lead to nine points midway through the fourth quarter, but again couldn't get enough steam to make a comeback attempt a reality. Crowder corralled a rebound and tossed it up court to a streaking Brandan Wright, who slammed in an emphatic two-handed dunk, putting the nail in the coffin of Orlando's comeback hopes.