The Magic entered Dallas looking to string back-to-back victories together for just the second time this season.
But coming off Friday’s impressive victory over the Charlotte Hornets, the Magic had a lackluster performance against the Mavericks, trailing throughout in what became a 108-92 loss.
With both teams on the second night of a back-to-back, the Magic had eight turnovers in the first quarter and found themselves in a double-digit hole just four minutes into the game. On possessions that didn’t end in a careless turnover, Orlando shot well enough to keep it close (52.9 percent), with Cole Anthony scoring eight points in the quarter. An alley-oop by Jalen Suggs cut the Mavs’ lead to 27-23 with one minute left in the first.
Kristaps Porzingis, who returned following a two-week absence while in health and safety protocols, wasted no time getting back into form. He scored 12 points in the first quarter on 4-for-5 shooting, including a three at the buzzer that gave Dallas a 32-23 advantage after one.
The Mavericks maintained a double-digit lead for much of the second despite being outshot by the Magic for the second straight quarter, taking a 55-43 lead into the break. That was helped by an advantage at the free throw line, with the Mavs going 11-for-12 from the stripe in the half while the Magic went just 2-for-3. That trend would continue in the second half.
The Magic pulled within eight on a Robin Lopez hook shot that cut the deficit to 61-53 with 7:24 left in the third. From there the Mavs began to pull away, with back-to-back threes by Tim Hardaway Jr. pushing the lead to 73-57. The Magic missed all seven of their three-point attempts in the third, but still shot a better percentage than the Mavs for the third straight quarter. With nine fouls committed in the third, however, the Magic sent the Mavs to the line 15 times, helping them build an 85-68 lead going into the fourth.
The lead quickly reached 23 early in the fourth as Dallas opened the quarter on a 6-0 run, with each point coming from the free throw line.
About the only highlight from that point on was Moe Wagner over-celebrating Suggs’ three-point play with the Magic down 21...
Moe Wagner screaming AND 1 in Luka’s face down 20+— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) January 16, 2022
Luka hits him with a: “You’re mad, huh? You’re mad, pu$$y. Who the f**k are you?” pic.twitter.com/FC5cVma28g
Doncic had 23 points and nine rebounds to lead the Mavs, who were coming off a win over Memphis on Friday that snapped the Grizzlies’ 11-game winning streak. Doncic went 8-for-9 from the free throw line against the Magic, with the Mavs combining to go 32-for-38, the most attempts this season by a Magic opponent.
Porzingis finished with 19 points and seven rebounds in his return, going 9 of 12 from the line. Jalen Brunson added 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting. The Cavs
The Magic finished with 17 turnovers that led to 21 points for the Mavericks. Suggs, Lopez and Moe Wagner each had 16 points to lead Orlando, which shot 48.1 percent compared to just 41 percent for Dallas. Mo Bamba returned after missing two games with a toe injury, recording six points, six rebounds and two blocks in 17 minutes off the bench.
It was the end of a three-game road trip for the Magic, who return to Orlando to host the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.