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Mavericks 114, Magic 105: Orlando battles, but Luka Doncic prevails

Doncic dropped 44 points on the Magic while leading Dallas to the win

Orlando Magic v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

It was too much Luka Doncic and not enough Paolo Banchero or Franz Wagner.

Despite Banchero and Wagner both struggling from the field, the Magic managed to keep pace with the Mavericks for much of their matchup on Sunday night. But they had no answer for Doncic, who dropped 44 points to lead Dallas to a 114-105 win over the Magic.

The shots were falling for the Magic from the start, with Wendell Carter Jr. and Terrence Ross connecting on back-to-back corner threes to give the Magic an early 21-11 lead.

The Magic shot 61.9 percent in the first, going 4 of 6 from three. But Doncic kept the Mavs close by scoring 16 first-quarter points on 7-for-10 shooting, cutting the Magic lead to 34-29 after one.

The Magic re-established a double-digit lead in the second with the help of R.J. Hampton and Kevon Harris. Hampton drained a step-back from long range and Harris followed with his first career three to open a 51-40 advantage midway through the quarter.

Doncic then powered an 11-1 Mavs run by backing down Bol Bol in the post for the bucket and then hitting the three to cut the Orlando lead to 52-51. Doncic continued to attack the basket at will, scoring 30 points in the first half to send the two teams into the break even at 60-60.

It was a one-possession game for much of the third quarter as the two teams traded buckets. That was until the Magic went nearly four minutes without a field goal, allowing the Mavs to increase their lead to six with one minute left in the quarter. The Magic missed their first seven three-point attempts of the third until Harris ended the drought with a three to pull Orlando within 86-83. A pair of Doncic free throws sent the Magic into the fourth trailing 88-83.

The Dallas lead reached double figures after they opened the fourth on a 7-0 run, capped with a three and layup by Tim Hardaway Jr. that made it 95-83. The Magic, after Mo Bamba and Hampton hit threes, cut the lead to five on a pair of free throws by Banchero with 4:28 left. But Doncic followed with a fadeaway in the paint, and Dorian Finney-Smith then hit a three that pushed the lead back to 10. After a quick 6-0 run by the Magic, Finney Smith again connected from deep to seal the win for the Mavs.

Doncic shot 17 of 26 from the field (2-for-9 from three) and 8 of 14 from the line in his 44-point performance and added five assists. Hardaway Jr. scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth.

The Magic shot 45.7 percent from the field, going 11-for-29 from deep.

Banchero finished with 18 points to snap his streak of six-straight games with 20-plus points to start his career, which was the second longest for a No. 1 pick and third longest for an NBA rookie overall. He shot just 6-for-20 from the field, including 1 of 6 from three, and went 5-for-8 from the line.

Wagner shot 3-for-12 from the field and finished with 11 points.

Bol played a career-high 30 minutes, finishing with 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting, 11 rebounds and three blocks. It was the first double-double of his career.

Hampton had 15 points in 21 minutes, going 3-for-4 from three. Harris finished with 12 points in 17 minutes, making 2 of 3 attempts from deep.

But the balanced scoring and bench production wasn’t enough to keep up with Doncic as Orlando fell to 1-6.

The Magic take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday before returning to Orlando for a seven-game homestead that begins with the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Thursday.