ORLANDO, Fla., March 31 (Ticker)
-- Jameer Nelson
and the Orlando
Magic gave the Dallas Mavericks something they haven't
experienced all season - a three-game losing streak.
Nelson scored 27 points and Hedo Turkoglu
added 25 as the Magic
posted a 108-99 victory over the Mavericks, who dropped their
third straight contest.
NBA TV highlights from |
All-Star Dirk Nowitzki
scored 38 points for Dallas (54-19),
which finished a four-game road trip with its first three-game
losing streak skid since March 2-6, 2005. It also fell three
games behind idle San Antonio (56-16) for the best record in the
Western Conference and Southwest Division.
Orlando's bench put together a 12-2 run in the second quarter,
capped by Carlos Arroyo's
jumper that made it 41-29 with 5:09
left. The Magic got 20 points from their reserves in the first
half to build a 56-44 advantage.
"It's not about the starting five or second five," said Nelson,
who watched Orlando's bench outscore Dallas' reserves, 30-11.
"It's about team. We've got so many weapons on this team, you
don't know where the scoring's going to come from."
"This win was real big," said Magic forward Dwight Howard
registered his 53rd double-double of the season. "Coach (Brian Hill
) said that we have three teams coming up with Miami (April
9), Dallas and San Antonio (April 13) and we wanted to get all
The Mavs trailed, 87-70, at the start of the fourth quarter
before using a 15-4 run to climb within 91-85 with 6:43
remaining. Nowitzki drilled back-to-back 3-pointers from almost
the same spot on the floor to cap the burst.
"Dirk is a great player, an All-star," Nelson said. "He's one of
the best Europeans to ever play in the NBA. I'm not taking
anything away from anybody else, but there's got to be a best
and he's probably the best at what he is."
, who had 23 points, made a 3-pointer to pull the
Mavericks within 97-92 with 4:22 left, but the visitors got no
closer as the Magic sank 9-of-10 foul shots down the stretch to
secure their seventh consecutive home win.
"A very disappointing loss, a disappointing way to end our road
trip," Dallas coach Avery Johnson
said. "Their point guards
destroyed us. It's that simple. They destroyed us."
Nelson made 10-of-15 shots and Turkoglu connected on 8-of-13,
including three 3-pointers. Howard added 14 points and 10
rebounds and Arroyo chipped in 12 points for Orlando, which shot
56 percent (39-of-70) from the field.
"We're not playing any defense," Johnson said. "They shot 55
percent from the field and score 56 points in the first half.
You're not going to win many games in this league playing like
that. We've definitely taken a step back in that area."
Nowitzki was 15-of-27 from the floor with 15 rebounds and Jerry Stackhouse
scored 14 points for Dallas, which has lost seven of
its last eight games here. It marked only the fourth time in 23
games that Dallas lost when Nowitzki scored at least 30 points.