Denton: Magic vs. Mavericks Analysis (1/13/14)

   

Orlando (10-28) lost for an eighth straight time, but it didn’t go down easily on Monday night. The Magic showed plenty of grit and fight in whittling an 18-point halftime deficit to six early in the third quarter. And even after Dallas had pushed its lead back to 20 points, Orlando refused to go away and stayed within striking distance of Dallas (23-16).

On a night when the Magic were without starters Arron Afflalo and Nikola Vucevic and reserve point guard Ronnie Price, veterans Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis and Nelson displayed their mettle by keeping Orlando in the fight. Nelson was brilliant throughout with 21 points and seven assists, while Davis keyed the third-quarter run and scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half.

``We were better on our defensive coverage and then we started making some shots,’’ Davis said of how the Magic constructed their third-quarter run. ``I was just being more aggressive. In the first half I wasn’t looking for my shots as much. But then (in the third quarter), every time the ball came to me I was like, `Let’s go.’ I ended up making a nice run and we almost got it to being a reasonable game. We came back and made it respectable.’’

Maurice Harkless added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Victor Oladipo (11 points) and Tobias Harris (10 points and seven rebounds) played well despite foul trouble.

Long-time Magic killer Monta Ellis had 21 points, while former Orlando guard Vince Carter poured in 17 points. Dirk Nowitzki drilled the 1,400th 3-pointer of his career and scored 15 points in just 28 minutes of work. Dallas shot better than 50 percent most of the night and drilled 13 3-pointers.

``It was a good response from the group after halftime,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said of Orlando’s third-quarter run and its fourth-quarter fight. ``Overall, it was a great response by our group. A few of our shots started going in and that always helps.’’

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