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Magic’s Three-Game Road Trip Ends with Loss in Dallas

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Playing hard-nosed defense without fouling has been a point of emphasis throughout this season for the Orlando Magic. It’s difficult to hang with an opponent when they live at the free throw line. That was the lesson Saturday in Dallas, as the Mavs took a season-high 38 free throws in their 108-92 victory at American Airlines Center.

Top Performers

Robin Lopez, in the starting lineup for the third straight game, was one of four Magic players to score in double figures, finishing with 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting. In his second game back after missing the prior 20 with a fractured right thumb, Jalen Suggs also had 16 points, as did Moe Wagner, a night after erupting for 26 in Charlotte. Cole Anthony tallied 12 points.

Key Stats

Highlighted at the top, free throws were a big factor. The Mavs went 32-of-38 from the charity stripe. Rebounding was another key area, especially on the offensive glass. Dallas grabbed 12 offensive rebounds, seven more than Orlando.

Injury Report

Wendell Carter Jr. (hamstring), Michael Carter-Williams (left ankle), Markelle Fultz (left knee), Jonathan Isaac (left knee), and E’Twaun Moore (left knee sprain) were out for Orlando. Willie Cauley-Stein (personal reasons) was unavailable for Dallas.

This Day in History

The Magic’s first ever win at Boston came on Jan. 15, 1993, as Scott Skiles posted 23 points and 15 assists, Shaquille O’Neal, a rookie then, recorded 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Jeff Turner had 14 points and seven rebounds in a blowout victory over the Celtics. Robert Parish led Boston with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Rivals Report

Are the Mavs legitimate championship contenders? Earlier in the season, most would have probably said no. But the way they’ve turned things around, especially defensively where over the last month they rank No. 1 in the league, there’s growing optimism they could give any of the other elite teams in the West problems in a seven-game playoff series. Luka Doncic has quietly entered the MVP race; Kristaps Porzingis, who returned to the lineup Saturday after missing the last seven games while in health and safety protocols, has played at an All-Star caliber level; and Jalen Brunson is a Most Improved Player award candidate.

Quote of the Night

“It feels good to be back. Seven years here with such a great organization. The people here, the relationships that I’ve built, that my family has built – it’s just great to see the wonderful people that have been here.” – Jamahl Mosley on returning to Dallas, where he was an assistant for seven seasons before becoming Orlando’s head coach

Up Next

The Magic return home to play the Portland Trail Blazers on Martin Luther King Day (Monday) at 7 p.m. It’s not that unusual for teams to play better at home versus on the road. But the Blazers take it to the extreme. Portland is 14-11 at home and 3-14 on the road. One of those road victories came Saturday in the nation’s capital, where Anfernee Simons posted 31 points and 11 assists and Jusuf Nurkic tallied 23 points and 14 rebounds in the Blazers’ win over the Wizards. C.J. McCollum, who hasn’t played since Dec. 4 because of a collapsed right lung, is expected to make his return against the Magic. Damian Lillard is out indefinitely with an abdominal injury.