Magic Hang Tough With Mavs Before Falling Short

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Paolo Banchero’s streak of consecutive 20-plus-point games to start an NBA career ended at six after finishing with 18 points in Sunday’s 114-105 loss to the host Dallas Mavericks. Bol Bol, meanwhile, tallied 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Dallas native R.J. Hampton scored a season-best 15 points and two-way contract player Kevon Harris had a career-high 12 points. Luka Doncic exploded for 44 points, the most ever scored by a Maverick against the Magic.

Clutch Plays

After Banchero made a short jumper with 55 seconds left to pull the Magic within four, Dorian Finney-Smith sank a 3-pointer on the Mavs’ ensuing possession. Doncic would then seal it with a layup with 19.2 ticks remaining. 

Key Stretch

A three-point Dallas lead with half-a-minute left in the third ballooned to a double-digit advantage in the early moments of the fourth. Tim Hardaway Jr. buried a 3-pointer and connected on a layup during that span, while Christian Wood, the early season Sixth Man of the Year favorite, knocked down a mid-range shot. 

Memorable Moment

A couple times already this season, Bol has blocked a perimeter shot and then raced down the floor to score at the basket before the defense got set. The latest such sequence occurred in Dallas midway through the third quarter when he got a hand on a Doncic 3-pointer and then converted on an AND-1 layup after racing down the floor. 

Interesting Fact

Prior to Doncic scoring 44 on Sunday, the most points ever scored by a Mav against the Magic was 38, twice accomplished by Dirk Nowitzki. The first time he did it was on Jan. 18, 2001 in Dallas and the second time was on March 31, 2006 in Orlando. 

Quote of the Day

“He’s a big guard, uses his body really well, and dominates without being the most athletic player. His patience, fakes in the paint, how he sets up pick-and-rolls, and makes the game easier for other teammates – I’m looking at those kinds of things.” – Franz Wagner on watching film of Doncic to gain playmaking tips

Injury Report

Cole Anthony (right internal oblique muscle injury), Jalen Suggs (right ankle), Markelle Fultz (toe), Moe Wagner (sprained right midfoot), Gary Harris (left knee rehabilitation), and Jonathan Isaac (left knee rehabilitation) were unavailable for the Magic. Davis Bertans (right knee effusion) and Frank Ntilikina (right knee effusion) were out for the Mavs.

This Day in History

On Oct. 30, 2015, Orlando and OKC played one of the wildest regular season games at Amway Center in NBA history. Russell Westbrook, who finished with 48 points, buried a last-second 37-footer in regulation to send the game into overtime. Victor Oladipo, who had a triple-double, knocked down a pair of clutch 3-pointers of his own for Orlando. But the Thunder ultimately pulled out the victory in a double-OT thriller. Tobias Harris led the Magic with 30 points. Kevin Durant had 43 for OKC. 

Rivals Report

Last season, head coach Jason Kidd turned the Mavs into one of the best defensive teams in the league. That’s why they went from a perennial first-round playoff exit team to one that reached the Western Conference Finals. While their offense, led by Doncic, has been stellar to start this year, their defense hasn’t been nearly as stifling. Entering Sunday’s action, opponents were shooting 48.6 percent from the field against them, ranked 27th in the league. Especially with how many championship-contending teams there are in the West, Dallas must get their act together on the defensive end for them to reach and/or exceed last year’s finish.  

Up Next

Before starting a seven-game homestand, the Magic will travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. When the schedule was first released, this was intended to be a nationally televised game featuring Banchero and Chet Holmgren, the top two picks in the 2022 NBA Draft.  But a Lisfranc injury to Holmgren’s right foot suffered in a Pro-Am game over the summer in Seattle will keep the former Gonzaga standout out the entire season. The Thunder, despite Holmgren’s absence, have gotten off to a solid start. On Saturday, they were in Dallas and pulled off a miraculous comeback, winning in overtime after trailing by 16 late in the fourth quarter.