Nowitzki and strong defense lead Mavericks to 95-85 victory against MagicBy AP
Friday, February 19, 2010
Nowitzki leads Mavs past Magic 95-85
ORLANDO, Fla. — Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 points and the Dallas Mavericks rode a surprisingly strong defensive effort to beat the Orlando Magic 95-85 on Friday night.
Caron Butler and Jason Terry had 16 points apiece and Brendan Haywood added 15 points and nine rebounds as the Mavs won for the second time in three games since acquiring Butler and Haywood from Washington.
Dwight Howard had 29 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks for Orlando, but didn’t get much help. Vince Carter and Jameer Nelson had 16 points apiece and the Magic were 4 of 25 from 3-point territory.
After allowing Orlando to shoot 65 percent and score 33 points in the first period, the Mavericks limited the Magic to just 34 percent shooting and 62 points the rest of the game.
Jason Kidd, who had 10 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, put the game away for the Mavericks with a 3-pointer that made it 88-81 with 1:20 left in the game.
The Mavericks scored the last seven points of the third quarter and first 12 of the fourth period to go from 11 points down to a 77-69 lead with 8:54 left in the game.
Terry, Haywood and Kidd had five points apiece in the run that featured equal parts offense and defense for Dallas. The Mavs forced six turnovers in the stretch and didn’t give up a second shot while Orlando went 0 for 6 from the field.
Nelson ended the 19-0 run with a 15-foot jumper and the Magic pulled within 81-78 on a free throw by Howard with 4:50 to go.
The Magic outscored the Mavs 13-2 in the final four minutes of the first period to open up a 10-point lead. Carter started the run with the first of two three-pointers and Matt Barnes finished it with a driving layup at the buzzer that made it 33-23.
Dallas, which shot only 39.1 percent in the first half, made a little run at the end of the second period to keep the game close.
Nowitzki, who was four of 11 in the first half, nailed a long jumper to make it 45-41 and Terry added a free throw to get the Mavs within three, but Carter’s driving dunk in the final second gave the Magic a 47-42 halftime lead.
Nowitzki found the range in the third period, scoring 13 points and helping Dallas hang close against Howard and the Magic. Howard had 10 points in the quarter and helped push the Magic to a 69-58 lead with less than two minutes left in the quarter.
However, Nowitzki hit a baseline jumper and driving layup and Terry added a 3-pointer to cut Dallas deficit to 69-65 at the end of the quarter.
NOTES: Howard has 19 straight games with double-figure rebounds. Mavs’ starting center Erick Dampier missed his second straight game with a dislocated middle finger. … The two teams were a combined 3 for 22 on 3s in the first half.
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