Mavericks hold off late Magic surge in 111-105 win
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — If the Dallas Mavericks are going to make it out of the early-season pit they dug, it will require a lot more nights like Sunday.
Two days after seeing a four-game win streak snapped in an overtime loss to Oklahoma City, Shawn Marion scored 20 points, and O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter added 15 apiece as the Mavericks fought off a late Orlando surge and beat the Magic 111-105 on Sunday night.
The Mavericks led by 13 in the fourth quarter, before the Magic pulled within a basket in the final minute.
Dallas hung on, with a combination of late stops, timely free throw makes, and a boost from a bench that outscored Orlando's 40-28. Carter and forward Elton Brand combined for 29 of those 40.
"Me and Vince joke about that," Brand said. "If it's not going well for the starting unit, that' our job, to come in and clean things up. That's what we did...and kind of righted the ship a little bit. Yeah, it's a new role, but I've kind of adjusted to it."
The Mavericks earned their seventh straight road victory in their series against Orlando and now have five days off before hosting division-leader San Antonio on Friday.
"It's good to start winning again," Brand said. "We didn't want to go into our break without winning again."
In his fourth game back since returning from a sprained left shoulder, Glen Davis had his strongest offensive output and led Orlando with 24 points. He was followed by Jameer Nelson with 20 and J. J. Redick's 18.
But familiar turnover and defensive issues plagued the Magic as they lost for the third time in four games. They also fell for the seventh straight time to an opponent with a sub-.500 record.
"We'll continue to work," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "That's the best part of it is we've got games ahead of us and we'll continue to work and that's our best approach. We've been there so we know that this team is capable."
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said Dirk Nowitzki, who played in his 15th game following offseason knee surgery, may need until February to get back to full strength.
The former MVP had a modest game, finishing with 12 points (4 for 11 from the field) and seven rebounds. He scored six points in the first half, but was remained active with some early assists as Dallas built a small cushion after digging out of an early hole.
Still at other times his offensive game showed continued signs of rust, as he misfired on a handful of his trademark step-back jumpers. He found his game in some crucial moments in the fourth quarter, though.
The Magic closed to 89-81 on a 3-pointer by Nelson. Nowitzki then hit on back-to-back jumpers and blocked a layup by J.J. Redick that led to a 3-pointer on the other end by Carter.
Orlando still was within striking distance with 2:31 left, though, after a pair of free throws by Arron Afflalo and a basket by Redick cut the Mavericks' lead to 104-100.