Game 42: Mavs vs. Magic

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GAME RECAP: Mavericks 114, Magic 99

Dennis Smith Jr. drops 20 points and grabs seven rebounds to help lead the Mavericks to a 114-99 win over the Magic.

DALLAS — After dropping their previous three matchups by a combined 10 points, the Dallas Mavericks hoped to put together a complete game Tuesday night.

Hosting the Orlando Magic to conclude a four-game homestand, the Mavericks tried to cure their recent first-quarter woes. The Mavs also attempted to begin a daunting back-to-back with a win before traveling to Charlotte for Wednesday’s matchup against the Hornets. And behind a season high-tying scoring performance from 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks (14-28) staged a comeback in the second half while sprinting to a 114-99 victory.

“It took me a while, unfortunately, to get going. But I feel a lot better the last month or so, even longer than that, than the first couple of months of the season,” Nowitzki said after leading the way to the win.

Opening the game with back-to-back scores by German big man Maxi Kleber and veteran swingman Wesley Matthews, the Mavericks tried to establish themselves as the aggressors in the early going. Instead, the Magic (12-29) quickly charged back with a 9-0 run, forcing a timeout by Mavs coach Rick Carlisle with 8:17 left in the opening quarter.

The stoppage immediately sparked the Mavericks, leading to a 13-0 Dallas run to retake the momentum after back-to-back three-pointers from rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. and second-year standout Yogi Ferrell put the home team up 17-9. The lead extended to nine after a three by Mavs leading scorer Harrison Barnes from the wing. Dallas then took a 25-19 edge into the second period.

Starting the second stanza with Wes Iwundu’s three-point play over Nowitzki, the Magic tried to stage a rally. Magic backup big man Marreese Speights followed suit with a three-pointer a short time later to even the scoreboard at 25-all.

The Orlando run then came to an end at 13-0 after a timely score by Mavs reserve J.J. Barea made the deficit 29-27. However, the Magic immediately responded with a three-pointer from veteran guard D.J. Augustin. Meanwhile, Mavs big man Josh McRoberts made his long-awaited season debut after battling back from a lower extremity injury. Still, despite a spark from Barea off the bench and Barnes’ 11 first-half points, the Mavericks trailed 48-43 entering the intermission.

Led by Mario Hezonja’s nine first-half points on 3-of-5 shooting, the Magic outshot the Mavericks through two quarters, 42.9 percent to 36.4 percent. The Magic also held a 30-19 rebounding advantage, making up for 10 Orlando turnovers.

“First half, I thought we had some looks. They just didn’t go in,” Nowitzki explained. “We talked about it at halftime that we had to play with a little bit more force on both ends, get into them a little bit more, speed the game up and get in the paint. I thought we did a good job in the first half getting in there and trying to create for others, and that’s what we kept doing in the second half.”

Starting the third period with a 9-0 run after a three-pointer from Ferrell, the Mavericks quickly assumed a 52-48 edge in the second half. Matthews followed suit a short time later with a triple of his own. Meanwhile, Nowitzki took charge of the Dallas scoring duties with frequent trips to the free-throw line, moving into double figures in the process.

Smith also began to assert himself at the offensive end of the floor to keep the Magic at bay. But after Smith was forced to take a seat following his fourth personal foul with 5:27 left in the third, Ferrell and Tunisian center Salah Mejri stepped up their play off the bench. And despite Aaron Gordon’s best efforts, the Mavericks took an 82-75 margin into the fourth.

“We had bad matchups, so we had to change it up,” Carlisle said of the third quarter. “You know, we had a couple of decent shots that just didn’t go in, and we just needed more quickness in the game. Yogi came in, and he really changed the game.”

After producing 39 points for their highest-scoring third period of the season, the Mavs tried to keep their foot on the gas in the final quarter. Nowitkzki did his part to put the game away, swishing a three-pointer before Barea fed fellow reserve Devin Harris to lift the Mavericks to an 89-80 lead with 10:14 left to play.

The Dallas lead stretched to 10 from there as Barea’s bullet pass found Nowitzki for a jumper. Still, the Magic continued to fight after a pair of threes by Augustin brought Orlando within six, 96-90. The lead shrunk to four before Matthews’ timely three-point play extend the advantage to 103-96 with 3:59 remaining. Barnes’ jumper then lifted the Mavericks to a 105-96 lead with 3:14 on the game clock. Ferrell and Smith then took turns closing the Magic out the rest of the way.

Scoring 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting, Nowitzki led the Mavericks to the win. Smith recorded 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the first unit. Matthews added 16 points, and Barnes pitched in 15 points. Meanwhile, Ferrell finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists in a reserve role.

“Me and Yogi, we found each other on the break pretty well, and we can get into the paint. That opens up the floor for everybody,” Smith said.

“We definitely played at a lot faster speed. That’s for sure,” Ferrell added. “If [Smith] gets the rebound and sees me up ahead, he’s going to throw it up to me. And vice versa. … That’s what we do.”

Gordon led five Orlando scorers in double figures with 19 points on 6-of-16 shooting off the bench, grabbing eight rebounds to boot. However, the Mavericks outshot the Magic for the game, 51.8 percent to 45.6 percent, overcoming a 42-38 rebounding disadvantage by forcing 13 Orlando turnovers compared to four giveaways of their own.

“That second half was good. We kept attacking, we kept getting in the paint and kept getting some good looks,” Nowitzki concluded.

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their back-to-back Wednesday in Charlotte. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers. The game will tip off at 1 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis) — out
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Nerlens Noel (left thumb surgery) — out

Magic

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
M. Hezonja, SF 26 5-9 2-4 2-2 2 2 4 4 1 0 1 1 -23 14
J. Simmons, PF 20 1-7 0-2 1-1 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 4 -28 3
B. Biyombo, C 21 3-6 0-0 0-0 2 6 8 1 0 1 3 3 -24 6
E. Fournier, SG 34 6-14 0-4 0-0 1 3 4 2 0 1 1 4 -24 12
E. Payton, PG 23 3-7 2-2 0-2 1 1 2 4 1 0 3 2 -24 8
A. Gordon 32 6-16 1-7 6-8 2 6 8 2 0 0 1 3 0 19
M. Speights 21 5-8 2-5 1-2 1 9 10 2 0 2 2 4 15 13
D. Augustin 23 5-8 4-5 4-4 0 2 2 5 0 0 2 1 10 18
W. Iwundu 16 1-2 0-0 2-3 0 2 2 3 0 0 0 0 12 4
A. Afflalo 16 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 13 2
S. Mack 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0
K. Birch 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0
J. Artis 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Isaac 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Payne 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
T. Ross 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
N. Vucevic 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   36-79 11-29 16-22 9 32 41 27 2 4 13 23   99
    45.6% 37.9%                      

Show Bench Hide Bench

Mavericks

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
H. Barnes, SF 36 5-9 2-3 3-4 0 6 6 2 1 0 1 1 27 15
M. Kleber, PF 4 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 -5 2
D. Nowitzki, C 24 6-13 1-3 7-7 0 3 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 20
W. Matthews, SG 33 5-10 2-6 4-5 1 4 5 3 1 0 1 4 27 16
D. Smith Jr., PG 33 8-19 2-5 2-2 1 5 6 3 2 1 0 5 16 20
Y. Ferrell 33 6-9 2-3 1-1 3 5 8 4 0 0 1 2 29 15
S. Mejri 10 3-3 0-0 1-1 0 3 3 0 0 1 1 2 11 7
J. Barea 24 4-8 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 12 0 0 0 1 -10 8
D. Powell 22 3-4 0-1 1-2 0 3 3 1 0 0 0 4 -5 7
D. Harris 13 2-5 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 -13 4
J. McRoberts 2 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 -3 0
K. Collinsworth 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
S. Curry 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Finney-Smith 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Motley 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
N. Noel 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   43-83 9-26 19-22 5 33 38 27 6 2 4 22   114
    51.8% 34.6%                      

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Powell Alley-oop

Dwight Powell finishes the alley-oop from JJ Barea.


Barnes For Three

Harrison Barnes knocks down the three.


Postgame: Wesley Matthews

Mavs SG Wesley Matthews dishes on Tuesday night's win over the Magic.


Smith Jr. Banks The Triple

Harrison Barnes gets it to Dennis Smith Jr. for the three.


Ferell Three In Transition

Yogi Ferrell gets it in transition and knocks down the three.


Nowitzki Jumper

Dirk Nowitzki gets in the paint and hits the jumper.


Postgame: Yogi Ferrell

Mavs G Yogi Ferrell dishes on Tuesday night's win over the Magic.


Postgame: Dennis Smith Jr.

Mavs PG Dennis Smith Jr. dishes on Tuesday night's win over the Magic.


Dirk Moment #32

Dirk Nowitzki hit one of his toughest game-winners, and gave us an all-time great Dirk face, on Jan. 11, 2012 against the Boston Celtics. Nowitzki drove the lane against Kevin Garnett and converted an and-1 layup with 5.1 seconds left on the clock, and the Mavs would go on to win 90-85. Nowitzki finished with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 classic reaction shot.


Shootaround: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle previews tonight's home game against the Orlando Magic!


Shootaround: Wesley Matthews

Wesley Matthews discusses his defense and Dennis Smith Jr.'s development ahead of tonight's tilt with the Orlando Magic!

DALLAS — After a string of slow starts in their last three games led to narrow losses, the Dallas Mavericks know they’ll have to take the court with a hit-first mentality Tuesday night against the Orlando Magic.

Hosting a 12-28 Magic team that has lost four straight games, the Mavericks (13-28) will attempt to build an early advantage after trailing at the end of the first quarter in each of the last three outings. The Mavs will also attempt to rely in the defensive end of the floor after surrendering an average of 34 points and 65-percent shooting in the first period of the last three games. But according to Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, the team will have to raise its level of force in order to collect a victory.

“We’ve got to be more alert and more forceful at the beginning of games,” Carlisle confessed after the Mavericks’ Tuesday morning shootaround. “You know, a couple of small mistakes that lead to early baskets can get NBA teams going and give them a lot of confidence. We saw it in the Chicago game, we saw it in the New York game certainly, and tonight we’ve got to do better in that area.”

The Mavericks were outscored 35-26 in the opening period of last Wednesday’s 125-122 loss to the defending champion Golden State Warriors. The story repeated itself two nights later after the Mavs trailed by as many as 13 in the first quarter before suffering a 127-124 loss to Chicago. Dallas’ first-quarter issues continued Sunday after trailing 33-25 to New York at the end of the opening period, falling eventually to a 100-96 loss. That said, the Mavericks know they’ll have to come out energized to conclude their homestand with a much-needed win.

“You know, teams are coming out very comfortable against us, and I don’t know how much to credit them or blame us. But whatever it is, it’s got to get fixed,” Mavs swingman Wesley Matthews explained. “We’ve got an opportunity to do that tonight. This team plays hard. They’re not really big on gimmicks. They bring it to you, they attack the paint, they move the ball, they cut, they play basketball, and we’ve got to meet that task.”

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their homestand on Tuesday at American Airlines Center against the Orlando Magic. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis) — out
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Nerlens Noel (left thumb surgery) — out

DALLAS — Sliding on a losing skid after dropping the first three outings of their current four-game homestand, the Dallas Mavericks know they’ll have to be better in the opening quarter Tuesday night against the Orlando Magic.

Outscored 35-26 in the opening period of last Wednesday’s 125-122 loss to the defending champion Golden State Warriors, the Mavericks (13-28) quickly found themselves in an uphill battle. The Mavs’ first-quarter woes reoccured two nights later, trailing by as many as 13 in the opening period before suffering a 127-124 loss Friday to Chicago. Now, after trailing 33-25 at the end of the first quarter during Sunday’s 100-96 defeat against New York, the Mavericks will attempt to be better from the start of the game Tuesday night.

“It’s really the same old story. It’s an early hole, it’s a late rally, and then coming up short. The bottom line is we’ve got to be better early in games,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle confessed.

After seeing the Magic (12-28) twice during the preseason and splitting the two exhibition matchups, the Mavericks will look for success in a game that will actually count in the standings Tuesday night.

Avenging a 112-89 exhibition road loss to the Magic in Orlando on Oct. 5, the Mavericks captured a 99-96 preseason victory just four nights later at home. Rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. led the way to that win, scoring 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting while filling up the stat sheet with six rebounds and seven assists. The Mavs also outshot the Magic for the game, 43.8 percent to 41.4 percent, adding a 48-44 rebounding edge and converting Orlando’s 18 turnovers into 15 points. The Dallas squad will now attempt to use the same formula for success Tuesday as the teams play for the first time this regular season. However, after suffering a lopsided loss on the road the first time the teams squared off in preseason, the Mavericks know they’ll be pushed to the limit for a full 48 minutes once again against the upstart Magic squad.

“It’s a dangerous team and a dangerous game,” 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said while praising the Magic. “They’re a young team. We played them obviously in the preseason, and they’re young, they’re athletic and they move a lot on offense. So, it’s tough on an older team like us to keep up, but we have to find a way.”

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their homestand on Tuesday at American Airlines Center against the Orlando Magic. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis) — out
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Nerlens Noel (left thumb surgery) — out