ORLANDO – Luka Doncic’s streak of scoring 30-plus came to a halt. So did the Dallas Mavericks’ winning streak.
Franz Wagner scored 22 points and the Orlando Magic held Dallas to just 33 points in the second half en en route to snapping the Mavs’ four-game winning streak with a 94-87 victory at the Amway Center. The loss dropped the Mavs to 6-4 going into Thursday night’s game at Washington.
Doncic’s streak of scoring 30 or more points in a game to start the season was halted at nine games as he finished with 24 points on 9-of-29 shooting. The only other Mavs’ player to score at least 10 points was Spencer Dinwiddie, who collected a game-high 29 points on 9-of-19 shooting.
“I played terrible today,” Doncic said. “We got to approach the game differently with the same expectations as if we’re playing against Milwaukee.
“We’ve got to play better.”
Coach Jason Kidd knows this was just one of those odd games that frequently occur during a long 82-game NBA season.
“I thought Luka had some good looks that just didn’t go down for him,” Kidd said. “We had a lot of good looks just didn’t go down.
“I thought our defense would help us in the game. Just understanding scoring 33 points in the second half is not acceptable. We’ve got to go back and look at it and get better from it.”
The game was moved up to a local tipoff time of 5:30 p.m. because of Tropical Storm Nicole – it later became a Category 1 hurricane – moving into the area.
The Mavs played without center Christian Wood, who didn’t make the trip to Orlando due to a left knee sprain.
Dinwiddie drilled a three-pointer, then brought his teammates off the bench cheering loudly when he powered inside for a dunk to give the Mavs a 79-76 lead early in the fourth quarter. JaVale McGee scored inside via an offensive rebound, and a driving bucket by Dinwiddie put the Mavs ahead, 83-82 midway through the fourth quarter.
“I thought Spencer did a great job of keeping us in the game,” Kidd said. “I thought you saw tonight him being able to be aggressive, get downhill, a bigger guard, being able to run the offense with that second group. I thought he did a great job.”
Kidd, though, lamented the many chances the Mavs had at taking control of the game after leading by as many as 10 points early in the second quarter.
“We just missed open shots,” he said. “In this league you can’t miss open shots.
“We had a lot of good looks. We just got make them.”
In the meantime, the Magic kept scratching and clawing and outscored the Mavs in the fourth quarter, 21-13, after Dallas converted only 5-of-18 shots.
It was that kind of night for the Mavs, who shot just 37.6 percent from the field and was only 11-of-42 from three-point range for 26.2 percent.
Doncic scored 17 of his points in the first half when the Mavs carried a 54-50 lead into the dressing room. Dinwiddie also got cooking very early as he tallied 16 of his points in the opening two quarters after scoring just two points on 1-of-8 shooting during Monday’s 96-94 win over the Brooklyn Nets..
In addition, Josh Green had a pair of fast break baskets in the first half, including one which turned into a nifty dunk as he continues to be a sparkplug for the Mavs.
Orlando played without rookie forward Paolo Banchero, who was the No. 1 overall pick in this past June’s NBA Draft. Banchero, who averages a team-high 23.5 points, missed the game with a left ankle sprain.
To that point, this game was reminiscent to last month’s game in New Orleans when the Pelicans were without three starters – including Zion Williamson – but still were able to defeat the Mavs.
“We talked about it (before Wednesday’s game), understanding that New Orleans had players out,” Kidd said. “There are nights when teams have other guys out and you have to respect them.
“Everybody gets paid in this league. You’ve got to respect the game.”
Seven early points by Doncic staked the Mavs to a 15-13 lead.
“Tonight, I thought we got off to a good start,” Kidd said. “Just in that second half we came out flat and we just couldn’t make shots.
“Everyone had good looks. We just couldn’t make them.”
Doncic poured in a season-high 44 points on 17-of-26 shooting when the Mavs defeated the Magic in Dallas on Oct. 30. But he was kept relatively in-check by the Magic’s swarming defense.
The second half was such a nightmare for the Mavs that Kidd said: “I kept asking the coaches how long have we been on this non-scoring kick? And it was the six-minute mark.
“For three minutes there we couldn’t throw it in the ocean.”
Kidd also said the unusual early mid-week start had no bearing on the game’s outcome.
“There’s no excuse,” he said. “We play at 9 o’clock, 12 o’clock, 1 o’clock. You’ve got to play when the game is scheduled. (The loss) has nothing to do with the (starting) time.
“Give Orlando credit. They came out and played hard. You’ve got to come to work no matter what the atmosphere is outside.”
Share and comment