The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 111-106 loss to the Orlando Magic
Mar 9, 2019Dwain Price
DIRK’S SHINING MOMENT(S): The standing ovations just keep on coming for Dirk Nowitzki. Ad this time he put on a really good show for the fans in Orlando. The 21-year veteran scored a season-high tying 15 points – he also scored 15 on the road against the Utah Jazz on Feb. 23 – and grabbed five rebounds. Nowitzki was 6-of-11 from the field against Orlando. That ties for the most field goals he’s made in a game this season – he was 6-of-14 from the field against the Jazz. What’s more, the 15 points he scored were two more than the 13 points Nowitzki combined to score in the previous three games against Memphis, Brooklyn and Washington.
BRUNSON PUT IN SOLID WORK: Jalen Brunson played what coach Rick Carlisle described as perhaps his finest game of the season on Friday. Brunson collected his third-highest scoring game with 18 points. He also handed out a career-high nine assists. The rookie from Villanova was an efficient 8-of-11 from the field while carving up the Magic all night long. Brunson’s 72.7 shooting percentage was his highest of the season when he’s attempted 10 or more field goals. And his overall steady play has been a bonus for the Mavs, who were surprised he was still available to be drafted last summer on the second round.
SLOW START WAS DAMAGING: It’s difficult to say the Mavs got off to a slow start, because they actually scored the first five points of the game. But after that semi-fast start by Dallas, the Magic outscored the Mavs 29-14 the rest of the first quarter and assumed a 29-19 lead going into the second quarter. The Mavs’ deficit grew to 15 points (62-47) by halftime and to 19 points (92-73) by the end of the third quarter. Although the Mavs made a run at the end to make things very interesting, that deep hole they fell into by being down 19 points wound up being their downfall.
MORE DAZZLING MOMENTS FROM LUKA: The more games Luka Doncic plays, the more he looks like he’s been playing in the NBA for five or more years. The 20-year old rookie just does things on the floor that some 10-year veterans still can’t do. And for Doncic, a lot of it is about as routine as taking a walk in the park. Friday was another example as Doncic tagged the Magic for 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while also wowing the sellout crowd with his dangerous step-back 3-point shots. It was just another example why when the NBA’s Rookie of Year trophy is handed out sometimes in the next two months, more than likely Doncic’s name will be on it.
ARMSTRONG HONORED: Obviously, this takeaway has more to do with the game of life and less to do with what went on in any games across the NBA this season. Just before the third quarter started Friday, an honor given to Mavs assistant coach Darrell Armstrong on Thursday in Orlando was shown on the Jumbotron. Armstrong was awarded with a trophy for starting a foundation 21 years ago that helps families in Central Florida who have babies born prematurely. The foundation offers financial and medical assistance, and has been very helpful to those families who find themselves in this challenging situation.