Well well well. If you didn't have Dirk Nowitzki as your MVP candidate, I hope you watched this game. The Mavericks are just having such a hard time without him. They started off so strong, and led by double digits for much of the first half. They were getting points in the paint, and lots and lots of three-pointers and led by 16 at one point.
Then, they came back out in the third and just stopped winning. The only player for the Magic who didn't score in double figures was JJ Redick, and he was just a point off. Dwight Howard's double-double was 23 points and 13 rebounds. He made it through the game with 4 fouls... and we couldn't beat them.
The outside shot was the story of the game for both teams... the Mavericks were getting an unbelievable output from DeShawn Stevenson who went 6-9 from long. Stevenson led the Mavs with 24 points, but his effort just wasn't enough. In the second half, the Magic found their outside shot, and Jameer Nelson hit 4 of his own.
There was a bit of drama... Tyson Chandler, who did such a noble job containing Howard in the first half, fouled out. And on his final foul, he was hit with a technical for trying to control his anger. Joining the technical club was coach Rick Carlisle, who protested a non-call so violently that he was hit with back-to-back Ts and sent to the locker room.
On the plus side, Shawn Marion had a good, quiet game with 18 points and 8 rebounds, and Jason Terry scored 16 points with 9 assists. Jason Kidd's scoring slump ended with 6 points, and he also dished out 7 assists. Weirdly enough, the Mavericks were -23 when he was on the court. The entire roster got playing time tonight, and every single player got points on the board. That's encouraging, right?