After another maddening overtime loss, the Dallas Mavericks (18-24) traveled to Florida where they beat the Orlando Magic (14-26) in a hard fought contest that went down to the final minute of play. Shawn Marion lead Dallas with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and three steals. Former Celtic Glen Davis lead the way for the Magic, posting 24 points, six rebounds, and six assists.
The Mavericks started the game slow, letting the Magic get ahead by as many as twelve points. Open threes, put backs, and a healthy dose of Glen Davis saw Carlisle call a timeout with 4:54 in the first as Dallas had only scored eight points to Orlando's 20 in the first seven minutes of game time. Vince Carter and Elton Brand entered the game and Dallas proceeded to go on a 17-2 run over the next four and a half minutes. Davis and J.J Redick free throws stopped the bleeding for Orlando as Dallas ended the period ahead by two, 26-24.
The second quarter remained a back and forth affair, with Dallas unable to extend the lead beyond four or five points. One stretch saw Dallas turn the ball over three times in two and a half minutes, but Orlando was unable to capitalize. A Mayo-Brand pick and roll resulted in a Brand jumper which finally put Dallas up six. A Marion lay up, Brand jumper, and Collison three pointer pushed the Dallas lead to eleven before a E'Twaun Moore three cut the lead back to eight. Dirk was fouled on the ensuing possession and hit one of two at the line. Dallas led at the half 57-48
Carlisle attempted a line up change in the third, starting Elton Brand, who had played very well up to that point, for Chris Kaman. Kaman struggled mightily in the first, forcing his shot and playing very poor defense. Brand responded to the change by promptly bricking three jumpers. Orlando whittled the lead down to five before two straight turnovers resulted in five points for Dallas. Glen Davis was called for a technical foul as the Magic called a timeout. Orlando then went on a 11-0 run to tie the game. O.J. Mayo and Marion recaptured the lead for Dallas scoring 6 points on three straight possessions. The lead stayed at the five to six point mark before the Magic went cold over the final two minutes. Dallas free throws in the final minute meant the Mavs took a 85-75 lead into the final period.
The final period saw Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick and Glen Davis unwilling to go down without a fight. The Mavericks held off the Magic until a bad turnover from O.J. Mayo with 2:44 left in the game, 104-96 Dallas leading. Aaron Afflalo free throws and a Redick jumper cut the Dallas to four as the Dallas offense went cold. A drive and dish from Davis to Nikola Vucevic cut the lead to two before a huge corner three from Darren Collison with 31 seconds left gave Dallas some breathing room. Following a Magic timeout, J.J. Redick drilled a three as both Mayo and Collison left him wide open after a Glen Davis screen. Luckily, there wasn't enough time left in the game and Dallas simply had to not turn the ball over and hit free throws. Dallas escaped 111 to 105.
-I'd love to see some research into why the Mayo-Nowitzki pick and roll doesn't happen. Mayo's decision making is terrible at times but he seems to have a real connection with both Brand and Shawn Marion. Why don't he and Dirk ever get these chances in the offense?
-Kaman was bad in the first half. But he had a really nice second half, posting 9 points and 7 rebounds.
-Mike James again sees minutes at back up point. I'd have less of a problem with this if he wasn't so willing to shoot. He actually runs the pick and roll fairly well and plays quite hard. But the shot selection is terrible. Six shots in 13 minutes is two or three too many.
-The Mavericks had a chance to draft Glen Davis back in 2007, instead opting to go with the immortal Nick Fazekas. Once again, I'm convinced the folks who do the drafting work for Dallas are really bad at their jobs.
-In a odd quirk in scheduling, Dallas doesnt play a game until next Friday against the Spurs.