Rapid Reaction: Mavericks 111, Magic 105
How it happened: The Mavericks had to hold on in the closing minutes after leading by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter.
Although they never trailed in the second half, their lead was trimmed to 104-102 before Darren Collison drained a 3-point shot from the corner off an assist from Vince Carter to end a scoreless drought of more than three minutes.
The Magic answered with a 3-pointer of their own by J.J. Redick and then forced a jump ball between Carter and Jameer Nelson. But to no one's surprise, and to the Mavs' relief, Carter won the tip. The Magic had little choice after that but to foul, and free throws in the final 16 seconds from Dirk Nowitzki and O.J. Mayo sealed the victory.
Shawn Marion finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. He was one of seven Mavs to score in double figures.
Carter and Elton Brand came off the bench to provide a much-needed boost after the Magic jumped to an 18-4 lead. After the two entered the game, the Mavs ran off 15 unanswered points. Coach Rick Carlisle started Brand in place of Chris Kaman at center to begin the second half, but that turned out to be the only time Brand had trouble converting open looks.
The Mavs shot 50 percent from the floor, including 8-for-15 from 3-point range. With how well they executed on offense, it might not be the best of times for them to have such a lengthy rest coming up. They won't play again until Friday night at home against San Antonio.
What it means: The Mavs improved to 18-24 with their fifth victory in their last six games, having topped the 100-point mark in all of those contests. They have also captured the last seven meetings in Orlando with the Magic. It was the Magic's 13th loss in the last 15 games, and Orlando is 0-7 against sub-.500 teams over that stretch.
Play of the game: A block by Nowitzki, one of three he had in the game, of a driving layup attempt by Redick triggered a fastbreak that led to a 3-pointer by Carter. The basket gave the Mavs a 94-83 lead and came on the heels of a pair of Nowitzki fadeaway jumpers over Glen Davis.
Stat of the night: The Mavs recorded 29 assists on 45 field goals and turned the ball over a season-low eight times.
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Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.