Mavericks Marvel Orlando Magic
Coming into Saturday evening, Orlando had not beaten Dallas at home since March 2006. That’s glaring. It’s now at 8 games after the Magic dropped their second home game of the season, falling to the Mavericks 108-100. There was some apparent frustration to be had between Jameer Nelson not playing at all in the 4th quarter, and Victor Oladipo committing 9 turnovers. Arron Afflalo led all scorers with 25 points. Not bad considering Arron got jabbed in the thigh at the onset of the game. Dallas got an efficient 30 points and 17 assists from their deadly backcourt of Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon. They set the tempo.
Nikola Vucevic: “We could never take control of the game. They kind of controlled the game from the start.”
Mavs assistant Darrell ‘Flash’ Armstrong and Vince Carter were ‘honored’ for their past Magic service. Noted: Darrell got the better crowd ovation… as it should be. Vince must’ve taken that to heart because he came off the bench for a quick 6-point first period and that would set his pace for his twelve on the night. Mount Dora’s Solomon Jones shocked everyone by being activated in place of the injured Kyle O’Quinn (ankle) and even getting meaningful crunch time minutes. Even with Vucevic’s outstanding 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists Orlando trailed 24-31 after twelve minutes thanks to a Dallas 13-2 run.
Oladipo had a group of 100 Hoosiers in attendance begging for Victor to perform well. He was ridiculously sloppy in that half. The rookie finished with a career-high tying 6 assists, those pesky 9 turnovers, and 10 points on 3-of-8 shooting. The 2nd period in general for Orlando was horrifying to watch. Dallas led at halftime 46-59 because they coughed up eight fewer turnovers (10-2) and crushed on fast break points (6-17) thanks to their 9-1 steals advantage. Remember, Dallas played the night before in Miami.
Victor Oladipo: “It’s just a moment where I have to learn. It was just a tough loss. It was a real close game and I have to learn to execute in those times…The point guard has to be a leader out there so I got to do a better job.”
Orlando figured out that they needed to go to Vucevic in the 3rd quarter and started cutting down on dumb mistakes. Too bad Dallas was drilling their open looks, 6-of-12 from 3-point range in the 2nd half to be exact. Oladipo and Nicholson kept Orlando within single digits of the Mavs as Coach Vaughn’s men trailed 80-87 entering the final period. That was with Orlando posting 34 points in the quarter.
Thanks to some Oladipo drives to the rack, Orlando forced Dallas into the penalty situation with 8:45 remaining in regulation. In a rare occurrence, free throws would be the reason Orlando kept the door open for a comeback. By the time Hack-A-Blair was initiated, the Magic simply ran out of minutes as the pinstriped patrol couldn’t get any field goals to drop. Orlando only managed to make 2 field goals in that period until the final minute when the result was already decided. Not good enough. The 4-6 Magic get a few days to study up on their consecutive matchups with the Miami Heat.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.