Magic drop preseason finale to Dallas Mavericks

Tobias Harris led the Orlando Magic with 14 points, but it wasn’t enough to match Chandler Parsons’ 24-point night as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Magic 117-92 on Friday in the final preseason game for Orlando.

The Magic went into the game just having found out that their star guard Victor Oladipo would be out indefinitely after suffering a facial fracture during practice. Oladipo had been hoping to play during the preseason finale.

Things started out well for Orlando as they went into the second quarter with a 27-25 lead, thanks in part to Evan Fournier’s back-to-back three-pointers off the bench. Fournier finished the quarter with six points, one steal and a rebound, but only added six more points the rest of the night.

Dallas would then go on a 14-0 run midway through the second quarter to take a 44-36 lead over the Magic. During the run Orlando was held without a point for more than three minutes. Mavericks All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki had 16 first half points, while going 4-6 from behind the three-point line.

“We did a good job on defense in stretches,” said Magic guard Elfrid Payton. “We’ve got to string it together for a full game and learn how to stop runs.”

The Mavericks finished the opening half on a 27-10 run and used a 32-point second quarter to jump out to a 57-46 lead going into halftime. The Magic only managed 19 points during the second stanza, as Harris led them with eight points during the quarter.

“It’s a good test for our defense to see where we are, some of the things that we can work on,” said Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn after the game. “Great to look at the film tonight, I’ll be looking forward to it and see how we can get better.”

The Magic struggled on transition defense, allowing the Mavericks 17 fast break points.

“You can’t replicate transition defense,” said Vaughn. “So there’s a communication that has to go on and we’re still getting there.”

Orlando was again outscored during the third quarter, this time 29-20. Chandler Parsons scored 15 points during the stanza, helping Dallas extend their lead to 86-66 going into the fourth quarter.

The Magic finished the game shooting 46 percent from the floor, while turning the ball over 26 times. Rookie Elfrid Payton had six points and five assists for the game, while first-round pick Aaron Gordon had nine points, two rebounds and two assists for the game.

“It’s a scoring league and team’s aren’t going to just let you get back,” said Gordon following the game. “They pride themselves in not letting you get back, so that’s one thing that we need to work on is to not get down early. To be a young team it will be hard for us if we get down and try to come back.”

Kyle O’Quinn gave Orlando 12 points and six rebounds, while birthday boy Nik Vucevic had a double-double with 10 points and 13 boards.

Jameer Nelson made his return to Orlando during Friday’s game, as the long-time Magic point guard had 4 points and 7 assists in his return to the Amway Center.

With the Magic finishing the preseason at 4-4 they will now prepare to open the regular season on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, Oct. 28, before returning to the Amway Center for the home opener against the Washington Wizards on Thursday, Oct. 30.