The Orlando Magic have not been able to defeat the Dallas Mavericks at home since the 2010 season. Friday night the Magic hosted the Mavericks again in Orlando, hoping to change that trend, but ended up coming just short in the final seconds of the fourth quarter.
“The problem is this: we shot 60 percent from the free throw line, 17 for 28, and turned the ball over 12 times in the second half and almost all of them went for baskets the other way,” said head coach Stan Van Gundy after Friday’s tough 100-98 loss to Dallas. “That’s what got them back in the game, that’s what the problem is and we keep doing it and doing it and doing it. It’s just an area we aren’t getting better in.”
With five seconds left in regulation, Orlando inbounded the ball to Jameer Nelson who immediately attacked the hoop, and then dished the ball off to an open Hedo Turkoglu for a potential game winning three pointer. Turkoglu’s shot bricked off the rim and landed right in the hands of Magic forward Ryan Anderson, who attempted to put up a game tying layup but missed as time expired in regulation.
“I was surprised I got such an open rebound and I thought I just had to rush it up because we only had five seconds left so I just rushed it,” said Anderson after the game. “It shouldn’t have come down to the final play, you know but it did. We had a chance to tie it and I blew it”.
Anderson finished the game with 21 points and six rebounds on six of twelve shooting from the field.
Orlando took care of the ball well in the first half, committing just four first half turnovers and even led by as much as 15 at one point. However, over the final 14 minutes of the game, the Magic committed eight turnovers which proved to be key for the Mavericks fourth quarter run; led by German assassin and last year’s NBA finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki who finished with a game high 28 points.
Nowitzki started the game hot scoring 18 of his 28 in the first half, and proved to be a nightmare in the fourth quarter for Orlando after hitting the eventual game winning shot over Turkoglu with 5.9 seconds left.
“We had the lead when we were taking care of the ball, but turnovers got them back in the game,” said Magic guard JJ Redick. “It’s a game we were in position to win and should have won if we would have done a few things better”.
Nelson led all Magic players in scoring with 24 points continuing his stellar play as of late. Dwight Howard had 19 points and 15 rebounds, but struggled from the free throw line, missing 9 of 16 free throws including one air balled in the first quarter.
The Magic look to end their two game losing streak Sunday night at 6pm, when they host the Denver Nuggets at the Amway Center.