Matthews scores 21, Mavericks beat Magic 121-108
DALLAS (AP) — Wesley Matthews had all of his team-leading 21 points by the end of the third quarter Tuesday night, and his Dallas Mavericks teammates took it from there.
The result was a 121-108 victory over the Orlando Magic — Dallas’ third in a row and fourth in the first five games of a six-game homestand. The Mavericks made a season-high 56 percent of their field goal attempts (43 for 77).
In those four wins, the Mavericks have averaged 125 points.
“We’ve got to give each other room to move the ball,” Matthews said, “and I think the spacing has gotten a lot better.”
Zaza Pachulia had his 24th double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
“We made an easy adjustment, and mainly it was me,” Pachulia said. “It’s with the spacing. Don’t block or run closer to the shooters and the penetrators.”
One of the penetrators, J.J. Barea, came off the bench to score 17 points.
“I think everyone is playing good ball and being aggressive,” Barea said.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points, and Chandler Parsons added 17.
Ersan Ilyasova scored 22 points off the bench for the Magic. Nikola Vucevic had 18, all in the first half, and Elfrid Payton and Dewayne Dedmon added 12 apiece.
Orlando ran out to a 22-12 lead behind 10 points from Vucevic. The Mavericks came back to tie the game 24-all on Parsons’ 3-pointer.
After Brandon Jennings broke the tie with a 3-pointer, the Mavericks scored the last 11 points of the first quarter for a 35-27 lead. David Lee had six of those points.
“They hit some shots” Matthews said. “I think we got more aggressive defensively. And whenever we see (our shots) go in, that’s fuel for us.”
Dallas led 69-61 after their highest-scoring half of the season, and then opened the second half with a 13-0 run.
Neither team scored in the first 2:45 of the second half until Matthews hit a jump shot. Dallas’ run ended when Orlando’s Aaron Gordon made a jump shot with 6:07 gone in the third quarter.
“Had a poor first half, and an even worse second half,” Orlando coach Scott Skiles said. “We felt like they started the (second) half kind of flat. Unfortunately, so did we.”
Dallas’ homestand followed a 110-104 loss at Orlando on Feb. 19. The Mavericks remained in a sixth-place tie with Portland in the Western Conference.
The Magic have lost three of four.
Magic: Evan Fournier missed his second straight game because of a sore right wrist. Rookie Mario Hezonja started again in Fournier’s place. ... Orlando was 9 for 9 from the free-throw line in the first half, but Aaron Gordon missed the Magic’s first two tries in the third quarter.
Mavericks: In the first quarter, Dallas’ starters totaled minus-10 in the NBA’s plus/minus system. The four players off the bench — Barea, Lee, Raymond Felton and Devin Harris — were a combined plus-50. Orlando’s bench was minus-49. ... Dallas made 11 of 16 field goal attempts in the second quarter, then missed their first five in the third quarter.
With Golden State closing in on an NBA record with 42 straight home wins, Rick Carlisle was asked what’s necessary to have such a streak. He played for the Celtics when they won 38 in a row in 1985 and ’86. “About five Hall of Fame players.” Those Celtics had Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Bill Walton and coach K.C. Jones.
LEE OFF THE LAYOFF
David Lee had not played for more than six weeks when he joined the Mavericks on Feb. 24. Will they bring him along slowly? Coach Rick Carlisle said, “You can work with a trainer and eat fish and protein all you want, but going into an NBA game and having to bang bodies and run full speed and jump an unknown number of times, that’s going to put different kinds of stresses.”
Magic: Return home to host Chicago on Wednesday night.
Mavericks: Host Sacramento on Thursday night.