Mavs down Magic behind Dirk's 33
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki poured in 33 points with 10 rebounds and eight assists, as the red-hot Dallas Mavericks won their eighth straight contest with a 111-95 thumping of the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena.
Josh Howard added 25 points and Jason Terry posted 14 points and six assists for Dallas, which has won four games during the stretch on the road.
"I would say there is a chip on our shoulder," Howard said. "The way we lost the finals, I think everybody learned from it and we're just going out and trying to better ourselves each game."
Jameer Nelson led Orlando with 23 points while Hedo Turkoglu collected 17 points. Dwight Howard posted a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Magic, who have lost six of seven overall.
"Obviously, we can't spot a team a 16-point first quarter, especially a good team like that, and win the game," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "They ran by us early in the game, shot over us, went around us to start the game and we tried to play catch up from that point on. It was too hard to do with a team of this caliber."
Orlando started 7-2 against the Western Conference, but the loss dropped to 10-9 against inter-conference foes.
The first quarter quickly turned into the Nowitzki show. Orlando didn't notch its first field goal until over four minutes in, and the Mavericks star forward abused the young Darko Milicic on the block and out in space.
A Nowitzki jumper opened a 29-11 edge with 2:12 remaining, giving the forward as many points as the Magic. Orlando had six first-quarter turnovers, resulting in 11 Dallas points.
Dallas led by as many as 25 points in the second quarter, but a quick flurry by Orlando at the end of the half cut the deficit to 61-45.
The Magic slowly trimmed the deficit in the closing stages of the third quarter. A Jerry Stackhouse technical followed by a Nelson three-pointer capped a 13-4 run, drawing the Magic within 89-78 after three periods.
Orlando never got over the hump in the fourth quarter, as the Mavericks kept their sizeable lead throughout.
The two teams will meet again on March 3rd at American Airlines Center...The Mavericks wrap up a brief three-game road trip on Thursday against Chicago...Orlando caps a quick two-game homestand on Friday versus Atlanta...Howard played in his 207th straight contest, surpassing Darrell Armstrong for the longest streak in franchise history...Nelson collected his 700th career assist in the third stanza...Grant Hill scored 15 points in the loss...DAL ORL