Dirk Nowitzki jumper leads Dallas Mavericks past Orlando Magic, 100-98
John Raoux, Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. — Dirk Nowitzki banked in a 15-foot jumper with 5.9 seconds left and scored a game-high 28 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 100-98 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.
Jameer Nelson scored 24 points to lead Orlando. Ryan Anderson added 21, and Dwight Howard finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds.
The Mavericks trailed by 15 points in the third quarter before rallying in the final period, aided by a plethora of turnovers by the Magic. Jason Terry had 10 points in the quarter and 17 in the game. Delonte West and Shawn Marion each added 15.
Orlando had 16 turnovers, which led to 20 points for the Mavericks. The Magic lost to Dallas for the sixth straight time at home.
The Mavericks improved to 2-19 this season when trailing entering the fourth quarter.
The Magic had two chances to tie or win the game possession, but Hedo Turkoglu missed a jumper from the wing and Anderson's tip-in trickled off the back of the rim as time expired.
Orlando led by just seven entering the final period before the Mavericks, sparked by a surging Terry, tied it at 89 with 5:58 to play in the game.
The Magic helped Dallas get back into the game committing six of their 16 turnovers in the period.
Things got heated down the stretch as Nowitzki and Anderson went right at each other.
Anderson was called for a blocking foul guarding Nowitzki that drew the ire of Magic fans with 4 minutes left. But he gave Orlando a small cushion on the other end with an offensive rebound and put back to make it 95-91.
Dallas wasn't done, though.
A 3-pointer by West brought them to within 97-96 and after a foul by Anderson, West's two free throws put Dallas on top by a point.
A missed jumper by Nowitzki put the ball in Nelson's hands, who was fouled going in for a layup on the other end. He only connected on one of his two ensuing free throws, though, giving the Mavericks their final shot with 25.1 remaining.
The Magic were the more active team offensively early in the first half, taking their biggest lead at 32-19 in the opening minutes of the second quarter.
A 12-0 Mavericks run that featured seven points by Nowitzki got it down to a point before the Magic found their footing again and took it back up to double-digits. Orlando would up taking a nine-point edge into the locker room.
Nowitzki led all scorers with 18 in the half. Anderson topped the Magic with 12 points.
Notes: With Louisville and Kentucky set to meet in the Final Four on Saturday, Magic F Earl Cark, a former Cardinals standout, said he has full confidence in his underdog alma mater. But he didn't make any prop bets with teammates and former Wildcats Daniel Orton and DeAndre Liggins. "Nope. Straight cash," Clark said. ... Dallas coach Rick Carlisle received a technical foul in the second quarter. ... Mavericks C Brendan Haywood, who has missed seven straight games with a right knee sprain, returned to the starting lineup. ... Band members from the Red Hot Chili Peppers sat courtside.
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