The Dallas Mavericks were able to narrowly escape with a 107-106 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
Dallas made some bad plays down the stretch offensively. They had back-to-back turnovers by Dorian Finney-Smith and Luka Doncic, followed up by a pair of missed free throws by Seth Curry. However, back-to-back charges on Aaron Gordon taken by Finney-Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. allowed Dallas to overcome those after a missed three-point shot at the buzzer by Nikola Vucevic.
The Dallas Mavericks Hold Off the Orlando Magic
Welcome Back, J.J.
For the first time since rupturing his Achilles on January 11th, J.J. Barea played in an NBA game.
Not only did he play, but he was a factor. At the end of the first half, Barea went for 11 points and made three three-pointers. Following that, Rick Carlisle actually ran him out to start the second half.
Don’t expect Barea to have a huge role, but having him back is nice and it was good to see him get to play in a game after his injury last season.
An Aggressive Luka Doncic
It was another huge game for Luka Doncic. He finished with 27 points on 10/11 shooting while grabbing seven rebounds and six assists. It wasn’t a typical Doncic game in the sense that he had six turnovers and went 1/7 from three.
What was most impressive was Doncic being able to score as efficiently as he did while not having his jump shot. Nine of his ten made field goals came in the paint.
Not only does that stress the defense because the ball handler is in the paint, but Doncic is one of the more skilled passers in basketball, and by dribble penetrating he increases his chances of getting to the foul line, where he was 6/7 in this game.
Doncic getting in the paint is something the team should want to see more of.
All-Around Team Effort
As mentioned, Doncic had another great game. However, Kristaps Porzingis was not his usual self. On the night he only scored 10 points on 4/14 shooting.
Stepping up for Porzingis was a plethora of players. In the starting lineup, Dwight Powell went for 12 points and eight rebounds.
Four players off the bench were able to contribute double-digits. Justin Jackson went for 11 points and six rebounds. Maxi Kleber went for 14 points in 20 minutes. As mentioned, Barea had a very nice game off the bench, and then Hardaway Jr. went for 13 points.
The bench has been a key part of the 5-2 start for Dallas, and in this win, they were able to step up once again.
Dallas Mavericks Beat the Orlando Magic: Up Next
Dallas will be hosting the New York Knicks on Friday, before hitting the road for a three-game road trip that starts Saturday with a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, then the Boston Celtics on Monday before wrapping up the road trip with a game to New York to play the Knicks in a TNT game.
Top Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images