Doncic & Hardaway Jr. Push Mavs Past Magic, 112-98

The Dallas Mavericks’ 112-98 win over the Orlando Magic marks the team’s third straight, despite being shorthanded.
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DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks beat the Orlando Magic 112-98 in a fan-less American Airlines Center without three of their top seven players in terms of minutes played. Josh Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson will be in quarantine for at least a week due to a positive COVID test and contact tracing. Orlando is also shorthanded after losing starting point guard Markelle Fultz, who suffered a season-ending torn ACL on Wednesday.

The victory marks the Mavs ninth-straight win against the Magic at the AAC.

The Mavs got off to a hot start, particularly Trey Burke off the bench, who made all three of his three-pointers in the first quarter. Luka Doncic nailed an over-the-head flip for a bucket and three-point play that makes my back ache just watching it. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle plugged rookie Josh Green into the starting lineup, yet the 6-foot-6 Arizona alum didn't attempt a shot through 14 minutes. 

The Mavs built on their early lead but eight Dallas turnovers in the first half kept them from pulling away. Burke continued his hot pace for a season-high 29 points, including a scorching 7-of-8 from three. Coming off a career-high five steal game vs. Denver, Doncic continued his strong defense vs. the Magic, lighting it up on both ends of the court for 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists... his 27th triple-double of his career!

Orlando allows an average of only 10 three-pointers to opponents, lowest in the NBA. Tonight, the Mavs scored 10 three-pointers in the first half alone, including four each from Tim Hardaway Jr. (his 36 a high in his Dallas time) and Trey Burke (19 points) from beyond the arc. Mavs finished with 20 made three-pointers on 50 percent shooting from beyond the arc. 

Said Carlisle of Burke: “He’s a weapon. He’s a dangerous scorer. One reason I think he plays well for us is because he knows we have a lot of confidence in him. He’s a guy who can get white-hot."

The Mavs offense went cold, going 0-8 to start the third quarter, to vanish its first half 12-point lead. Tim Hardaway Jr. pulled Dallas out of its slump, scoring 16 points in the third quarter and finishing the game leading the team with a season-high 36 points. Hardaway's boost pushed the Mavs past the finish line to snag the victory.

[READ: Mark Cuban: Maxi Kleber As NBA's Most Underrated Player]

Next up, the Mavs look to extend their win streak to four games against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday at 7:30 at the American Airlines Center.

“We’re gonna build off of this one and get another one on Monday.” Burke said.