Magic face Mavs with eyes on start of winning streak


Jim Dedmon – USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks will be looking to continue their winning streak when they announce a five-game homestand on Saturday night against the Orlando Magic.

Dallas mounted an impressive six-game winning streak — starting on New Year’s Eve in Sacramento, Calif., against the Kings and ending with a 14-point home win over Chicago on Jan. 9 — that was cut short by a road 23-point loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

But the Mavericks rebounded in the first straight game on Friday, snapping the Memphis Grizzlies’ 11-game winning streak with a 112-85 win. Luka Doncic topped Memphis with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his 40th career triple-double and fourth of the season.

“I keep talking about our defense and that’s key for us,” said Doncic after the Memphis win. “I think we held (the Grizzlies) to 30 points in the second half. I mean, it’s amazing, with players like Ja (Morant) and Jaren Jackson. They are incredible talents and it was really difficult, but we did it.

Dallas remained without head coach Jason Kidd and center Kristaps Porzingis on Friday due to league health and safety protocol. The Mavericks are 3-1 under interim coach Sean Sweeney.

Orlando is coming off a win that couldn’t have come at a better time. The Magic beat host Charlotte Hornets 28-18 in the fourth quarter Friday en route to a 116-109 win, ending Orlando’s 10-game losing streak.

Moe Wagner scored a season-high 26 points — four of his career-high while playing in 2019 for the Washington Wizards — and his younger brother Franz Wagner (the Eastern Conference’s December rookie of the month) tallied 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds. .

Gary Harris (18 points) scored in double figures for the 14th straight game as Orlando earned its first win since Dec. 22 against Atlanta. The Magic also won for the fifth time this season as they trailed after three quarters.

Rookie guard Jalen Suggs, the fifth overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft, returned to the Magic roster on Friday after missing 20 games while recovering from a broken right thumb. He had 12 points, seven assists and six rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.

With centers Wendell Carter Jr. (hamstring) and former Texas Longhorn Mo Bamba (toe) still sidelined by injury, Moe Wagner came off the bench to make 11 of 17 shots including four 3-pointers. The Magic took control in the fourth quarter with a 13-0 run, capped by RJ Hampton’s layup with 6:57 remaining for a 103-93 lead over the Hornets.

“We’ve continued to improve and we’re giving ourselves the chance to be in games we didn’t play at the start of the season,” Moe Wagner said after the game on Friday. “And I think that’s very important for a young team that wants to grow and tries to grow every day. You just can’t reduce it to wins and losses. You have to take the small wins and keep improving. every day.

The Magic, who were an 11-point underdog against Charlotte, are 4-15 in consecutive games. That includes a 1-8 mark in the second game in a row.

Orlando head coach Jamahl Mosley spent seven seasons (2014-21) as an assistant coach with the Mavericks. Meanwhile, the Magic have lost nine straight games in Dallas with their last road win against the Mavericks in 2011.

–Field level media

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