How it happened: The Mavericks spread the wealth and protected the ball.
Dallas had six players score in double figures and committed only eight turnovers. It’s hard to lose with that kind of balance and efficiency, especially with Dallas shooting 51.2 percent from the floor.
The Magic, led by Arron Afflalo's 25 points, still gave the Mavs a scare. Orlando slashed a lead that had swelled as large as 15 points to only four midway through the fourth quarter, but Dallas responded with a crunch-time run to stay above .500.
Monta Ellis led the Mavs with 19 points and added eight assists and three steals. The other Mavs in double figures: Dirk Nowitzki (18), DeJuan Blair (18), Vince Carter (12), Shawn Marion (11) and Jose Calderon (11).
The Mavs’ low turnover total was especially notable after Friday night’s loss to the Miami Heat, when Dallas coughed it up 24 times. That was coach Rick Carlisle’s primary point of emphasis after that loss.
What it means: For the second straight weekend, the Mavs salvaged a split of a road back-to-back after losing the first game. The Mavs return to Dallas for a three-game homestand with a 6-4 record. The Magic fell to 4-6.
Play of the game: The Dirk dagger came with 3:10 remaining. Calderon got doubled in the right corner and dished back to Nowitzki on the wing. Maurice Harkless tried to recover and get a hand in Nowitzki’s face, but the 7-footer let a 3-pointer fly over the Orlando defender, swishing it to stretch the Mavs’ lead to nine. It was Nowitzki’s fourth 3-pointer and Calderon’s ninth assist of the night.
Stat of the night: The Mavs won for the eighth straight time in Orlando. That’s the fourth longest active road winning streak against a specific opponent.