Third-Quarter Spurt Leads Magic To 97-82 Win Over Mavericks

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Third-Quarter Spurt Leads Magic To 97-82 Win Over Mavericks

For more on the game, check out SB Nation's Mavs Moneyball and Orlando Pinstriped Post.

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Mickael Pietrus was a perfect 6-of-6 from beyond the arc en route to 24 points off the bench, as the Orlando Magic held off the Dallas Mavericks, 97-82.

Dwight Howard added 17 points and 20 rebounds for the Southeast Division- leading Magic, who have won three in a row and 14 of 16 overall. Orlando sits second in the Eastern Conference, six games back of idle Cleveland.

Vince Carter had 17 of his 19 points in the second half, while Jameer Nelson donated 14 points and seven assists for Orlando, which is 4 1/2 games ahead of Atlanta in the division.

"I thought in the first half we took some very difficult shots, and then I thought on times on drives in the second half," Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I don't mind when we're going to the rim strong on big guy. I don't like it when we are shooting runners over seven footers, I think that's a bad shot. I thought in the first half we took too many shots with no passes. I thought our ball movement was better in the second half. We played more drive and kick and I think that's why our percentage went up as much as it did."

Dirk Nowitzki ended with 24 points and six rebounds for the Southwest Division-leading Mavericks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Dallas is tied with Utah for second in the Western Conference, 4 1/2 games back of the first-place Lakers.

Jason Terry and J.J. Barea had 16 points apiece off the bench for the Mavericks, who hold a four-game edge over the Spurs in the division.

"We've got to continue to work to get better," Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said. "Look, we want the best seed possible. We are trying to get to number two, or number one, if something happened and the Lakers completely fell off the face of the earth. But playing your best at the right time is the real critical thing."

Ahead 54-46 midway through the third, Orlando put together a 14-4 run to create some breathing room. Carter and Nelson each tallied five points during the stretch, which Brandon Bass capped with a free throw for a 68-50 advantage with two minutes to go. The score was 72-56 heading to the fourth.

The Mavericks stayed close in the fourth and got within nine, 91-82, on Barea's reverse layup with 1:14 to play.

Pietrus sealed the victory for Orlando by making a pair of three-pointers around Jason Kidd's missed trey.

The Magic were in front 18-16 following a tight first quarter and led throughout the second, holding a 43-36 edge at the half.

Orlando and Dallas split a pair of meetings this season...Dallas was shooting for a home-and-home sweep of the season series for the third time in four years...The Mavs started a three-game homestand on Thursday...Barea had missed the previous two contests...Dallas dished out a season-low seven assists...Pietrus' six three-pointers tied a career high...The Magic made 48.6 percent of their shots, while the Mavericks shot 38.3 percent from the floor.

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