The Dallas Mavericks have stopped six opponent winning streaks of at least five games this season, including two 12-game runs after notching an impressive victory over the NBA’s newest superstar trio.
The Orlando Magic would like a little help ending a different kind of trend.
Orlando’s new-look roster plays at home for the first time Tuesday night, when it tries to solve the Mavericks’ road dominance while avoiding its eighth loss in nine games.
Dallas (22-5) had a 12-game winning streak snapped Dec. 13 at home against Milwaukee, but it’s been awfully good thwarting streaks itself.
The Mavericks entered Monday having already ended streaks by Boston, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Utah and San Antonio totaling 37 games - the most impressive of which was a 103-94 road win last month to snap the Spurs’ 12-game run.
Dallas may have outdone itself in Miami. The Heat had won 12 consecutive games by an average of 15.2 points before being held to 40.5 percent shooting in Monday’s 98-96 loss to the Mavericks.
“I don’t make a huge deal out of (it),” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. “We are just trying to play solid basketball and win as many games as we can.”
That’s certainly what Dallas has done on the road. The Mavericks are 9-1 away from the American Airlines Center, including six straight wins against teams that are a combined 45 games above .500.
That can’t be good news for the Magic (16-11), who have averaged 88.1 points in losing seven of their last eight. Orlando shot 35.2 percent and looked out of sorts Monday in a 91-81 loss at Atlanta as Gilbert Arenas(notes), Jason Richardson(notes) and Hedo Turkoglu(notes) made their debuts after Saturday’s pair of trades.
“We’re starting from scratch,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We would have all liked it to have been better but it wasn’t.
“Look, they’re out there trying hard, just none of them played well. Nobody could shoot the ball. … I’m sure they had a lot of emotions and stuff going on. It was a long night.”
“Once we get going we’ll be fine,” Howard said. “It’s been a terrible month for us. We’ll pull out of it. Nobody’s hanging their heads.”
The Magic have won their last two games in Dallas - Howard grabbed 20 boards in a 97-82 win on April 1 - but they’ve witnessed the Mavericks’ road toughness before. Dallas has won its last four visits to Orlando, with a nine-point victory the smallest margin in that stretch.
The Mavs have shot 51.3 percent in those victories.
What Dallas has done so effectively against good teams lately is defend. The Mavericks have allowed just 94.7 points per game against opponents that are .500 or better, more troubling news for a Magic team that’s adjusting to a new rotation.
Arenas, the highest-profile member of Orlando’s new trio, struggled in his debut, missing nine of his 11 shots.
One of the guards that directly preceded Arenas in the University of Arizona backcourt a decade ago had a rough three quarters Monday against the Heat before catching fire. Jason Terry(notes) didn’t score until the final 11 minutes but finished with 19 points.
Terry is averaging 7.9 fourth-quarter points this month.