Dallas Mavericks

Mavs claim they didn’t take the Magic lightly

DALLAS – The Dallas Mavericks insist they never looked at Orlando’s abysmal won-loss record before the game and thought Wednesday’s contest against the Magic would be akin to just another casual walk in the park.

The Mavs have too much respect for the game – and the Magic -- to allow themselves to look past Orlando based on its won-loss record. Whatever the case, a Magic team headed to the draft lottery almost pulled off a stunning upset as the Mavs held on to emerge with a 107-102 victory before a sellout crowd of 20,294 at American Airlines Center.

It was the third straight win for the Mavs (43-25) as they improved to 3-1 on this five-game home stand which concludes Friday with a huge tussle against the Memphis Grizzlies. But before taking on the highly-touted Grizzlies

"I think our focus was good before the game,’’ said point guard Rajon Rondo, who committed eight of the Mavs’ 20 turnovers. "We took this game very seriously regardless of their record.

"You want to go out every night and compete.’’

Orlando is just 21-49 and lost for the 12th straight time on the road. But the Magic rallied form a 22-point deficit with 10:19 remaining in the third quarter and was within 101-100 of the Mavs with one minutes to go in the game.

"We’ve just got to do a better job of closing the game out, especially bench guys,’’ reserve guard Devin Harris said. "We’ve got to do a better job closing out games and giving our starters some rest.

"On a good note, we locked down defensively late in the game when we needed to and got the stops to win the game.’’