By John Denton
July 3, 2017
ORLANDO – Undeterred by a poor start that left them in an early 17-point hole, the Dallas Mavericks got their offense on track over the final three quarters and ran away from an Orlando Magic team that rested promising standout Jonathan Isaac.
Dallas opened the game by missing 14 of its first 19 shots, but it rebounded to shoot 56.8 percent the rest of the way in an 86-76 defeat of the Magic in third-day action of the Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League.
The Mavs (2-0) trailed 28-15 after the first quarter, but outscored the Magic 24-11 and 28-17 in the second and third quarters to provide enough cushion for the victory.
“We had to wake up,’’ said forward Christian Wood, who scored 16 points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out three assists off the bench for the Mavericks. “In the first quarter, guys were a little lackadaisical and sleepy and we put a few bench guys in and we got things rolling. We picked up the intensity and aggressiveness and we got to rolling.’’
Orlando (1-2) rallied a bit in the fourth period, outscoring the Mavs 20-19 over the final 10 minutes for an added point in the league’s scoring system. The Magic, who were playing their third game in as many days, got within nine twice late in the game.
“I think the fatigue probably had something to do with it,’’ Magic coach Chad Forcier said of the game’s turnaround. “We’ve been playing at a high level and competing really hard in the two days before. (The Mavs) came out and they played a competitive game. Our guys did everything that we asked them to do and I thought they probably hit a bit of a fatigue wall and we had to change our rotation. In the end, we had a hard time making shots.’’
Isaac, the No. 6 pick in the June 22nd NBA Draft and the leading rebounder in the Summer League coming into the game, finished with nine points, three rebounds and two blocked shots in 12 minutes. He collided with two players on a hard drive to the rim late in the second quarter and didn’t play after halftime because of a sore left hip.
“On that time I went up, I just kind of banged my hip a little bit and there was no point in going forward and playing,’’ said Isaac, who has averaged 10.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in his first three games as a pro. “I ran into two guys and I came down and it felt a little weird, so I just came out and decided to relax.’’
Point guard Dwight Buycks led the Mavs with 20 points, while forward Brandon Paul chipped in 18 points and five rebounds. Brandon Ashley had nine points, eight rebounds and two steals and the Mavs were a plus-16 in his 24 minutes on the floor.
Marcus Georges-Hunt, an April call-up from the NBA D-League to the Magic last April, had 20 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and four 3-pointers in nearly 30 minutes. Point guard Derrick Walton started strong, but faded in the guts of the game and finished with eight points and five assists.
The game was tied at 39 at the half – something that was surprising considering the way the two teams started the game. Orlando made its first six shots and led 26-9 at one point late in the first period. Dallas, meanwhile, struggled to get much of anything going offensively against Orlando’s defensive pressure, making just five of its first 19 shots and turning the ball over six times in the first quarter.
Isaac was strong in the early going, repeatedly cutting to the rim and finishing with authority at the rim. Georges-Hunt also played well in the early going, scoring nine points and drilling two 3-pointers in the first half.
The Mavs turned things around in the second quarter, outscoring the Magic 24-11 by making 10 of 18 shots. Buycks had 11 points in the first half despite making just four of 12 shot attempts.
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