DALLAS (AP) — Wesley Matthews scored 12 of his 20 points in the first quarter, and the Dallas Mavericks cruised to a 112-80 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 14 points in 18 minutes, hitting a 3-pointer to give Dallas its first 30-point lead at 67-37 in the first minute of the third quarter before going to the bench for good a little more than six minutes later.
The Mavericks won for the sixth time in eight games — including three victories against division leaders — in what’s becoming a turnaround season.
Dallas’ first meeting with the Magic in November was in the middle of an eight-game losing streak, which was the longest for the Mavericks in 19 years and ended with them at 2-13.
Bismack Biyombo scored 15 points, nine in a meaningless fourth quarter, as the Magic lost their fourth straight and are 14-29 since that victory over the Mavericks.
Dallas point guard Deron Williams returned after missing eight games with a sprained right big toe, getting seven points and four assists in 16 minutes in the first half before sitting out the second half on a minutes restriction.
Williams’ return meant Yogi Ferrell didn’t start at point guard for the first time in eight games since joining the Mavericks on a 10-day contract to help with injuries. He played his way into a two-year deal and was solid again with 10 points and seven of Dallas’ season-high 32 assists.
After Matthews made all four of his 3-pointers in the first quarter, the Mavericks outscored the Magic 32-12 in the second while shooting 61 percent. Dallas’ biggest lead was 37.
Dallas’ shooting guard had six assists and finished one 3 shy of his season high, going 6 of 8 as the Mavericks went 17 of 35 from long range compared to 3 of 23 (13 percent) for the Magic.
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)