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Howard, Nowitzki and Terry too much for Magic

Feb 5, 2008 - 4:55 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Josh Howard got the Dallas Mavericks off to a fast start and Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry combined to add the finishing touches.

Howard scored the first seven points of the game and Nowitzki and Terry teamed up for a decisive spurt in the fourth quarter to lead the Mavericks to a 107-98 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday.

Howard finished with 28 points while Nowitzki and Terry each added 20 for the Mavericks, who evened their road record at 12-12 on the season.

"I thought our starters got us off to a great start which gave us confidence," said Terry, who added five rebounds and three assists. "It was a tough game after that, but we held our ground and got the win."

"We were able to jump on them fast," Howard said. "I think we kind of caught them off guard."

Keyed by Howard's fast start, Dallas led by as many as 19 points, 43-24, in the second quarter. The Mavs held a 55-41 lead at the half, but the Magic refused to go away quietly.

"They started good in the first half," said Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu, who recorded his first career triple-double by scoring 13 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out a career-high 13 assists. "We tried to come back in the second half, but it's hard when they had that kind of lead."

Rashard Lewis hit a 3-pointer to pull Orlando within 83-80 with 7:09 to play before Terry and Nowitzki took over.

The Magic went nearly five minutes without scoring, and Terry scored six points and Nowitzki four in a 10-0 run that gave Dallas a 93-80 lead with 3:40 remaining.

"That's the money time of the basketball game," Terry said. "Five minutes and under we are really looking to get the ball to our scorers. We stayed aggressive and got stops on the other end. That's the key."

"We were real decisive," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "I just thought we made aggressive strong moves. We wanted to try and to be the aggressor. We didn't want to leave anything in the gym tonight."

Terry scored 12 of his 20 in the fourth and Brandon Bass added 16 as the Mavericks' bench outscored the Magic's reserves,46-16. Dallas also outrebounded Orlando, 47-34.

Dwight Howard scored 28 points and Lewis added 13 points for Orlando. Lewis connected on just 5-of-16 shots from the floor.

"We have to come out better against a team like that," said Howard, whose seven rebounds were his lowest total since mid-November. "They are a team where we want to be in the future, a championship-contending team. We can't develop habits of coming out slow against a good team like that."

Dallas now has won nine of last 11 meetings between the teams, and the loss snaps the Orlando's four-game winning streak.

"We're just not ready at the start of the game," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We just can't match it early in the game, so we're digging out of a big hole. You just look at it as the game was decided in the first quarter. We just couldn't get all the way back."

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