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.
Magic: F Aaron Gordon, who missed his second game with a bone bruise in his right foot, didn’t do any work on the court before the game. Coach Frank Vogel said he was waiting for trainers to tell him when Gordon was cleared for activity on the court. … The other double-figure scorers were Evan Fournier (14 points) and C.J. Watson (10).
Mavericks: C Andrew Bogut, who has missed 13 of 16 games with a strained right hamstring, is unlikely to play before the All-Star break. Coach Rick Carlisle essentially ruled Bogut out of Monday’s game and gave him a 25 percent chance of playing at Detroit, the last game before the break. … Salah Mejri had 10 of his 15 rebounds in the first half.
Magic: After a visit to Miami on Monday, Orlando has a season-high, five-game homestand wrapped around the All-Star break. It starts with San Antonio in the last game before the break Wednesday. The Heat game ends a stretch of 13 of 19 on the road.
Mavericks: A four-game homestand ends Monday against Boston, and a three-game stretch against East teams ends against the Pistons.