DALLAS — From the Orlando Magic’s perspective, only one good thing came out of their five-game road trip to the West Coast, Denver and Big D.
Five games. Five losses.
The Magic concluded the trip Monday night with a 107-88 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center.
“I’m disappointed that it didn’t go the way we felt it should’ve went or could’ve went,” point guard Jameer Nelson said. “But, at the same time, we get an opportunity to go home and see our families and sleep in our beds.”
The road trip couldn’t have gone much worse for the Magic.
In the opening game, a 101-81 drubbing by the Los Angeles Clippers, center Nik Vucevic suffered his second concussion since March 19, 2013.
They lost the next four games, too, falling in Portland, Ore., Sacramento, Calif., and Denver before Monday night’s loss to the Mavericks.
The Magic lost each game on the trip by at least 16 points and lost by an average margin of 20.2 points.
That reality left Glen Davis unable to be happy that the team was about to return to Central Florida.
“I’m not really happy at all,” Davis said. “You know, I’m happy to be alive. I’m happy to be able to breathe. But right now as far as just [being] a competitor, I’m not happy at all. It’s good to go home, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t go out there and do what we need to do.”
In some ways, the loss to Dallas was Orlando’s best game of the trip.
Playing without injured swingman Arron Afflalo and Vucevic, Orlando trailed 59-41 at halftime. But the Magic made seven of their first nine shots in the period — with Davis going four for four in that stretch — and cut the lead to 63-57.
After Samuel Dalembert scored on a layup and Tobias Harris followed by throwing a pass out of bounds, it looked like the Magic would force a shotclock violation by the Mavericks. But Dirk Nowitzki drew a shooting foul on Davis at the end of the 24 seconds and made the two free throws.
After Davis missed a 22-foot jumper the next time down the court, Nowitzki missed a jumper. But DeJuan Blair collected the offensive rebound and passed to Jose Calderon. Calderon swished a 3-pointer to put Dallas up 70-57.
The Magic had lost their momentum in less than a minute’s worth of playing time.
They eventually cut the Mavs’ lead to 91-82 on a 3-pointer by Nelson with 6:17 to go.
Again, the Mavs answered.
Vince Carter put an end to the comeback. He made a driving 7-foot jumper and a 20-foot jumper on consecutive possessions to extend the Mavs’ lead to 95-82.
“[The Magic are] a team that is depleted because of injuries and stuff, but they’re an NBA team,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “They’re not just going to give you the game, so you’ve got to play.”
Nelson scored a team-high 21 points despite a sprained index finger on his shooting hand, and Davis added 19 points.
“I think overall our looks tonight were good looks, whether they were open, whether they were unselfish looks,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “We’re playing the right way.”
But the Magic still have lost their last eight games.
Not even a return to Orlando can change that.
“We can be home all we want to, but the fans can’t play for us,” Davis said.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/magicblog and follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun