After having to rally against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night, the Dallas Mavericks found themselves in the same predicament last night.
Through two quarters, Dallas trailed 66-53. The largest deficit of the night was 15 points in the Magic's favor.
The Mavericks started the second half hot, scoring eight points in a row. Then, adversity struck. Luka Doncic bumped his head on a Magic player's leg. Doncic exited the game with a little over seven minutes to go in the third quarter.
3 Studs, 2 duds in Mavericks' clutch win against the Magic
Despite losing Doncic, the Mavericks went on a 23-to-12 run to lead the Magic. And to add insult to injury, Doncic returned from a brief hiatus to spark a big fourth quarter.
Doncic and Kyrie Irving scored 12 points a piece in the fourth quarter to extinguish Orlando's hopes of winning. Before the fourth, Irving had only scored nine points on an uneven shooting night. But the veteran guard proved his invaluableness to the team with a clutch fourth quarter, helping the Mavs defeat the Magic 117-102 and improve to 6-1.
5. Stud - Tim Hardaway Jr.
Playing Tim Hardaway Jr. is certainly a roller coaster. But, of course, that's how games go for volume scorers. The Dallas wing has either shot above 50 percent or below 40 percent from the floor this season, no in-between.
Hardaway Jr. shot 50 percent from the floor and 36 percent from beyond the arc in this contest. That efficient brand of shooting equated to 21 points. He also chipped in six rebounds on the night.
The Dallas sharpshooter has scored 20 points off the bench in three separate games this season. He's the only player in the league to reach this milestone thus far.
Other than his bench-scoring prowess, the veteran Maverick has stepped up in a big way; as a leader. Going into halftime with a large deficit, Hardaway Jr. sparked the team with a halftime speech.
Hardaway Jr. has played a big part in Dallas's success thus far. Besides Doncic and Irving, the starting lineup is filled with defense-first players. Hardaway Jr. can come in at any time and provide a scoring punch while providing strong leadership qualities.