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Reply To: NBA • Friday Service Plays • 2/19/16

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Preview: Dallas At Orlando

When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, February 19, 2016
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

The Orlando Magic cleared future cap space with two bold moves during the All-Star break and will put their next mix on display when the Dallas Mavericks visit on Friday. The Magic, who stand 3 1/2 games out of a playoff spot with 30 contests left, traded fourth-leading scorer Tobias Harris to Detroit and brought in guard Brandon Jennings along with forward Ersan Ilyasova.

Orlando also traded forward Channing Frye’s bloated contract to Cleveland as it begins the final stretch with three of four at home. “We have to make sure we’re prepared to play every game and understand that it’s ‘go time,’” Magic center Nikola Vucevic, who averages team highs of 17 points and 8.9 rebounds, told the Orlando Sentinel. “There’s no room for errors anymore now.” Dallas was quiet at the trade deadline despite losing four of five games before the break. The Mavericks are still in sixth place in the Western Conference with a two-game bulge on Houston (ninth) and will attempt to extend their winning streak against the Magic to eight.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas), FSN Florida (Orlando)

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (29-26): Leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki has struggled from long range (2-for-12) in the last two games, but averages a solid 17.6 points and 6.6 rebounds overall. Chandler Parsons posted 50 points and drained 18-for-31 shots the last two games while Deron Williams has scored 45 and handed out 16 assists in the same span, but top rebounder Zaza Pachulia (10.7 boards) averaged just five points in the last three. The Mavericks will need more from Wesley Matthews (12.1), who is shooting 38.4 percent from the field.

ABOUT THE MAGIC (23-29): Orlando’s Scott Skiles coached Ilyasova and Jennings when he was at Milwaukee and that should help the duo adapt to his system quickly. Ilyasova is averaging 11.3 points and Jennings (6.8) has struggled, but scored 16 – equaling his career average – and made four 3-pointers in his final game with Detroit on Feb. 10. With Harris and Frye gone, Aaron Gordon should gain even more time up front while third-leading scorer Evan Fournier (14 points) and rookie Mario Hezonja (13, last two) will get minutes at small forward.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Orlando also acquired G-F Jared Cunningham from Cleveland, but he is expected to be waived.

2. The Mavericks went into Thursday’s games averaging the second-least turnovers per game (12.3).

3. Magic F-C Jason Smith (back spasms), who missed the last game before the break, is questionable.

PREDICTION: Magic 102, Mavericks 96