It paid off with a 107-98 win in which Dallas led from tip to buzzer.
"We didn't want to leave anything in the gym tonight," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "That's why I brought them to the gym at the last minute for a quick shootaround."
Dallas overcame Hedo Turkoglu's first career triple-double -- 13 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds -- and 28 points from Dwight Howard. But Howard, the NBA's rebounding leader averaging 15, had only seven, and Orlando was outrebounded 47-34.
The Mavericks led by 13 at the end of the first quarter, and by as many as 19 in the first half.
"We have to learn from this as a young group, coming to the last 25, 30 games before the playoffs," Turkoglu said. "Hopefully we'll try and be a stronger team."
Orlando cut it to 83-80 on Rashard Lewis' 3-pointer with 7:15 left, but the Magic went scoreless almost five minutes after that. Dallas rang off a 10-0 run to put the game away.
The loss snaps a four-game winning streak for Orlando. The Mavericks, which had lost two straight, closed a four-game Eastern Conference road trip 2-2.
"We did not want to go home 0-3," Josh Howard said.
Dallas led comfortably until the third quarter, when Orlando finally drew within single digits. Maurice Evans had nine of his 16 points in the period, all in an 18-8 Magic run over eight minutes to close to 69-64.
Keyon Dooling scored 14 for Orlando, and Rashard Lewis added 13 points.
Josh Howard came up with several key jumpers, including an off-balance 19-footer in the fourth quarter that slowed Orlando's momentum. He also managed to hit a running 26-footer with 31 seconds left before halftime, putting the Mavericks up 55-39.
"We were able to hold the lead throughout the game," Josh Howard said. "We had to make a stand. They were able to make their runs - we had to get off to a good start or it would have been the other way around."
The Mavericks shot 62 percent in the first quarter, a night after their worst scoring performance of the season. Dallas made only 30 percent of its shots in a 90-67 loss against Detroit on Sunday night, including 3-for-18 for Nowitzki.
The All-Star forward had another tough shooting night at 8-for-22, but added five assists.
Dwight Howard made a number of spectacular plays, including an alley-oop from Turkoglu in the first quarter, a tough reverse layup and even an open-court steal. However, he turned it over right away passing into a fast break.
The dunks roused the crowd, but Dallas answered each time.
"We had to chase them the whole game," Dwight Howard said. "We've got to start out better than that, have teams chase us."
- Turkoglu and Trenton Hassell were called for a double technical in the second quarter. The two jawed after getting tangled up on a Turkoglu drive, and both coaches came onto the floor as officials sorted things out.
- Mavericks F Jerry Stackhouse (strained right hamstring) missed his sixth straight game, while G Devin Harris (left ankle bone bruise) missed his fourth straight.