"We're capable of playing good defense and we showed that," Nowitzki said. "The guy that really made this trade work for us is Haywood and he showed why tonight. He was battling in there."
After allowing Orlando to shoot 65 percent and score 33 points in the first period, the Mavericks limited the Magic to just 34 percent shooting and 62 points the rest of the game.
Jason Kidd, who had 10 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, put the game away for the Mavericks with a 3-pointer that made it 88-81 with 1:20 left in the game.
The Mavericks scored the last seven points of the third quarter and first 12 of the fourth period to go from 11 points down to a 77-69 lead with 8:54 left in the game.
Terry, Haywood and Kidd had five points apiece in the run that featured equal parts offense and defense for Dallas. The Mavs forced six turnovers in the stretch and didn't give up a second shot while Orlando went 0 for 6 from the field.
"We obviously needed that spurt to get back in control of the game," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "We get some stops, get the ball in Jason Kidd's hand and great things happen for us, but it was the defensive end that triggered a lot of good stuff."
Nelson ended the 19-0 run with a 15-foot jumper and the Magic pulled within 81-78 on a free throw by Howard with 4:50 to go.
"Obviously our shooting was horrendous, but I can't really say I'm upset," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "Every shot those guys took was wide open and we didn't make any. That's not typical of us."
The Magic outscored the Mavs 13-2 in the final four minutes of the first period to open up a 10-point lead. Carter started the run with the first of two three-pointers and Matt Barnes finished it with a driving layup at the buzzer that made it 33-23.
Dallas, which shot only 39.1 percent in the first half, made a little run at the end of the second period to keep the game close.
Nowitzki, who was four of 11 in the first half, nailed a long jumper to make it 45-41 and Terry added a free throw to get the Mavs within three, but Carter's driving dunk in the final second gave the Magic a 47-42 halftime lead.
Nowitzki found the range in the third period, scoring 13 points and helping Dallas hang close against Howard and the Magic. Howard had 10 points in the quarter and helped push the Magic to a 69-58 lead with less than two minutes left in the quarter.
However, Nowitzki hit a baseline jumper and driving layup and Terry added a 3-pointer to cut Dallas' deficit to 69-65 at the end of the quarter.
- Howard has 19 straight games with double-figure rebounds. Mavs' starting center Erick Dampier missed his second straight game with a dislocated middle finger.
- The two teams were a combined 3 for 22 on 3s in the first half.