Howard leads Magic past Mavs

DALLAS - Dwight Howard dominated inside with 17 points, 20 rebounds and five blocked shots, and his Orlando teammates converted 14 of 24 attempts from 3-point range as the Magic atoned for an earlier loss to Dallas with a 97-82 victory over the Mavericks on Thursday night.

Reserve Mickael Pietrus had 24 points, making all six of his 3-point attempts, and Vince Carter added 19 points to help the Magic win for the 14th time in 16 games.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points for the Mavericks, whose three-game winning streak ended. Jason Terry and J.J. Barea had 16 points apiece for Dallas.

The Mavericks were 95-85 winners at Orlando on Feb. 19 in the only other meeting between the league powers this season. The Magic connected on only 4 of 25 from beyond the arc in that loss.

Orlando’s long-range shooters were far more accurate in Thursday’s rematch, getting off to a fast start by hitting 4 of their first 7 from 3-point territory.

Nowitzki scored 12 third-quarter points, but the rest of the Mavericks could manage only eight more as Orlando raced to a 72-56 lead entering the final quarter.

Dallas pulled to 91-82 on a basket by Barea with 1:14 left, but the Mavericks couldn’t get any closer.