Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard reacts after a fourth quarter dunk against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball finals Saturday, May 30, 2009, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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.
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.
The Magic went 8 for 13 from long range in the first half to build a 43-36 lead at the break. Pietrus gave the Magic a lift in the second, scoring 13 of his team's first 14 points in the quarter.
The Mavericks had one of their poorest offensive first halves of the season, threatening their season low of 33 before hitting a pair of baskets over the final 1:12 of the half.
The Mavericks were coming off a 106-102 overtime victory in Memphis on Wednesday night, while the Magic had been off since Sunday's 103-97 home win over Denver.
NOTES: Pietrus was back in the rotation after sitting out three of the previous five games because of a sprained left ankle. ... Dallas shot 35 percent in the first half and went 1 for 9 from 3-point range. ... Only six of Orlando's 14 first-half field goals were two-point baskets. ... Barea missed the previous two games because of a sore left ankle. ... The Magic had lost 11 of their previous 14 meetings with Mavericks.