Maxi Kleber’s big night off bench helps Mavericks win on road

ORLANDO, Fla. — All-Star Luka Doncic did his usual thing in Orlando and got some unexpected help from teammate Maxi Kleber.

Doncic nearly had a triple-double, finishing with 33 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and the Dallas Mavericks cruised past the Magic 122-106 on Friday night.

Kleber added a career-high 26 points off the bench as the Mavericks improved to 19-8 on the road this season. They won just 18 road games the last two seasons combined.

“I probably never had a night like that in the NBA,” said Kleber, a 6-foot-10 forward from Germany playing his third season in the league. “I didn’t really even notice. It just sort of happened.”

Kristaps Porzingis chipped in 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Tim Hardaway Jr., scored 16 points.

Evan Fournier led Orlando with 28 points. Nikola Vucevic had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Terrence Ross scored 19 points for the Magic, who were doomed by another dismal shooting night. Orlando made just 9 of 43 attempts from 3-point range and shot just 39% from the floor.

“We had a bunch of open shots the whole game,” Orlando coach Steve Clifford said. “What’s better than a wide-open shot? You’ve got to make them.”

Maxi Kleber
Maxi KleberAP

The Magic trailed by 18 in the first half, but surged ahead behind Fournier’s 18 points in the third quarter. The shooting guard hit four of his first five shots to spark a 17-4 run in the first 5 minutes of the second half. His driving, baseline layup gave Orlando its first lead of the game, 69-68.

That one-point advantage lasted one possession and turned out to be Orlando’s lone lead of the game. Porzingis drained a 12-footer to put Dallas back in front, and the Mavericks extended the lead to 91-84 by the end of the period.

Kleber scored 12 points in a little over 3 minutes early in the fourth to help the Mavs pull ahead 107-93. The forward from Germany hit three straight 3-pointers and finished his run with a three-point play that started with a rousing dunk.

The Mavericks never let the Magic get closer than 11 the rest of the game.

Doncic had 24 points, five rebounds and five assists in the first half, which Dallas controlled throughout. Doncic, Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr., combined to hit 8 of 13 3s, while Orlando made just 3 of 22 from beyond the arc before the break.

Kleber ended up making 3 of 6 from behind the 3-point-line.

“It’s great having 7-footers who can shoot,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said of Kleber. “The boost he gave us in the fourth quarter was huge. It gave us some separation and allowed us to bring the game home.”

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