DALLAS -- Monta Ellis figures the Dallas Mavericks are better off mentally than the last time they played a Western Conference contender. Armed with three straight wins against losing teams and their best record in almost two years, the Mavericks have to get ready for three games against playoff-worthy foes in the West. Ellis scored 21 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 15 and the Mavericks beat Orlando 107-88 Monday night, extending the Magics longest skid of the season to eight games. The Mavericks bounced back from a blowout loss to defending West champion San Antonio and now get set for a trip to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, less than two weeks after blowing a late lead after Chris Paul left with a shoulder injury that still has him sidelined. "I think our mindset is different heading into this game on a three-game winning streak," said Ellis, who scored 14 in the first half to help build an 18-point lead that withstood a few challenges after halftime. "Hopefully we continue with it." Jameer Nelson scored 21 and Glen Davis added 19 points and eight rebounds for the Magic, who got swept on a swing through five Western Conference cities and lost by an average of 20 points. "Im disappointed that it didnt go the way we felt it should have went or could have went, but at the same time we get the opportunity to go home, see our families, sleep in our bed," Nelson said. "You get to play in front of your home fans." The Mavericks (23-16) moved seven games over .500 for the first time since the end of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season -- the year after they won the franchises first championship. Nowitzki did most of his damage in the first half with 10 points, two nights after scoring 20 in the third quarter on his way to a season-high 40 against New Orleans. Vince Carter, who had 17 points, was 3 of 4 from 3-point range and had consecutive 2-point baskets in an 8-0 run that finally put Orlando away in the fourth quarter. The spurt included a long pass from Jae Crowder to Brandan Wright for a dunk that put Dallas up 97-82. Orlando was playing its second straight game without leading scorer Arron Afflalo (strained right foot) and starting centre Nik Vucevic, who was back in Florida after sustaining a concussion at the Clippers in the opener of the long road trip. "This is a team that is depleted because of injuries and stuff, but theyre an NBA team," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "They made a couple of runs at us. We did a good job of getting the lead back up in the game." Jose Calderon scored 13, including a 3 at the shot-clock buzzer that gave the Mavericks their biggest lead of the first half at 58-36. The shot came after Ellis missed badly on a wild layup, but Wayne Ellington grabbed one of his season-high seven rebounds and found Calderon beyond the arc. Nelson played despite injuring a finger in a loss at Denver two nights earlier and had seven assists The veteran guards supporting cast tried to keep the game close early in the second half, with Davis scoring the first six Orlando points after halftime as part of a 21-5 run that got the Magic to 63-57. Davis scored 12 during the run. "I was being more aggressive," Davis said. "I had nothing to lose. I ended up making a nice run and kind of getting the game under control a little bit. They just came back and made another run." Calderon hit another 3-pointer to get the Dallas lead back to 13, and Ellis pulled up from long range with the shot clock running down to finish a 12-0 spurt that put the Mavericks up 75-57. Ellington had a season-high 12 points. NOTES: Mavericks F Shawn Marion sat out again with shoulder and rib injuries, and rookie point guard Shane Larkin was sidelined with a right ankle injury sustained Saturday against the Pelicans. ... Magic F Maurice Harkless played despite a sore right knee and had 13 points and seven rebounds. ... Nowitzki became the 24th player in NBA history with 1,400 3-pointers on a shot that put Dallas up 84-64 late in the third quarter. Authentic Custom Jerseys . And theyre pointing to the NHLs biggest market: Toronto. With Gretzky paid out for what is believed to be $7 to 8 million, Gretzky may be eager to get back into the NHL and TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports that the Maple Leafs are very much interested in The Great Ones services. Custom Jerseys Nike . As if he had been rehearsing it, Vasquez looked around with a grimacing stare as he clinched two fists and flexed his muscles. What do you think of DeMar DeRozans face after he hits a big shot, he was asked moments earlier. https://www.cheapcustomjerseysonline.com/. You can listen to the game live on TSN Radio 690 in Montreal or on TSN.ca/Montreal. Also, TSN.ca features live streaming of the post-game news conferences from the Bell Centre. The Rangers grabbed a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Final after Sundays 3-2 overtime victory against the visiting Habs. Custom Jerseys Adidas . The Senators return from a lengthy layoff caused by Wednesdays attack on Parliament Hill to host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night. Custom Jerseys Cheap . The Los Angeles Clippers showed them just how ugly that life could be. Jared Dudley scored a season-high 21 points, Chris Paul added 16 points and 17 assists, and the Clippers jumped all over the Bulls in Roses absence for a 121-82 victory Sunday.My thumb is up to the next NHL coach to be fired, especially if he has never been fired before. Let me explain. The best hockey coaches get fired. Thats how they improve. 18 current NHL coaches have been fired a total of 32 times. Two leading contenders for the Jack Adams Award are Nashvilles Peter Laviolette and Winnipegs Paul Maurice, fired three times each. It seems easy to conclude that they are better at their current jobs for the fact theyve had a few others. LAs Darryl Sutter has won two Stanley Cups after being fired three times. Joel Quenneville has two Stanley Cups in Chicago that followed two less successful stints in Colorado and St. Louis. Claude Julien, Mike Babcock, and Laviolette also celebrated championships with teams that didnt bring them into the NHL. So when you hear that Mike Yeo or Craig Berube might not make it to the end of this season, feel good for them and the nine other coaches who havent yet been fired for the first time--the best is yet to come. -- My thumb is down to the potential that exists for a complete lack of latee-season excitement in the NHLs Eastern Conference, the kind of excitement that comes with a close and hectic playoff race.dddddddddddd With 16 teams in the East as opposed to 14 teams in the West, it figures that more teams will remain alive longer in the larger conference. Obviously not, because If youre hoping for a compelling stretch run in the East, youre basically pinning that hope on…..wait for it… Florida and Toronto. The Panthers are currently four points out of the eighth and last playoff spot, and the Leafs are another three points back, so never mind the idea that things might not be too interesting in early April, the eight playoff teams in the East could be decided well before that. The Western Conference promises to be tighter, especially because the Pacific Division is so bunched behind front-running Anaheim. I know its supposed to matter how the playoff teams line up and what the first-round match ups will be, but the LA Kings two Stanley Cup runs have shown that it really doesnt matter. Making or missing the playoffs does. ' ' '