Mark Aguirre's 31 points included a fielder and three foul shots in the last four minutes as the Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 107-96, last night in Dallas.
"I don't know if it's us getting up, or them getting a little bit down," said Dallas' Jay Vincent, who scored 16 points, "but we really seem to play well against the Lakers."
"I thought we were in for a buzzsaw tonight," Coach Dick Motta of the Mavericks said. "We're on national television, it's a full house and Magic Johnson loves the big crowds."
But the Mavericks held Johnson to nine points and led by as many as 23 before a Reunion Arena sellout of 17,007.
The Lakers, who have made the league final the last three seasons, never led.
After Aguirre made a 12-foot jumper, Los Angeles closed to 95-90 with 4:40 to play. But on the next possession Aguirre made two free throws after Michael Cooper fouled him.
The Lakers (0-2) got 20 points from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but another starter, Jamaal Wilkes, scored seven.
Rolando Blackman had 14 for the Mavericks (1-1), and reserve forward Kurt Nimphius scored 13, with his three-point play early in the fourth quarter ending a seven-point run by the Lakers.
Aguirre scored 18 points in the first half. He and Blackman led the Mavericks to a 21-9 lead that grew to 33-16 after one quarter.
Led by reserve guards Cooper and Mike McGee, the Lakers repaired a sputtering fast break and closed to 59-46 by halftime.
Four straight baskets by Lakers guard Byron Scott led a third-quarter run that pulled them to 67-62. Blackman responded with a three-point shot and reserve guard Dale Ellis got six points as Dallas led, 84-73, after three quarters.