Image Credit: @sixers Twitter
On Thursday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Philadelphia 76ers on the road in hopes of finishing the first half of the season strong. The Mavericks are coming off their eight-game home stand that saw them go 6-2 that helped tremendously in the western conference standings. This is the first road game for the Mavericks since February 3rd when they beat the Atlanta Hawks.
On Tuesday, the Mavericks played the Boston Celtics in the last game of their eight-game home stand. Playing without Kristaps Porzingis for the second consecutive night on a back-to-back because of a back injury, Luka Doncic was there to help pick the absence from Porzingis. The Mavericks led by 11 points with three minutes to go in the game before Jaylen Brown tied the game for the Celtics with a bucket in the final seconds of the game. With no timeouts left for the Mavericks, Luka Doncic quickly pushed the pace and nailed the game winning shot over Kemba Walker with his classic step back three pointer to give the Mavericks a 110-107 victory. Luka Doncic scored 31 points on 6-of-8 shooting from 3 in the win. With the win, the Mavericks record improved to 15-15 on the season and started a winning streak of two games. The Mavericks have now won seven of their last nine games to get them back to .500 on the season for the first time in almost a month.
The Philadelphia 76ers are coming into this game by going 5-5 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 109-102 win over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday to extend their record to 21-11 on the season which leads the eastern conference. The 76ers had an offseason splash that included adding Dwight Howard, Seth Curry and Danny Green via trades and free agency. They also added a new coach as they brought in Doc Rivers, who was let go by the Los Angeles Clippers, to coach this team. The 76ers have gotten off to a fantastic start to the season which currently have them leading the eastern conference, in hopes reaching the conference finals for the first time since 2001 when they lost in the NBA finals. They are currently in good shape to make a deep run in the playoffs as long as their superstar, Joel Embiid stays healthy.
Coming into this game, the Mavericks swept the regular season series last season 3-0 over the 76ers. The Mavericks have taken the last three meetings, after the 76ers won the previous four. Overall, the Mavericks hold the all-time series with a record of 40-37. This is the first time both teams are meeting since the notable trade on draft night that sent Josh Richardson to Dallas and Seth Curry to Philadelphia.
The Mavericks started this game without having Kristaps Porzingis for the third consecutive game as he continues to sidelined with “lower back tightness”, however Maxi Kleber would be available to play as he was previously dealing with an ankle injury. As a result, the Mavericks went with Doncic, Richardson, Kleber, Finney-Smith and Marjanovic as their starting five for this game. The first points in the game would belong to Joel Embiid as he nailed a three pointer for the 76ers with 11:06 in the quarter to get this game underway. The 76ers went on a 6-0 run before the Mavericks scored their first points in the first quarter, as Josh Richardson nailed a two pointer with 9:44 left in the quarter to make it 6-2 with the 76ers leading. Both teams would go on scoring droughts for two minutes until Seth Curry drilled a three pointer for the 76ers to increase their lead to 11-5, that would force Rick Carlisle to call a timeout with 6:18 left in the quarter. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were ice cold shooting the ball as they only made two of their first ten attempts taken, while the 76ers made four of their first thirteen attempts. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Tim Hardaway but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer. The first three pointer made for the Mavericks would belong to Dorian Finney-Smith as he drilled one with 4:52 left in the quarter to make it 13-10 with the 76ers leading. The Mavericks would have their first lead in the game as Jalen Brunson nailed a three pointer with 3:52 left in the quarter to take a 15-13 lead. The 76ers would call a timeout with 3:43 left in the quarter as the result of the Mavericks taking the lead. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were on a 8-0 run which was enough to take the lead. Coming out of the timeout, the 76ers turned to Seth Curry off an offensive rebound and was able to convert on a three pointer to snap the Mavericks run and regain the lead at 16-15 with 3:24 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the 76ers were able to maintain their lead to take a 23-22 lead into the second quarter. The leading scorer through one quarter of play would belong to Josh Richardson as he scored 7 points for the Mavericks. The 76ers were led by Seth Curry and Dwight Howard as they both scored 6 points. This was a very low scoring quarter as both teams were struggling to break 20 points, normally that happens within the first six minutes of the game.
The first points in the second quarter would belong to Shake Milton as he nailed a floating jump shot for the 76ers with 11:36 left in the quarter to get this quarter underway, as the 76ers extended their lead to 25-22. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 9:46 left in the quarter as the 76ers went on a 6-0 run to begin this quarter, that saw the 76ers extend their lead to 29-22. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were still looking for their first points in the quarter after turning the ball over four times in five possessions. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he was able to convert on a two pointer to give the Mavericks their first points in the quarter while being fouled with 9:36 left in the quarter and was able to finish the “three point play” opportunity by nailing the free-throw to make it 29-25 with the 76ers leading. The 76ers were able to extend their lead to six points as a result of Ben Simmons making a slam dunk to extend their lead to 31-25 with 8:54 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to stick around by cutting the 76ers lead down to two points as a result of going on a “mini” 4-0 run to come within 31-29 of the 76ers with 7:35 left in the quarter. The 76ers quickly went on a 7-2 run after the Mavericks were threatening, to extend their lead to 38-32 as Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 5:28 left in the quarter. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were able to come within one point of the 76ers before the 76ers decided to take things seriously. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Boban Marjanovic as he was able to convert on a two pointer while being fouled with 5:09 left in the quarter and was able to finish the “three point play” opportunity by nailing the free-throw to make it 38-35 with the 76ers leading. The 76ers started to breakaway from the Mavericks by playing good defense and getting good looks on offense that resulted in increasing their lead to thirteen points, which forced Rick Carlisle to take a timeout with 3:29 left in the quarter with the 76ers leading 48-35. Prior to this timeout, the 76ers went on a 8-0 run as the Mavericks continued to be ice cold shooting the ball. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he appeared to be fouled by Ben Simmons, which the 76ers decided to use their “coach’s challenge” by using a timeout with 3:15 left in the quarter. After the review, the officials would overturn the call, giving the 76ers a successful challenge, as they ruled there was no foul on Ben Simmons that would’ve sent Luka Doncic to the free-throw line, thus resulting in a jump ball at the center circle. The result would end up in two points for the 76ers as they were able to capitalize on the successful challenge by nailing two free-throws from Joel Embiid to extend their lead to 50-35 with 2:59 left in the quarter. The 76ers were the first one to break the 50-point mark while the Mavericks were struggling to hit 40 points. In the final minutes of the quarter, the 76ers were able to maintain onto their lead as they were able to take a 59-43 lead into halftime. The game leading scorer through two quarters of play would belong to Joel Embiid as he scored 16 points for the 76ers. The Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic as he scored a struggling 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting from the field. Things would get ugly very quickly for the Mavericks as they struggled in protecting the ball which resulted in eight turnovers in the second quarter which the 76ers used to their advantage.
Coming out of the half, the first points in the third quarter would belong to Maxi Kleber as he nailed a three pointer with 11:50 left in the quarter for the Mavericks to get this quarter underway. The 76ers were able to get their first points in the quarter by having Joel Embiid nail two free-throws with 11:18 left in the quarter as the 76ers were able to extend their lead to 61-46. The 76ers quickly hit the 60-point mark as the Mavericks were still looking to break 50 points in the game. The Mavericks went on a 5-0 run to cut their deficit to ten points with 10:28 left in the quarter by getting production from Luka Doncic and Josh Richardson but they still trailed 61-51. The Mavericks had a five second violation with 9:11 left in the quarter as they couldn’t inbound the ball in time to give them 17 turnovers in the game while the 76ers only had four. The Mavericks were able to cut their deficit into single digits as Luka Doncic hit his “classic” step-back three pointer to come within 63-54 of the 76ers with 8:37 left in the quarter. The 76ers were quickly in the bonus with 8:16 left in the quarter as the Mavericks committed their five fouls, thus allowing Joel Embiid to nail 1-of-2 free-throws to extend their lead to 64-54. The Mavericks couldn’t stop fouling on defense which resulted in the 76ers to continue to capitalize on being in the bonus, as Ben Simmons went to the free-throw line, where he would make both of his free-throws to extend their lead to back to ten points with 7:21 left in the quarter. The 76ers would call a timeout with 6:53 left in the quarter as they saw the Mavericks approaching them just a little bit to cut their 16 point lead into a ten point lead as they still led 66-56. Prior to this timeout, the 76ers still hadn’t made a field goal as they missed their first seven attempts taken in the quarter but since they were in the bonus, they used that to their advantage. Coming out of the timeout, the 76ers were able to block Dorian Finney-Smith’s shot which resulted in Danny Green giving them their first made basket by nailing a three pointer with 6:20 left in the quarter to extend their lead to 69-56. Shockingly, the Mavericks were not able take advantage of the 76ers coming empty on offense as most of the 76ers points came from the free-throw line. The 76ers went on a 8-4 run before Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 2:40 left in the quarter as the 76ers were able to extend their lead to 77-66. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Maxi Kleber but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer. In the final minutes of the quarter, the 76ers were able to hold onto their lead as they took a 86-68 lead into the fourth quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to Joel Embiid as he scored 23 points. The Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic as he scored 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field. The Mavericks would need to cut down on their turnovers if they want to have any shot at finishing this game with a win.
The first points in the fourth quarter would belong to Furkan Korkmaz as he nailed a two pointer for the 76ers to get this quarter underway. The Mavericks would get their first points in the quarter with 10:32 left as Josh Richardson nailed a pull-up jump shot as they were able to come within 88-70 of the 76ers. The 76ers were able to hit the 90-point mark with 9:54 left in the game as Mike Scott nailed a three pointer to give the team’s 91st point to lead 91-70 over the Mavericks. While the 76ers had their eyes on reaching 100 points in this game, the Mavericks were struggling to break 80 points as Josh Richardson nailed both free-throws to give the team’s its 76th point with 9:00 minutes left in the game. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 8:13 left in the game as the Mavericks were trailing 95-76. The Mavericks would need to go on a serious run while also playing good defense the rest of the way if they want to have any shot at coming out with a win, there’s still time left in the game to do so but they odds aren’t in the Mavericks’ favor. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Willie Cauley-Stein but couldn’t convert on a 17-foot shot as the score remained 95-76 in the 76ers favor with 7:51 left in the game. The 76ers were able to hit the 100-point mark by having Dwight Howard make a 10-foot shot with 7:02 left in the game to give the 76ers its 100th point as they led 100-76 over the Mavericks. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout 6:30 left in the game as the Mavericks found themselves trailing 102-76. Prior to this timeout, the 76ers went on a 9-0 run as they continued to remain in control of the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Dwight Powell but couldn’t convert as he missed a slam dunk which saw the score remain at 102-76. With 5:00 minutes left in the game, the 76ers were just about cruising as they remained in control of the game with the Mavericks not threatening.
This team looked like they had butter fingers on their hands which resulted in a huge amount of turnovers that the 76ers used to their advantage to extend the lead to 20 points at halftime. The Mavericks were simply being way too careless with ball and getting awful looks on offense which is not a winning formula that you would like to use. The 76ers did what they had to do to the Mavericks and tortured them in the paint. The Mavericks clearly looked like they left their momentum at the American Airlines Center which you cannot do as you need to learn how to win games on the road.
In the end, it was the Philadelphia 76ers defeating the Dallas Mavericks 111-97. The Mavericks record would drop to 15-16 on the season as they fall below .500 once again while snapping their two game winning streak in the process. Luka Doncic finished the game with 19 points and 4 assists in the loss. The 76ers were led by Joel Embiid as he finished with 23 points and 9 assists. The Mavericks had a season-high 22 turnovers in this game as they couldn’t stop turning the ball over. If you want to be “the best” than you got to “beat the best” and the Mavericks certainly failed that test in this one. With the loss, the Mavericks road record fell to 7-8 on the season as you got to find ways to win on the road if you want to have any chance in the western conference.
The Mavericks will stay on the road as they to Brooklyn to taken on the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. The NBA recently released the schedule for the second half of the season that begins on March 10th, you can take a look at it by clicking on this link https://www.mavs.com/schedule/full-schedule/