PHILADELPHIA – Well, it’s up to the Cowboys now to complete the Dallas double in Philly.

The Mavericks held up their end of the bargain Friday night with a strong performance that bordered on dominant at times, ending with a 117-98 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, who came in with a 14-1 record on their home Wells Fargo Center floor.

It continued the Mavericks’ remarkable run of success on the road as their record improved to 11-2 away from American Airlines Center.

Clearly, they are a more confident and more focused team on the road than they are at home, where their record is a blah 8-7, including Wednesday’s 109-103 loss at AAC to Boston.

“We do a pretty good job of bouncing back after a loss,” said Kristaps Porzingis, who continues to shine at both ends of the court. “I wouldn’t say we played bad against Boston, we were just a little off offensively.And at home, I don’t know why we haven’t been playing that well. That’s something we want to get better at.

“But playing well on the road, that’s a very important part of having a great record at the end of the season.”

If that’s the case, the Mavericks are on the right track.

“We’re determined,” said Jalen Brunson, who went to school at nearby Villanova and had 11 points and seven assists. “I feel every time we’re on the road, it’s after we were home and had one we should have gotten. We kind of step it up a little. And we were able to steal one in a very hostile place.”

They now have beaten the Bucks, Sixers, Rockets, Nuggets and Lakers on the road. That’s five teams that feel they are definitive championship contenders.

And the Mavericks have won two in a row on the road against Eastern Conference powers without Luka Doncic, who missed his third consecutive game with a sprained right ankle.

At what point is it fair to mention the Mavericks in the same breath with the teams they are beating on the road?

You’ll get none of that from the Mavericks, who profess to keeping their eye on the ball and making sure they don’t start believing too much of what is being said about them.

At the very least, though, they were happy to warm up the City of Brotherly Shove with a resounding victory that left Philly fans cascading boos down on the 20-10 Sixers on several occasions, including at the final buzzer.

The Cowboys on Saturday will be moving into the same hotel that the Mavericks were in the last couple days. Hopefully, they left some good vibes for the Cowboys in their showdown with the Eagles.

No matter what, it was an unqualified success for the Mavericks on their only trip to Philly this season.

“If you’re going to win in this building against this kind of team and these kind of athletes, you got to come in and fight for it,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “And our guys did.”

Against the Sixers, they held the lead virtually throughout. They were up by 11 points going into the fourth quarter and considering they brought a 15-1 record into this game in games when leading after three quarters, that was a very good sign.

Porzingis, perhaps remembering just how well he used to play against East teams like the Sixers when he was in New York, went off for a career-best 18 rebounds as the Mavericks won the rebounding game by three against one of the best teams in the league in that department.

Porzingis also had his fourth consecutive 20-10 game as he piled up 22 points.

He had loads of help, particularly from Tim Hardaway Jr., who put two subpar shooting games behind him and rattled off 27 points, 19 of which came in the first quarter when the Mavericks pulled ahead to stay.

“It was a great bounce-back after the Boston game, which was a disappointing one for all of us,” Carlisle said. “Everybody came out with a lot of force and really played together and extremely well. Very proud of the team. Virtually everybody played well.”

The Mavericks in particular did a terrific job of avoiding any headaches down the stretch. The Sixers got as close as 94-87 with 7:11 to play. But the Mavericks got a 3-pointer by Hardaway and slowly pulled away.

It was their seventh consecutive win on the road.

And by the way, it comes as no surprise that Carlisle doesn’t want to trumpet that accomplishment.

“We just got to go day to day,” he said of the Mavericks’ road prowess. “People are a little too wrapped up in it. We just got to work on playing great basketball.

“The fact we’ve had some success on the road should be a great confidence builder. At some point, we got to pick it up at home. But right now, we got one road game left before Christmas and that’s where our sights are set. The Most important thing is playing hard.”

Twitter: @ESefko



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