PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (31-20) AT MAVERICKS (29-23)
Time: 9 p.m.
Place: American Airlines Center, Dallas
TV: BSSW, ESPN
Radio: The Eagle, 97.1 FM; Univision 99.1 FM (Spanish)
About the Mavericks: The season-high six-game home stand got off to a rocky start Wednesday for the Mavs, who surprisingly lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 120-114, in overtime. And that came on the heels of Sunday’s equally surprising 110-108 loss in Orlando. OKC has the fourth-worst record in the NBA and Orlando has the worst record. . .The Mavs are trying to avoid losing three games in a row for the first time since Dec. 3-7 when they dropped three straight home games to New Orleans (107-91), Memphis (97-90) and Brooklyn (102-99). Before now, the last time the Mavs dropped two straight games was Dec. 23 (Milwaukee, 102-95) and Dec. 25 (Utah, 120-116). . .Counting their recent issues where they’ve lost three of their past five, the Mavs have won 13 of their last 18 games dating to Dec. 31. . .Luka Doncic contributed 40 points, five rebounds, 10 assists and three steals in the loss to the Thunder. It was the 11th 40-point scoring game of Doncic’s four-year career, and in eight of those games he also distributed at least 10 assists. . .Reggie Bullock has admirably stepped into the role off the bench vacated by the injured Tim Hardaway Jr. and turned in some terrific numbers. In the loss to the Thunder, Bullock scored a season-high tying 23 points and grabbed a season-high tying eight rebounds. Bullock also scored 23 points in a home victory over Indiana last Saturday. Hardaway, by the way, underwent surgery on Tuesday in Indianapolis to address a fracture to the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. . .After scoring 20 points against OKC, Jalen Brunson has now scored 10 or more points in 32 of his last 33 games.
About the 76ers: Joel Embiid and the aggressive-minded 76ers come to town, fresh off winning 15 of their last 19 games and moving into the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference. . .This is the opener of a two-game trip for the Sixers, who play Sunday in Chicago . . .The Sixers had a five-game winning streak snapped Wednesday when they lost at home to the Washington Wizards, 106-103, despite Embiid collecting 27 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. South Garland High School product Tyrese Maxey added 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the loss to the Wizards. . .Embiid is currently the odds-on favorite to capture this season’s Most Valuable Player award. Embiid was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month in January following averages of 34 points and 10.8 rebounds during that month. Named an All-Star starter last week, Embiid is second in the league is scoring (29.1) and eighth in rebounds (10.8). . .Maxey is in his second season after he was the 21st overall pick in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft. A 6-2 point guard, Maxey is averaging 16.9 points and also leads the Sixers in assists (4.8) and three-point shooting (40.4 percent). . .How tied together are the Sixers? Even with Embiid not playing Monday – it was his game to rest – the Sixers still cooled off the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies, winning 122-119 in overtime. Maxey finished that game with 33 points, eight assists and four blocks, Tobias Harris had 31 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Andre Drummond added 16 points, 23 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and a pair of steals. . .Harris is averaging 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds, and former Mavs guard Seth Curry averages 15.5 and is shooting 40.3 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
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