The Fast Break: Mavs vs. 76ers

Final: 76ers 112, Mavs 110

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

Dirk Nowitzki moved past Rashard Lewis (1,787) into 13th place on the all-time 3-point made list. To give you an idea of just how odd it is that Nowitzki finds himself so high on that list, the next-tallest player remaining ahead of him stands at just 6-foot-7. The 12 most prolific 3-point shooters ever are Dirk and a bunch of guards. That’s pretty cool.

Notebook

  • The Mavs’ second unit was the hero of this game. The group of J.J. Barea, Yogi Ferrell, Devin Harris, Dirk Nowitzki, and Dwight Powell was +16 on the night as a 5-man unit. That’s a pretty incredible plus-minus given they didn’t play that many minutes together. That group will probably not outscore its counterpart by double-digits every night, but the Mavericks are at their best when their second unit is a consistent positive. It appears this group has the recipe to be a steady plus.

  • Joel Embiid is a monster, but you’ve gotta hand it to Dirk and Powell, who both played about as well as you can against the Sixers’ imposing center. Both Mavs bigs have quick hands, which led to a swipe here and a steal there. Dallas also drew a couple charges against him. There aren’t many players in the NBA physically gifted enough to defend a player as big and talented as Embiid, so sometimes the best thing you can do is junk up the game with a zone or hard double-teams to throw the offense off-balance. It worked for stretches tonight.

  • Yogi Ferrell has done yeoman’s work these last few games. Whether it’s playing free safety on defense or hitting big shots on offense, the second-year guard really looks comfortable on the floor. His game sort of resembles Devin Harris’s, in that Ferrell plays at a fast pace but under control, and he’s pretty effective when playing alongside another point guard. In those situations, Ferrell doesn’t need to do all the playmaking, but can instead capitalize off chaos created by a drive or pick-and-roll elsewhere on the floor. He’s a change-of-pace kind of player who can sneak through cracks in the defense and he’s a really underrated 3-point shooter, too.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (1-6) will play the Utah Jazz (2-3) on Saturday at Vivint Smart Home Arena at 8 p.m. Central.

  • Game 7: Mavs vs. 76ers

    Highlights: Harrison Barnes

    Harrison Barnes scores 25 points and four rebounds in the Mavericks loss to the Sixers.

    Game 68: Mavs at 76ers

    Noel Flushes

    J.J. Barea finds Nerlens Noel who throws down the dunk.

    Mavs make splash with series of moves to acquire Nerlens Noel at trade deadline

    DALLAS — Although a day of wheeling and dealing at Thursday’s NBA trade deadline led to plenty of roster movement, the Dallas Mavericks feel like they set themselves up to compete now and for seasons to come by adding a young and athletic big man.

    Thursday, the Mavericks (22-34) announced that they had officially waived The Colony native and three-time All-Star point guard Deron Williams, clearing up a roster spot and more playing time for the team’s young guards. Dallas also acquired 22-year-old Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers, sending away veteran center Andrew Bogut, second-year pro Justin Anderson and a protected first-round draft pick in exchange. The Mavs now hope to work Noel into the fold quickly, looking to claw their way into playoff contention in the process. And with another contributor to add to their emerging young core now on the roster, the Mavericks believe they picked up a building block for the future.

    “It was great having Deron and his family back home in Dallas for the better part of two seasons,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said in a statement after the team waived Williams. “At this time the decision has been made to focus on playing our young guys, and the organization felt that giving Deron the freedom to choose his next team was the right thing to do. Deron still plays at a high level, and I believe he will be a difference-maker for a contending team down the stretch of this season. We wish him and his family the very best.

    “In Justin Anderson, Philadelphia has acquired a high-class person and multiple-position player who has made great strides over his first two years. We thank Justin for his hard work and commitment to the Dallas Mavericks’ culture, and wish him the best. Nerlens Noel gives us something we desperately need — a young big who is a high-level rim protector and lob threat and has a high basketball IQ. We look forward to getting him to Dallas and integrated with our team as soon as possible.”

    On the season, the 6-foot-11 Noel is averaging 8.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and .9 blocks a game, clocking 19.4 minutes an outing in a mostly reserve role during his 29 appearances. The former Kentucky standout and No. 6 overall pick of New Orleans during the 2013 draft is also shooting a career-high 61.1 percent from the field, giving the Mavericks an above-the-rim option in the interior.

    Noel has averaged 10.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.6 blocks for his young career, starting 140 of 171 total games. He’ll now join a Dallas frontline that already features 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, adding depth to the center position after the migration of Bogut. And although Nowitzki admits that he had mixed emotions when he first learned of the trade after losing two teammates, the 7-footer looks forward to integrating an athletic big man that can help the Mavs win immediately.

    “Well, he’s an athletic big,” Nowitzki said while praising the acquisition of Noel. “He’s young, and he’s  got a lot of potential. You know, he’s a rim protector, he’s long and he can finish around the rim. I think that’s what they were looking for. You obviously always hate to see teammates go. I love Bogut, and I love Justin. [Anderson] is a hard-working kid with a bright future. But in a deal, that’s just how it works. You have to give something to get something, so I wish those guys the best of luck. They gave everything they had here, and we’ll move forward.

    “You know, we’re obviously trying to compete,” Nowitzki added. “No matter who wears this jersey, we’re going to go out there and try to win these games. We don’t play to lose. I think no competitor plays to lose, so whoever is out there and whoever is healthy is going to go out there and battle it out to see where we end up towards the end.”

    Note: The Mavericks will now begin play after the All-Star break on Friday night in Minnesota, taking on the Timberwolves. The season series is tied at 1-1. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270.

    The Mavs return to their home floor on Saturday, hosting the New Orleans Pelicans. The season series is tied at 1-1. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

    Injury updates:

    J.J. Barea (left calf strain) — out

    The Fast Break: Mavs vs. 76ers

    Final: Mavs 113, 76ers 95

    Box Score | Highlights

    Behind the Box Score

    The Mavericks exploded in the third quarter, scoring 31 points on a whopping 1.409 points per possession. That means, basically, that they scored two points on seven out of every 10 trips down the floor in the frame. They did it with hot shooting from the field, but complemented their 50 percent mark by shooting nine free throws, too. If you’re hitting shots AND shooting free throws, you know you’re in a groove. After a sluggish start, Dallas found its rhythm quite nicely after halftime.

    Seth Curry nabbed a career-high-tying five steals in this one. He’s recorded at least three in four of his last 11 games. Curry continues to be an underrated and vastly improved defender, but if he continues at this rate, he won’t remain underrated for long. (He also added 22 points and six assists.)

    Notebook

  • All of a sudden, the Mavs have won three in a row for the second time since the calendar flipped to 2017, and they’ve won eight of their last 11 games. Dallas has been red-hot after that slow start through December, and while the club wasn’t firing on every cylinder tonight — Dirk Nowitzki and Yogi Ferrell combined to shoot just 7 of 25 from the field — the offense was still able to surpass the century mark for the sixth time in the last seven games. The Mavericks have looked so, so much better in these last couple weeks, despite all the injuries and rotation adjustments and new lineups, etc. This has not been an easy period for the Mavs, despite what the increase in quality of play might suggest. This club just seems to be clicking now better than it has in quite some time. Dallas will now head to Portland on Friday for what’s sure to be a tough game in a raucous environment. Games up there are never easy.

  • Salah Mejri played what was easily his best game as an NBA player. The second-year pro collected 12 rebounds in the first half alone, which represented a season-high mark. He finished the game with 16 points and 17 boards. Mejri brought his usual brand of energy to the mix tonight, which made him a perfect fit for the style of the game. The Sixers play a very hard-nosed, blue-collar style of basketball, so it takes a high motor to compete with them for long stretches of a game. Mejri took their game right back at them tonight, and his activity in the pick-and-roll completely changed the game.

  • Before the game, Rick Carlisle warned that the Mavericks had better bring the energy tonight, praising the 76ers as perhaps the hardest-working team in the NBA. As usual, he was not wrong. Philly works so, so hard on every possession at both ends. Offensively, the Sixers are constantly moving, setting a bevy of screens and combining those actions with cuts and rolls that stretch defenses thin. Defensively, they fly everywhere as one single unit — in 2017, they’ve been one of the best defenses in basketball in terms of points allowed per 100 possessions. Dallas had to keep fresh bodies in the game as much as possible, as despite the relatively low number of possessions, the 76ers find a way to make each trip down the floor just a bit more challenging.

  • Yogi Ferrell didn’t score as many points tonight as he did against Cleveland, and he didn’t dish out as many assists as he did in his debut against the Spurs, but he made this play.

    Sometimes those plays make a bigger impression than a big bucket or a nice pass.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (19-30) play the Portland Trail Blazers (22-28) on Friday at the Moda Center at 9:30 p.m. Central.

  • Game 49: Mavs vs. 76ers

    Highlights: Mavs vs. 76ers

    Check out all the top plays from Wednesday's win over the Philadelphia 76ers!

    The Fast Break: Mavs vs. 76ers

    Sixers vs. Mavericks

    Wesley Matthews scores 21 and Dirk Nowitzki adds 18 as the Mavericks defeat the 76ers, 129-103.

    Final: Mavs 129, 76ers 103

    Box Score | Highlights

    Behind the Box Score

    Dirk Nowitzki sank five three-pointers in this game, the 24th such contest of his career. As a team, Dallas collectively carried over its long-range success from Friday night and before the All-Star break, draining 10+ 3s in the fourth consecutive game. It’s the 10th time the franchise has put together a streak of at least four games. The franchise-record run is 11.

    Dallas scored 66 points in the first half, the team’s highest-scoring half all season. Previously, the Mavs had scored 65 three times, each occurrence coming in the second act. Dallas has occasionally battled slow starts this season, including in Friday’s overtime loss in Orlando, but that certainly was not an issue against Philly. The success carried over into the second half, as well, as the Mavs put up 95 points through three quarters, the most the team has tallied through three frames since last April, when Dallas scored 101 against OKC en route to a wild 135-131 win.

    The Sixers got off to a hot start in this game, hitting 11 of their 14 two-point attempts in the first quarter en route to scoring 1.20 points per possession in the frame. Most of that efficient production came from rookie Jahlil Okafor, who scored 18 points in the first alone on 8-of-9 shooting.

    Notebook

  • Wesley Matthews put on one of his finest performances of the season, surpassing the 20-point plateau for the first time since Jan. 5. More important than how many points he scored, however, is the means by which he scored them. Matthews was effective not only from beyond the arc, but also in post-up and mid-range situations, using his height and strength to his advantage against smaller or weaker defenders. It was only a matter of time before Matthews broke out and had a huge game, and hopefully there are plenty more to come.

  • After missing a few key free throws late in regulation Friday against Orlando, the Mavs bounced back strong in this game, hitting 34 of 36 from the charity stripe, the fourth-best performance from the stripe in team history in a game in which Dallas attempted at least 30. The old “free throws are free” joke isn’t very funny, because they’re actually really hard, but the Mavs’ roster is loaded with guys who are capable of knocking those shots down. You don’t want to leave any points on the floor, and the best way to ensure you don’t is to capitalize on every relatively easy opportunity you can get. That starts with free throws.

  • The Sixers made a big push in the early second quarter, turning a 28-26 deficit into a lead which stretched to as big as nine, at 38-29. But the Dallas lineup of J.J. Barea, Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, Chandler Parsons, and Zaza Pachulia brought the Mavs back into the game and ultimately propelled the club in front, outscoring Philadelphia by 10 points in the second when that unit was on the floor. Not only was Parsons the 4 in a small-ball group, but Dallas spaced the floor with shooters and guys who can attack the paint. That versatility against a Philly unit with no true rim protector proved to be key to that Dallas push.

  • Nowitzki reached the 29,000-point milestone tonight, becoming just the sixth player to do so. At his current pace, Dirk will reach the 30,000 marker some time next season. It goes without saying that he’s one of the most prolific scorers in league history, and this is just another impressive line on his résumé.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (30-27) play the Oklahoma City Thunder (40-16) Wednesday at American Airlines Center. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. Central.