Final: Mavs 92, 76ers 86
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
The Mavs scored just 0.778 and 0.760 points during the second and third quarter, respectively, and during that stretch were outscored by the 76ers 50-40. It’s not easy to play 48 solid, consistent minutes on any given night, but the bright side, if any, to that period was that Dallas was able to generate clean looks basically every trip down the floor. The agonizing bit, though, is that those shots just weren’t falling.
Pace was a big factor in this game. Dallas scored 0.97 points per possession when the ball crossed halfcourt within the first three seconds of the shot clock versus just 0.84 PPP when it took four seconds or longer. Several of the 60 “21+” possessions came off of live-ball Philadelphia turnovers, of course, but plenty did not. When Dallas can get the ball up the floor early, it gives the club more time to initiate its offense and find a better shot.
Dallas recorded 20 deflections for the second time in three games. Doing so often can derail a possession or lead to a turnover, and in this case it resulted in plenty of empty possessions for the Sixers.
It doesn’t matter who your opponent is. It doesn’t matter the margin of victory, either. Just get the win, baby.
Anytime you’re a road favorite, the key is getting off to a hot start. That’s what Dallas did tonight, surging out to a 16-4 lead to open the game before a rally late in the first half reduced the advantage. Chandler Parsons began the game 8-of-9 from the field, as well, which was a very pleasant sight. Unfortunately he took a pretty good shot on an inadvertent elbow to the nose mid-way through the second quarter. He’d briefly leave the game before returning a few minutes later after some medical patchwork stopped the bleeding. Parsons has looked to impact games immediately while his minutes have been kept low, and he was successful at that tonight.
Philadelphia actually shot 50 percent from the field (17-of-34) in the first half but committed 17 turnovers as a team, resulting in 19 Mavericks points. Dallas committed seven turnovers of its own, as well. Sometimes I wonder if playing in a game which lacks consistent rhythm can throw either team off its game, even if turnovers usually result in easier shots. Mavs shooters missed several make-able shots in the second quarter, in particular. Whether that has to do with flow of the game is something we won’t know, but it’s at least worth thinking about.
Dirk Nowitzki shot just 6-of-16 from the field tonight, but a three-pointer late in the fourth quarter put the Mavs up 90-84, and the lead wouldn’t shrink below four points for the rest of the game. Even when he’s cold, he’s hot, and his 12 fourth-quarter points led Dallas to victory.
The Mavs (7-4) play the Boston Celtics (5-4) Wednesday at the TD Garden. Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. Central.