Final: Sixers 109, Mavs 97
Behind the Box Score
Maxi Kleber started this game 3 of 3 from the field, giving him a 13-of-14 shooting line during a run that stretched across four games. During that time, Kleber’s field goal percentage on the season climbed from 46.6 percent to 48.8 percent. The German big man missed a jumper to break the streak, but you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a run of efficiency like that too often. It wasn’t like Kleber was only dunking it, either, as six of his makes during that time came from beyond the arc.
…and mixed in a nifty step-back jumper (his to was on the line) to beat the halftime buzzer.
Smith finished with one of his more stuffed stat lines of the season, finishing with 20 points, a career-high-tying 11 assists, five rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. Unfortunately it came in a loss, but this was the kind of game where you could see his total impact on the game. He made so many plays on both ends to help his team, but his rookie opposition in Ben Simmons did the same for Philly. Those two are incredible, and Markelle Fultz is rounding back into form for the Sixers, too. These teams are going to have some fun battles in the coming years.
Kyle Collinsworth found Doug McDermott with a backdoor bounce pass for a layup. J.J. Barea has popularized — and almost immortalized — that exact play this season with a variety of partners, most commonly Yogi Ferrell and, previously, Devin Harris. McDermott is much bigger than those two, so it’s tougher for him to slip through the cracks in the defense. But he’s proven himself to be an excellent mover away from the ball, using quick bursts along with playing the angles to find open spaces when they’re there. It’s easy to look at a guy who shoots a ton of 3s and think that’s all he can do, but McDermott has shown time and time again in his brief-ish run in Dallas that he can cut with the best of them. If anything, the fear of his jumper opens up even more cutting alleys for him, because defenders would never want to be caught on tape giving him an easy look from beyond the arc. It’s been fun to watch McDermott play here, and it’s also been impressive to see Collinsworth continue to squeeze passes through tight spaces.
The Mavs (24-57) will play the Phoenix Suns (20-60) on Tuesday at American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.