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