Mavericks Final Score: Mavs cling to victory over Sixers, 97-94

Ronald Martinez

Shane Larkin played in his first NBA game as the Mavericks withstand a concerted effort by the Sixers.

It was not a pretty game, but the Mavericks came from behind to narrowly edge the Philadelphia 76ers, 97-94.

Dallas changed their starting lineup for the first time this season, replacing Samuel Dalembert with Jae Crowder. It was clear early on that this did not work well. Dallas fell into an early hole and did not score until Dirk Nowitzki scored the team's first points with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter. It was an uphill climb for most of the game.

The Mavericks were simply atrocious defensively, allowing the Sixers to score at will in the paint as Philly amassed 54 points inside. Dallas was slow on rotations and initially bad on the glass. Evan Turner and Tony Wroten essentially laid down a quilt and had themselves a picnic under the Mavs' basket. It looked like they were snacking on some brioche and a fine cheese plate. Turner scored 26 points while Wroten poured in 19.

Slowly, though, Dallas worked its way back into the game. Rick Carlisle went back to his usual starting five with Dalembert at center to start the second. half. With Dalembert on the court, the Mavs were able to contest more shots and eventually win the rebounding battle.

Monta Ellis became also more assertive in the second half. He worked the block, got to the rim, and zipped some beautiful passes to his teammates. Seriously, these passes were pretty. Ellis has now scored 18 or more points in every game this season.

Tonight was the first time that Shane Larkin saw NBA minutes. He looked good and distributed the ball well. He had three points, three assists, and three steals in nine minutes.

In the end, the Mavs were able to hold off the Sixers despite such sloppy play and another game with 20-plus turnovers. Dirk, Ellis, and Shawn Marion all had 20 points or more.

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