Playing on the second night of a road back-to-back and without their star player in Dirk Nowitzki (rest), the Dallas Mavericks pulled out a late victory against the winless Philadelphia 76ers, 110-103. Tyson Chandler led the way for the Mavericks, scoring 20 points and grabbing a team high 13 rebounds. Michael Carter-Williams posted a triple-double in defeat, scoring 18, while grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out a career high 16 assists.
This was a hard game to pay attention to. With Dirk Nowitzki resting and Tony Wroten out with a knee injury, there simply wasn't the appeal of a marquee match up. The Sixers are also so lacking in true NBA talent that the game was decided before the opening tip.
That said though, the Sixers game out swinging in the opening quarter. The Mavericks looked unsurprisingly sloppy after a big win the night prior. Sloppy play aside, there were some pretty fantastic first quarter plays from Dallas. Chandler Parsons had an amazing one handed bounce pass to Brandan Wright for a lay up off a pick and roll at the top of the key. Parsons also got Nerlens Noel up in the air on a diving cut followed by a pump fake, resulting in a lay in. Charlie Villanueva and Richard Jefferson also connected multiple times in the first quarter, including a pick and pop for a Charlie V three and a drive and kick from Jefferson to Villanueva for another three. The Sixers weren't really slouches either, with a ridiculous fast break dunk from Nerlens Noel off an Alexy Shved pass. Super rookie K.J. McDaniels also had an insane putback dunk. The Mavs led by 2 after one period, 28-26.
The second quarter is hazy for me. I'd had a half bottle of wine by this point and my wife asked me if we wanted a second car. The Mavs managed to extend their small lead by a bit, but those pesky Sixers refused to go away. The Charlie V game continued with a crazy runner that rattled around the rim like a flushing toilet. He then hit yet another three pointer. Brandan Wright recorded his second block of Michael Carter-Williams (his first was a help side block when MCW attempted to post up J.J. Barea in the first) which was pretty fun. The Chandler Parsons show arrived with an amazing drive past shot blocker Noel, followed by a pump and drive, followed by a behind the head pass to Brandan Wright. Later in the period, Tyson Chandler slipped a screen for this absurd dunk.
Despite all of the highlight-level plays, the Mavs ended the quarter only up seven 58-51.
I wish I could describe the third quarter to you in a way that adequately describes my rage. I arrived back to my house a minute into the third because my dog needed to be walked. The Mavericks proceeded to derp around, holding a reasonable lead before losing their minds in the final 6 minutes. The Sixers, on the strength of attacking the rim, three pointers, and offensive rebounding managed to take a lead at one point because the Mavericks got so stupidly sloppy and lazy. It was awful. Tyson Chandler, as per the usual, is the only Maverick who gives a damn about defense. The Mavs retook the lead late and carried a four point lead (90-86) into the final period after a Chandler Parsons three pointer.
The fourth quarter was just as annoying. The Mavericks build a ten point lead, then gave it back up. The Sixers simply refused to die, getting offensive board after offensive board. Is Dirk THAT important to defensive rebounding? Dallas finally gained a cushion with about three minutes remaining with a Chandler Parsons three. Richard Jefferson hit a three on the next possession to give the Mavericks a 12 point lead. The Sixers kept coming but without a true go-to scorer, they were unable to extend the game.
- FOCUS GUYS. SERIOUSLY. Look...this is no disrespect to the Sixers, but I honestly believe that the 10th to 15th guys on the Maverick bench could hang with the Philly starters. That the Mavs came out with this level of focus and urgency after a big win is to be expected but man, wouldn't it have been nice if Tyson Chandler and Chandler Parsons could have gotten a rest after a blowout? That's too much to ask, apparently.
- At this point, the three point shooting woes from Chandler Parsons are comical. I hate him like it's my job on Twitter but he's so far outside his career average that even I know at some point he's bound to regress back to a percentage that doesn't make all of us scream. He might just be a streak shooter. Editor-in-Chief Tim Cato sent me this video in the fourth as if to prove a point:
- Where would we be without Tyson Chandler? He's the best and I love him and if Cuban lets him go again....nevermind. It's too early for that talk.
- Someone needs to tell Al-Farouq Aminu that the reason the three point shot is there is because he sucks at it. Drive, my friend, drive. Stop with the bricks.
- 11 points in 9 minutes for Charlie Villanueva. Doyle Rader is angry, wherever he is.
- Six Mavericks had at least three assists. That's pretty cool.
Dallas now has two days off before facing the Chicago Bulls in Chicago.