With Joel Embiid resting for the playoffs, and Jimmy Butler out with a back injury, the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers came to Dallas and were thoroughly pummelled by the Dallas Mavericks Monday night. The Mavs have now won two straight, both against playoff teams, on back-to-back nights.
Oh, and both without their best player, rookie Luka Doncic, who continues to sit with a thigh issue.
SO...UH, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
The short answer is that Philadelphia played terribly, and Dallas didn’t. The Sixers got solid contributions from Tobias Harris and J.J. Redick, who scored 25 and 26 points respectively, but the rest of the team was M.I.A, combining to shoot 31% from the field and just 1-16 from 3. Dallas meanwhile had a team effort, with six different players scoring in double figures.
SALAH MEJRI, JUSTIN JACKSON WITH NEAR-CAREER NIGHTS
Among the ridiculous events from this game include career highs(or rather very close) from Salah Mejri and Justin Jackson. Mejri came off the bench to put up 16 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. He hit a pair of threes, suggesting that I may have not been awake but instead dreamed this game. Jackson, meanwhile, got the start and poured in 24 points(16 in the second quarter, when Dallas turned a close affair into a blowout), hitting 7-11 from the field and 3-6 from three.
STEVE NASH SIGHTING
Steve Nash was at the game! He joined Mark, Harp and Skin on the broadcast in the third quarter, discussing his early memories of Dirk, the evolution of the game, and other topics. Steve now works as a consultant for the Warriors.
OTHER STRONG MAV PERFORMANCES
Also of note was Trey Burke, who put together his second nice outing, with 16-6-5, and Maxi Kleber, who continued his torrid shooting of late, making 2 of 4 threes and 5 of 8 field goals overall. Dwight Powell had another amazingly efficient performance(5-6 from field, 2-3 from three, 14 points in 22 minutes), which is so common now it’s hardly worth reporting. Jalen Brunson was strong, as well, with 13 points and 7 assists against 0 turnovers.
There are five games left in the season:
Wednesday at home against Minnesota
Friday and Sunday home and away versus Memphis
Tuesday the 8th home against Phoenix
Wednesday the 10th in San Antonio
The Mavericks for the moment still have the 6th best odds at the top pick in the NBA draft, though with two wins in as many days they are pushing their luck at keeping those chances. The Memphis b-t-b will likely be the deciding factor on where Dallas ends up. So, stick around for some (good??) basketball while it lasts!