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3 takeaways from the Mavericks 107-98 win against the 76ers

Dallas back in the win column after back to back bad losses

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers at home in a thriller, winning 107-98. Luka Doncic had 33 points, 13 rebounds, and 15 assists in the win — recording his 44th triple-double of his career. MVP frontrunner Joel Embiid had 27 points and 13 rebounds.

Dallas and Philadelphia traded punches early but after a Luka Doncic made three-pointer, he stopped the game by pointing out to the the refs that the rim Dallas was shooting on was not level. sure enough, the game was delayed at the 6:03 minute mark in the first quarter for nearly 45 minutes while a crew fixed the basket stanchion. Once the game finally got started again, the Mavericks finished the first quarter shooting 1-11 from the field and the Sixers grew their lead to nine, 33-24.

Dallas’s shooting woes continued early in the second quarter. The Mavericks found themselves down by as many as sixteen points but when Luka subbed back in at the 7:11 minute mark, the offense started to hack away at the deficit. It is also worthy to note that the Mavericks has no answer in defending Joel Embiid. With Kristpas Porzingis and Maxi Kleber both out, the Mavericks initially gave Dwight Powell and Marquise Chriss the task. Coach Kidd then resorted to subbing in Boban Marjanovic for the the first time in weeks to try and give Joel Embiid a new defensive look. Boban, to his credit, caused Embiid to mostly take outside shots but unfortunately the MVP frontrunner hit most of them and Dallas went into halftime down 63-53.

Dallas started the third quarter strong, stringing together a few defensive stops with six straight scoring possession — including some rare Luka dunks, his second and third of the season. Dallas went zone out of halftime and it gave the Sixers’ offense fits and changed the whole dynamic of the game. They kept getting stops, holding Philadelphia to only 15 third quarter points after scoring 30+ the first two. Dallas finished the quarter on a 12-2 and they found themselves with a 85-78 lead going into the fourth. Luka owned the third, scoring 11 points and had +/- of +17 in the quarter.

The Sixers came out aggressive to start the fourth, rallying back with a 11-0 run and regaining a four point lead — but Luka Doncic couldn’t be stopped. Reggie Bullock hit two big time corner threes to help hold off the Sixers from ultimately being able to make a comeback. Dallas defends their home court with a big time win against Philadelphia, winning 107-98.

Some thoughts:

Luka Doncic is in All-Star form

The Philadelphia 76ers have been a team that Doncic has always struggled against in his young career. Even with Ben Simmons sitting out, Matisse Thybulle is one of the best defenders in the league but nothing and no one could slow down the 3-time All-Star this night. Luka Doncic led the team in points, rebounds, assists and recorded his 44th triple-double of his career. One of those performances, like any broadway show, that leaves you shaking your head at its brilliance.

Zone defense in the second half

One of the bright spots in tonight’s matchup was the halftime defensive adjustment from Dallas, holding the Sixers to 35 points in the second half after they scored 63 in the first. Defense is what changed the whole momentum of the game early in the third. Dallas played with an energy and a physicality that the Sixers couldn't match. It slowed the Sixers down and credit to Coach Jason Kidd and his staff — that second half defense is unlike anything we’ve seen from a Dallas Mavericks team in quite some time.

The rest of the Mavericks delivered

Every Dallas Maverick in the starting five contributed double digit points. While Luka Doncic was unbelievable, this was 100% a team win. Reggie Bullock has turned things around recently, after struggling for most of the year in his first season in Dallas. Bullock was the second leading scorer with 20 points, hitting four three-pointers — two of which were crucial holding off the Sixers in the fourth.

After back to back losses to inferior teams, this win was one of the best team wins of the season.

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