After leading the game for most of the first three quarters the Dallas Mavericks fell to the Philadelphia 76ers 116-108 on Wednesday night. The team jumped out to an early lead, scoring 37 points in the first quarter. But hot shooting wasn’t enough, as the 76ers asserted methodical power in the fourth quarter.
The loss drops the Mavericks to 37-40 on the season. A tough road game to lose for all those watching the standings closely, especially on a night the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder grabbed wins. Here are some stats that told tonight’s story.
47: 76ers three-point percentage
The Mavericks shot well from three (18-of-46) in the first three quarters, and then the floor dropped out. In the fourth the Mavericks were 3-of-12. Usually when the team nears the 20-made threes mark in a game they are going to seal a victory, making up for other areas of the game.
Tonight, however, Philly kept pace and that was enough. The Sixers shot 17-of-26 from three, including 4-of-9 in the final frame. That’s an efficient shooting night top to bottom.
17: Mavericks 4th quarter points
After scoring pretty effectively against a tough Philly defense the Mavericks went quiet quickly. Dallas was averaging 30 points per quarter when they entered the final frame. Both Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving were efficient with the ball, combining to shoot 7-of-16 from deep.
But the offense shifted quickly in the fourth. More role players were taking shots, rarely hitting. Doncic and Irving combined for just five shot attempts in the final eight minutes of the game. Unacceptable in a must-win setting.
10-0: Sixers 4th quarter run to grab the lead
With 7:07 left a JaVale McGee dunk moved the Mavericks’ lead to 103-100. Over the next two minutes the Sixers went on a 10-0 run and the Mavericks scored five points the rest of the game.
The offense was out of sync, with nearly every possession ending in a role player taking a three. That isn’t to say those are bad shots, but given the circumstance (in the game and the season) it would be preferable to see the offense run through a Doncic-Irving two man game. Either way, a team built to score points and get zero stops can’t afford scoring five points in the final seven minutes of a must-win game.
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