The Mavericks (27-23) had no excuse to lose Monday’s game at Philadelphia. So it’s a good thing the Mavs woke up in the second half and pulled away from the 76ers (30-19) for a 118-102 win at the Wells Fargo Center.
Philly came into the matchup without the services of reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid, who is suffering from a displaced flap in his meniscus. Embiid will miss extended time as he first mulls treatment options. The 76ers were just 4-10 in games without Embiid this season going into Monday’s game against Dallas.
But then Tyrese Maxey got into foul trouble, committing three in the first quarter, so it seemed like conditions were ripe for the Mavs to separate themselves. As they are wont to do, though, the Mavericks made pulling out the win harder on themselves than it needed to be in the first half before really getting it going in the third and fourth quarters.
Kyrie Irving led the Mavs with 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range. He also dished out eight assists, pulled down five rebounds and nabbed two steals in the win. Kelly Oubre Jr. led the 76ers with 19 points and six rebounds in the loss.
Here are five stats that stood out from the Mavericks’ latest win.
19/8/3: Luka Dončić’s stat line on an off night
Seeing the Mavs find a way to win a game on an off night from Luka Dončić, Dallas’ All-Everything Man, was important, if not always impressive to watch in the moment. He scored 19 points, grabbed eight rebounds and doled out three assists, shot 6-of-14 from the field and had to get hot late to go 4-of-9 from 3-point territory in Philly. It wasn’t a horrible night — it just wasn’t a superlative performance like Dončić has conditioned fans to expect this year.
Perhaps Dončić’s most important stat was the 36 minutes he played in the win after coming into the game first in the league in minutes per game. Mavs coach Jason Kidd took Dončić and Irving out for the last time with a little less than five minutes left to play.
Dončić’s supporting cast was the main feature in this one.
34/10/9: An impressive combined line for Josh Green and Maxi Kleber
Mavs fans have been wondering when Josh Green and Maxi Kleber would become consistent positive contributors to the Mavs’ success this season — now it might be happening before our eyes. Green scored 20 points, grabbed six boards and handed out four assists in 32 minutes Monday. He did it all on just nine shot attempts, hitting 6-of-9 from the field and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Since Jan. 11, Green is averaging 14 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. That makes an 11-game stretch now where things have been looking up for Green, and it’s even more pronounced in his last three games, when he’s scored 18 against the Timberwolves and 20 apiece against Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
Meanwhile, Maxi showed both strength inside and touch from the outside in scoring 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, including 2-of-4 on 3-point attempts. He also dished out five assists in the follow-up to his 21-point outing Saturday in the Mavs’ 129-117 loss to the Bucks.
All in all, six Mavericks scored in double figures in the win at Philly. Even Grant Williams got into the mix, heating up in the fourth quarter to finish with 14 points and seven boards.
17: Third-quarter points given up by the Mavs’ defense
Even if you wouldn’t call what the Mavericks did in the third quarter “lock-down defense,” you can’t argue with the results. They gave up just 17 points out of halftime to outscore the 76ers 24-17 and turn a four-point halftime deficit into a three-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Mavs defenders kept Oubre and Maxey in front of them effectively for the most part. They forced tougher shots than they gave up in the first half, when Philadelphia created 24 points in the paint.
41: Fourth-quarter points
The Mavs turned it into a blowout in the fourth quarter. Williams, Dončić and Jaden Hardy finally got hot from 3-point territory, combining to shoot 6-of-8 from deep in the fourth.
Dončić gave the Mavs their first 15-point lead of the game on a deep 3-pointer with 7:31 left to play that put Dallas up 95-80 at the time. Irving found him for another 3-pointer just a couple minutes later to make it 105-85, and both came out of the game shortly afterward to the kind of high-fives from teammates that say, “forget about the first half.”
57-53: Keeping it close on the boards
The Mavs struggled on the boards against the 76ers in the first half, getting out-rebounded 33-21 on their way to a 57-53 halftime deficit.
Dallas turned it around on the boards in the second half, out-rebounding Philly 32-24. And it translated to the scoreboard in the Mavs’ latest win.
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