The Dallas Mavericks dug themselves out of an early 9-point hole they found themselves in shortly after the start of the game and took a 31-28 lead at the end of the first quarter. The game would stay close but as has been the case all-too-often lately the Mavericks found a way to lose again, committing 5 turnovers in a row and 8 total in the 4th quarter, killing a late charge led by Vince Carter who finished with 15 points. While they were still able to pull within two and had an opportunity to win, O. J. Mayo blew a chance to tie my missing the first of two free throws near the end of the game and deliberately missed the second one, after which Jae Crowder missed the shot at the buzzer that could have sent the game into overtime.
Overall, the Mavs didn’t play poorly but had a stretch that proved disastrous and couldn’t pull it out in the end and the 76ers prevailed 100-98.
While leading scorer O. J. Mayo had a subpar game, Chris Kaman continued to be the Mavs’ most consistent shooter and put up 20 points while grabbing 4 rebounds. In a very ironic twist, Elton Brand came off the bench for his return to Philadelphia and resembled his old self for the first time as a Maverick with a season-high 17 points, 8 rebounds, a steal and a block – the Mavs’ only blocked shot of the game. Shawn Marion also had 17 points and 8 rebounds.
The 76ers got 22 points and 4 rebounds out of Evan Turner, 20 and 7 from Thaddeus Young and Jrue Holiday had 18 points and 7 assists. The Sixers improved to 9-6 and are playing decent basketball with no timetable on a possible return for Andrew Bynum.
The Mavericks fell to 7-8 and are below .500 for the first time in recent memory, perhaps since early in the Dirk Nowitzki era or before his arrival. A host of problems continue to plague the Mavs on any given night, most consistently poor defense, which contributed to this loss by allowing the low-scoring 76ers to hit the 100 point mark.
The Mavs will play back-to-back Wednesday when they visit the Chicago Bulls who are 6-7 and in much the same situation without Derek Rose as the Nowitzki-less Mavs. Full breakdown of the 76ers’ game and Bull preview tomorrow on The Smoking Cuban.
Topics: Andrew Bynum, Chris Kaman, Dahntay Jones, Dallas, Dallas Mavericks, Darren Collison, Dirk Nowitzki, DirkNowitzki, Dominique Jones, Elton Brand, Jrue Holiday, NBA. Dallas Mavericks, O. J. Mayo, Rick Carlisle, Shawn Marion, Thaddeus Young, Vince Carter