The 76ers (49-26) return home to face the Dallas Mavericks (37-39) in their next game, following four straight on the road during a stretch that saw them play 12 of their first 15 games this month away from home.
The Mavericks, currently in the midst of a five-game road swing themselves, snapped a four-game losing streak on Monday at Indiana. Through Monday’s slate of games, Dallas was on the outside looking in for the Play-In Tournament in the West, which includes the conference’s top 10 teams.
Luka Dončić tallied 25 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and one steal in 28 minutes during the Mavericks’ recent 127-104 victory over the Pacers. Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid remains in front of Dončić in the race for the NBA scoring title, 33.3 points per game compared to 32.9 points per game. Dallas’ 24-year-old All-Star also averages a team-high 8.6 rebounds, 8.1 assists, and 1.4 steals per contest.
Kyrie Irving, meanwhile, holds averages of 26.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.9 assists in 16 games as a Maverick. Dallas has a losing record, 7-9, in those games.
Neither Embiid (right calf tightness) nor James Harden (left achilles soreness) suited up for the Sixers in a loss at Denver on Monday. The Tuesday evening injury report listed both players as questionable, in addition to the following Mavericks: Maxi Kleber (questionable - right hamstring injury recovery) and Frank Ntilikina (questionable - right knee sprain).
Back on March 2, the second half of an unusual Miami-Dallas road back-to-back for the Sixers, the Mavericks took the opening meeting between the two clubs by a 133-126 count. Dončić (42 points) and Irving (40 points) combined for 82 of those 133 points, and the Mavs drained a season-high 25 3-pointers on 48 attempts (.521).
The Sixers – even without Embiid and Harden – nearly overcame a 22-point deficit in their last outing, falling 116-111 to the Nuggets on Monday in Denver.
“I feel like we fought,” said Tyrese Maxey, who led all scorers with 29 points. “That group at the end, they fought their tails off to get back in it. I think what we can take from this is – in the first half, we were in the game big time. [Another] thing we can take from this is how deep we are. Guys like [Danuel] House, who hasn't played in a couple games, come in and contribute. P [Paul] Reed had a hell of a game. De'Anthony [Melton] started. The list goes on and on.”
Maxey’s 20 second-quarter points are the most he’s ever scored in a single period in his career.
The 76ers bench netted 59 points, and the team ended the game on a 20-6 run.
“I think that after we got adjusted after the first seven or eight minutes of the game, other than that I thought we played well,” 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers said. “Overall, I’m very proud of my guys though, they kept fighting.”
Wednesday is a 7:30 p.m. ET start in South Philadelphia.
Monday’s Top Performances:
- Maxey led the way with a game-high 29 points (12-21 fg, 2-6 3fg, 3-5 ft), plus four rebounds, five assists, and a game-high three steals in 34 minutes.
- Harris posted 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, 2-for-4 from 3-point range, and a pair of free throws in 28 minutes.
- Reed produced an efficient, near-perfect line in the box score: 16 points (7-7 fg, 2-3 ft) in 17 minutes off the bench, adding nine rebounds, two steals, and one blocked shot.
- With similar efficiency to his fellow reserve in Reed, McDaniels contributed 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, while converting his lone attempt from both the 3-point line and the foul line in 22 minutes of play.
Quote to Note:
Paul Reed upon completing the long stretch of road games:
“It's definitely exciting to be able to go home back to our dogs. I know Tyrese has one, I have one. They're like our kids, so I'm looking forward to that. We are looking forward to it.”