After two losses in a row, against the modest Magic and Thunder, the Mavs needed to start again. Mission accomplished with a victory in style against the Sixers who, before their loss to the Wizards, had chained five wins in a row.
The 76ers, quick to feed Joel Embiid, struck first. More disciplined in attack, and taking advantage of the awkwardness near the circle of their opponents, the visitors finished the first quarter with three possessions in advance (24-33). The Texans visibly badly digested the change of basket in the middle of this period.
This gap, which rose to 16 units in the minutes that followed (24-40), was confirmed in the second quarter. Philadelphia thus returned to the locker room with a ten-point lead (53-63) and the impression of dominating its subject. Like an untenable Joel Embiid (18 points and 9 rebounds at this stage) who has already martyred all opposing interiors, including his former teammate Boban Marjanovic.
Total change of atmosphere in the second half. Faced with a well-organized Texas zone defense, the 76ers suddenly had all the trouble in the world to serve their pivot in good conditions, and therefore to score. Meanwhile, Luka Doncic preferred to abandon his 3-point shot to multiply circle attacks. A good idea since he went to posterize Andre Drummond!
Thanks to a 14-2 to end the period, to which Frank Ntilikina contributed with an action in 3 + 1, Dallas in turn had three possessions in advance (85-78). But with a good pass from their replacements, Georges Niang in the lead, the 76ers reacted by sticking an 11-0 to the Texans.
The latter regained their colors thanks to their local genius, Luka Doncic, who again made the difference with his circle attacks to finish or reverse the game towards his shooter in the corners, Reggie Bullock, who penalized twice in a row. Despite a few baskets from Joel Embiid in the final minutes, the 76ers logically surrendered.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The Mavs area. Despite less well for ten days in this sector, the Mavs have chained victories in January thanks to their defense. New illustration tonight. While his team had conceded 63 points at the break, Jason Kidd massively used the zone defense after the break. A tactical choice that paid off directly since Joel Embiid, the main opposing threat to contain, had a lot more trouble playing the game for the 76ers, limited to 35 points in the second half.
– The 76ers still beaten on the rebound. Philadelphia is one of the worst teams in the league in this area. Tonight, the 76ers grabbed just 36 rebounds, just 4 less than the Mavs. The latter, however, recovered twice as many offensive rebounds. Which explains why Dallas was able to afford 15 more shots in the game, while shooting as much on the free throw line.
✅ Luka Doncic. Eighth triple-double of the season, and 44th in career, for the Slovenian who dominated the debates in finishing and creation (season record equaled with 15 assists). Small flat with his clumsiness at free throws and 3-pointers.
✅ Joel Embiid. A first half of domination for the pivot of the 76ers who was much less flamboyant in the second period, because less well served. He signed his 23rd double-double of the year but did not prevent his team from sinking when he was on the line (-17).
✅ Jalen Brunson. Another great evening for the lieutenant of Luka Doncic who did not lose a single ball, when he had a lot of leather in hand, to free up space and serve the Slovenian, regularly used as second back.
✅ ⛔ Doc Rivers Coaching. We particularly wondered a lot about the use of Matisse Thybulle who greatly hampered Luka Doncic while his replacement, Danny Green, had a very complicated evening on penalties. The two men nevertheless had the same playing time.
⛔ The Mavs bench. Apart from the four-point action of Frank Ntilikina or the significant rebound activity of Josh Green, the Texan bench had a very limited contribution.
Unusual scene in the middle of the first quarter. After converting an award-winning basket, Luka Doncic noticed something was wrong with the circle. The match was interrupted and the technician Boban Marjanovic intervened to make it appear that the hoop was not well fixed and therefore not straight. After several measurements of the circle, the room staff finally decided to go get the spare basket. This funny event still caused a 44-minute interruption!
Mavericks (29-23) : reception of the Hawks, Sunday.
Sixers (31-20) : trip to Chicago, Sunday.