The Philadelphia 76ers were one of the worst teams in the NBA prior to Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline, and now that they’ve jettisoned two of their top 3 players in Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, things have gone from bad to worse. Philly entered their home game against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday as the losers of nine consecutive games, and when they left the arena, the streak was up to 10 after a 124-112 defeat.
Dallas exploded out of the gate with 41 first-quarter points, and despite a small step back in the second quarter, their offense never slowed down. On the night, the Mavs shot a blistering 62.3% from the field and assisted on a staggering 39 of 48 field goals, and that was enough to overcome 23 uncharacteristic turnovers from Rick Carlisle’s squad.
Dirk Nowitzki continued his All-Star season with 25 points on 9-for-12 shooting in just 27 minutes while the “other” forward, Shawn Marion, matched him with 22 points and 7 rebounds in 31 minutes of court time. Elsewhere, reserve big man DeJuan Blair had one of his best games of the season, putting up 18 points in just 16 minutes (7-9 FG) and helping to key Dallas to 64 points in the paint.
On the Philly side, they simply couldn’t get shots to fall, and when they didn’t, the Sixers were dominated on the glass. Dallas grabbed 48 of a possible 82 rebounds and Philly was limited to just 44.7% from the field and 20% from beyond the 3-point arc. Thaddeus Young exercised his post-deadline frustrations by unleashing twenty-nine shot attempts, but he was extremely productive with 30 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and 7 steals. Unfortunately, he wasn’t enough help, as aside from Michael Carter-Williams (25 points, 6 assists) and Tony Wroten (21 points), Philly was void of resistance.
The Mavs winning on the road in Philly isn’t exactly ground-breaking, but the way the Sixers looked at times represents a reminder that every time they win the rest of the year will be a landmark occasion.