By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high after destroying the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night. They looked to continue the trend as they faced the Dallas Mavericks tonight. Philly was able to destroy the Mavericks thanks to a strong offensive surge to fry Dallas 113-95.
It looked good for the Sixers early in the game. They were able to take advantage of the lack of size in the front court Dallas had. Philly was able to take the Dallas defenders to the weight room. When the Mavericks would double team the player in the paint. They were able to swing it to get a wide open three. Philly hit 11 threes tonight.
When they were not hitting threes. Center Joel Embiid had himself a night as he had 23 of his 36-points by half-time. If he was not attacking the paint he had it working from the perimeter too. He hit two threes on the night. His night was done mid-way through the third quarter.
The second unit took over from there as guard/forward Furkan Korkmaz put his fingerprints on the game. He scored 20-points, hit four three-pointers and has continued to improve on the defensive side. His defense was the one weakness in his game. However, the last few games Korkmaz has been improving on the defensive side and making a statement that he should be in the playoff rotation.
On his performance and the end of the road trip, “Finally, I’m going to sleep in my own bed tonight,” said Korkmaz.
The Dallas Mavericks were dominated from the opening tipoff. They continued to fight though and thanks to an offensive surge early in the third quarter. They were able to cut the Philly lead to 10-points. They were led by guard Luka Doncic. He scored 32-points. Even though he had a good game. Philly made him work for all his points. He constantly faced double and triple teams, and they made him work on defense too. He had a quiet 30-plus point performance, because he was literally the only effective Maverick on the court. Philly made the choice to let him get his and stop all his other teammates. Which they did, only three Dallas players were able to score 12 or more points (Doncic, Jalen Brunson (15-points), and Dorian Finney-Smith 12-points).
Philly now will get a day off to prepare to face the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. They will need to have another strong offensive and defensive performance to keep the shooters of the Nets down. This battle on Wednesday night will be for first place in the East, and could be a preview of the Eastern Conference final in May.
On the match-up on Wednesday, “It’ll be a big game. It’ll be a fun game for both teams, and we’ll see what happens,” said 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers.