By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers played the Dallas Mavericks after beating the Miami Heat yesterday. The Mavericks buried Philly in a three-point barrage that kept them in front despite a late Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid led scoring run that the Sixers went on. Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic were just too much especially after playing last night, they hit some clutch shots to beat them 133-126.
The Sixers started the game off sluggishly, they did not have it early in the game. Some of the offensive sluggishness was because of playing the Heat last night and the other half of the equation was that the Mavericks could not miss tonight. They shot 70 plus percent from the three-point line and hit 25/48 three-pointers which was the difference in tonight’s game they were able to hit enough threes to keep Philly at bay. Both Luka Doncic (42-points) and Kyrie Irving (42-points) killed the Sixers in this contest. They carved them up with efficiency and Philly could not stop them. Whenever the Sixers would send an extra man, they would either find the open man or split the double team and attack the paint. The duo combined for 82 of Dallas’ 133-points and both of them hit some clutch shots to keep the Sixers at a distance. In one sequence Philly forced a turnover and then they turned the ball over which led to a Kyrie Irving three-pointer that pushed the Mavericks lead to 12-points. The Sixers just could not stop either player and that was their downfall tonight.
Despite the explosion from the three-point line and the offensive prowess of Doncic and Irving. This game was still within reach for the Sixers. The Mavericks’ lack of defense almost cost them this game as Tyrese Maxey went on a personal 11-to-nothing scoring run to bring the Sixers back within reach of a win. He scored 29-points and hit three three-pointers; Dallas did not have an answer for him down the stretch of this game. He may have pulled the Sixers in front had they not turned the ball over multiple times late in this game which led to Dallas points. Philly just could not get out of their own way tonight, playing last night did not help. However, at some point the execution has to be better late in the game. This game was for the taking with more crisp passes and smart execution they may have been able to pull this one out.
Now they prepare for a prime-time Saturday night match-up against the streaking Milwaukee Bucks. Philly will need to stay attached to their man if they want to stifle Milwaukee’s explosive offense. Additionally, they will have to continue to keep the ball moving to take full advantage of the aggressive defensive play of the Bucks’. If they can get high percentage shots, they have a chance to keep up with the Bucks and get their 41st victory of the season.