This recap begins with a rundown of everything that happened in the first three minutes of the game:
After those scintillating events that had everyone on the edge of their seat, the Sixers opened the scoring and would score the first eight points of the game. It was just like the start against the Miami Heat, only way less exciting and infinitely more painful to watch because the opposition were not the only ones missing some bad shots in hysterical fashion.
Five minutes into the game, Dirk Nowitzki got the first points for the Mavericks. One would think this would mean the Sixers were leading by double digits at this point, but alas this basket cut the Sixers lead to six.
The Mavs had the lead cut to three after the conclusion of the first 12 minutes. Among the numerous lowlights was Thaddeus Young's shooting percentage. In the first quarter, Thad shot 1-9 from the field. That's in the quarter, not the half or the game. Extrapolate that over 48 minutes and Thad was on pace to finish the game 4-36, an humiliatingly inefficient scoreline that would have made Monta Ellis proud. The Sixers lead 21-18 after the most forgettable of first quarters.
The second quarter saw the Sixers take advantage of Monta a bit. Ellis was limited to 5 points and 2-4 shooting in the first half offensively while Tony Wroten took advantage of Monta a bit. Okay, he took advantage of him a lot. Wroten managed 12 points on 5-8 shooting in the first half along with 5-8 shooting. He would finish the game with 19 points on 8-17 shooting.
The Sixers led by as much as ten in the second quarter and ultimately went to the locker room with a 47-43 lead. They had a lead for the entire half, stretched it out to 10 at one point, but never more, and were likely content with a four point lead at the break.
The second half started with a Dirk bucket 15 seconds into the second half. After the ugly start to the first half, this was a welcome reprieve. Monta Ellis tied the game near midway through the third quarter but the Sixers roared back to take a four point lead off the heals of a Spencer Hawes dunk. But the Sixers could not hold onto the lead for much longer. With 1:35 left in the third quarter, Shawn Marion received a pass out in transition and slammed it home to give the Mavs their first lead of the game, a lead they would not relinquish.
The Sixers' tanking third quarter lowlight came towards the end of the quarter. Darius Morris had the ball. Morris had the ball for awhile. He dribbled several times for numerous seconds before turning around, fading away, and launching a beautifully parabolic airball. The Mavs lead by three, 74-71 after three quarters.
The start of the fourth quarter saw the Mavs go on a 14-4 run, a run that would inevitably put the game out of reach. While the scoreline indicates the Sixers did a bit to close the gap, and they did, they never really threatened to overcome the Mavs' second half lead.
The Sixers would take some comfort though in their former center Slammin Sammy D Samuel Dalembert shooting from 12 feet out and launching an airball that surely made Morris proud. But outside of that, the only comfort that came for the Sixers organization tonight is another loss and one step closer to a top four pick in the 2014 Draft. As mentioned in the reaction thread, the Sixers are still hilariously in first place in the Atlantic Division though at 5-7.
Brandon Davies saw 17 minutes of action today, which is honestly a lot more than many people would have expected him to see in this stage of the season without much in the way of injuries. In those 17 minutes though, Davies could only muster four points on 2-5 shooting, four rebounds, and zero assists. His benchmate Hollis Thompson managed worse, though. In 18 minutes, Thompson missed on all three shots, never got to the line, and could only manage two rebounds and two assists. It should come then as little surprise then that Thompson's -17* was a team low on the evening. No truth to the rumor Hollis Thomas claims he could have fared better than that.
*All caveats of +/- are fully known and understood
Evan Turner did not have his strongest offensive game today. He shot 10-22 for 26 points, which while a decent number of points, is not incredibly efficient. But to Evan's credit he was two for four from beyond the arc and he picked up nine boards and seven helpers to aid things out on the offensive side of things.
The Sixers next game comes in 36 hours time when they travel back to the Wells Fargo Center to host the Toronto Raptors. The winner will be in first place. The loser will feel better about landing a top 10 pick in the draft. 2013-14 Atlantic Division fever, everyone. Catch it.