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Sixers go Deep in the Heart of Texas against Mavericks

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A small Texas Two-Step against Luka and the Mavericks ...

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers will go on the road tonight after winning their second straight game in the confines of the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers travel to the Lone Star State to play the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center.

Thursday night, the Sixers clinched the season series victory against the Boston Celtics with their 109-98 victory. In that game, Josh Richardson had his second straight good performance scoring 29 points on 16 shots. It was the first game the Sixers will play without All-Star center Joel Embiid – who is recovering after surgery to repair ligament damage in his left ring finger.

Al Horford played well in his first game playing in place of Embiid scoring 17 points, grabbing eight rebounds, and dishing six assists. Ben Simmons had a strong game as well with 19 points and nine rebounds.

When the Mavericks came to Philadelphia, they were without their budding superstar Luka Dončić. The second-year player has been having a very impressive season and should be in the conversation for league MVP. He probably won’t win, but he is putting up some James Harden circa 2017-2018-like numbers:

James Harden (2017-2018)

  • 36.1 USG
  • 29.8 PER
  • 15.4 WS
  • .289 WS/48
  • 30.4 PPG
  • 5.4 RPG
  • 8.8 APG
  • .619 TS%

Luka Dončić (2019-2020)

  • 37.2 USG
  • 31.2 PER
  • 6.3 WS (still early this season)
  • .279 WS/48
  • 29.6 PPG
  • 9.7 RPG
  • 9.0 APG
  • .608 TS%

The Mavericks will have Dončić available, tonight, but they will be without their best big man, Kristaps Porziņģis. Porziņģis will miss his sixth straight game dealing with a knee injury. This isn’t the same knee that Porziņģis had ACL surgery. The big man recently had a platelet-rich-plasma injection in the injured knee during his rehab, and the Mavericks are 2-3 since he went down against the Lakers on December 29th.

Dallas will be playing their second game in a back-to-back after losing to those same Los Angeles Lakers last night 129-114. In that game, the Lakers were without Anthony Davis yet still scored 45 points in the first quarter en route to the 15 point win. Dončić scored 25 points, had ten rebounds, and seven assists, but he also had six turnovers. Tim Hardaway, Jr. had 22 points and was 3-9 from three.

Speaking of Hardaway, Jr., he was the main problem the Sixers had in their game at the Wells Fargo Center. Porziņģis had 22 points and 18 rebounds, but Hardaway, Jr.’s seven three-pointers and 27 points led the Mavericks to a 117-98 win in Philadelphia.

The Mavericks are currently third in the NBA in points per game (116.4) and first in ORtg (116.8), so the Sixers will at least need to try to slow them down. With Embiid out, the Sixers will probably play with the same pace they did against the Celtics. The Sixers had 19 fast break points in their win over Boston. Going downhill could make this game a must watch. (I mean. Every Sixers game is a must watch for most of us.) Both teams are without their All-Star caliber bigs, but both teams also have exciting young players with a fun up-and-down game.

Previous Matchup:

Dallas Mavericks 117, Philadelphia 76ers 98