The Philadelphia 76ers took on the Dallas Mavericks in their final tune-up scrimmage in the Orlando bubble before games count this weekend. Before the shutdown, the Sixers dropped both games to Dallas. There was no real “revenge” factor, but hey, we get to see Ben Simmons guard Luka Dončić, right?
Right at tip off, things went south. The Sixers missed their first five shots en route to a hilariously bad first quarter offensively. This is a perfect representation of the first 12 minutes against Dallas. To quote Woody Harrelson in “White Men Can’t Jump”, the first quarter was definitely a mason’s convention, and you needed a welding torch to be on the floor for the “home team”.
Dallas, however, got started well as Kristaps Porziņģis scored 13 points for the Mavericks in the first stanza of the game. The Sixers could not find the bottom of the net starting 5/27 from the field scoring only 13 points. It was more of the same in the second quarter, but at least Tobias Harris began to warm up a little bit tallying 14 points in the second quarter to help close the gap to 48-39 at the half.
Even though the Sixers had shot 15/57 from the floor in the first half …
Even though they got virtually nothing from starters not named Tobias Harris …
Even though both of those things took place, the Sixers were only down by eight at the half – which was simply astounding.
The second half opened with the beginning of a brand new buddy sitcom for NBC Sports Philadelphia – the “Tobi and Al Show”. Matisse Thybulle opened the second half with a dunk, but the next five buckets were scored by either Al Horford or Harris. Horford went on a personal 7-0 run in the third, and the Sixers went from a terrible shooting performance in the first half to scoring 41 points on over 60% from the field.
Defensive intensity picked up to help cut a once 10+ point lead slowly and surely until the Sixers took the lead at 51-50 with ten minutes to go in the third. It was their first lead of the game, and it carried for the rest of the quarter.
The Sixers led by six at 80-74 to start the fourth, but the sluggish shooting returned. It didn’t help that JJ Barea had 11 in the fourth on his own to close the gap and tie the game after continuously taking advantage of mismatches where he abused Kyle O’Quinn on the perimeter including a rainbow three with 1:10 to go to put the Mavericks up by two.
Mike Scott followed a Thybulle three with a tip-in with under ten seconds left, and we went to overtime. (Yes, overtime in a pre-season scrimmage. Who do I slap for that stroke of genius? Just call the game at that point.)
Yes, there was overtime, and despite Alec Burks’s eight points in the extra period, the Sixers couldn’t get enough defensive stops as Barea continued to penetrate and either get open lay-ups or find the right cutters to the basket.
Ben Simmons did not play the entire second half and was 2-10 for the game. Harris finished with 28 on 50% FG, and Al Horford had a strong second half to finish with 14. For Dallas, Dončić finished with 23/6/7, and Porziņģis added a double/double (17 points, 12 rebounds).
The games are for real Saturday night against the Pacers. Stay tuned to the site for injury updates as Joel Embiid, Glenn Robinson III, and Raul Neto were all unavailable tonight.