76ers lose second straight for the first time in 2022, fall to the Mavericks 108-98
I typically love a good late night Philadelphia 76ers basketball game. The Sixers were on in Dallas last night and instead of getting my late NBA night fix, the team fell to the Dallas Mavericks 108-98.
It was the first time the Sixers dropped two straight games in 2022, and they are now 31-21 on the season and fell back to fifth place in the crowded Eastern Conference standings, two games behind the East-leading Chicago Bulls.
Strong Start for the 76ers
For a team that typically has starts games slow, Joel Embiid and the 76ers got off to a great start last night. The Sixers took an early 19-14 lead, and Embiid was having his way against Mavericks’ big men Dwight Powell and Marquese Chriss.
Tobias Harris also got off to a strong start, hitting all four attempts from the field in the first quarter for nine points. So of course, if everything was going well for the Philadelphia 76ers, something bizarre was bound to happen.
The Rim Job
After Luka Doncic buried a three point attempt, he pointed out that the rim was crooked. Boban Marjanovic tried to fix the rim but honestly I think he made it worse. Once the rim was fixed, the backboard was then crooked. The Mavericks had to roll out a whole new basket, and then it was too low.
After starting the game at 10PM, the rim issue took nearly 40 minutes to get corrected before play resumed.
Not only did we have to suffer through a 40 minute delay, but on Twitter, we had to see our timelines fill up with the same bad jokes about James Harden arriving to Philadelphia already because the rim took so long to fix. We also had to struggle through Richard Jefferson on ESPN say god knows what, and Kate Scott on NBC Sports Philly doing trivia.
Talk about a momentum killer.
The Sixers still held a 33-24 lead over the Mavs after one and carried a 63-53 lead into halftime. It was a strong first half on both ends of the court for the 76ers. Embiid led the Sixers with 18 points, nine rebounds, and three assists in the first half. Tobias Harris had 11 points, Curry had nine, Maxey had eight, and Georges Niang added eight of his own off the bench.
Ugly Second Half
After holding a double-digit lead at halftime, the 76ers got torched in the third quarter and found themselves down 85-78 heading into the fourth. Doncic and Jalen Brunson scored from all over the court while Danny Green and Tyrese Maxey struggled to contain them. The Sixes only made six shots in the third and were outscored 32-15 in the frame while committing six turnovers.
Anytime an opposing team whips out the zone defense, the Philadelphia 76ers seem to collapse. All offensive execution is completely lost. The Mavericks aren’t some stellar defensive team by any means, but the Sixers just couldn’t get around the zone and only managed to score a total of 35 points in the second half.
Tough to win games with that type of offensive output.
Tobias Harris Killed Multiple Bets Last Night
After a strong first half, Harris only managed to score two points in the second half, killing multiple bets on the timeline last night. Take a look.
Earlier this week, I wrote an article about how the Sixers’ schedule in February is going to toughen up significantly. The team has now dropped two straight and will play in Chicago tomorrow against the Bulls, before coming home to face the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.
Mandatory Credit: Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images