76ers overcome Mavericks, hand them eighth loss from 11 games
March 30, 2023
The Dallas Mavericks’ postseason chances are in serious jeopardy after dropping their eighth game from their past 11 outings against the Philadelphia 76ers this afternoon, 116-108.
Dallas swung big at the trade deadline sending Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, a 2029 first-round pick and a pair of future second-round picks to Brooklyn for Kyrie Irving and Markieff Morris.
The move is yet to pay dividends on the court, however, with the team having won just six of their past 20 games after starting the season 22-16.
They now find themselves in 11th in the Western Conference and a full-game back of the 10th-seed Thunder with just five to play.
With Irving set to enter unrestricted free agency this offseason, the Mavericks find themselves in a precarious position less than 12 months on from a Western Conference Finals appearance.
Franchise cornerstone Luka Dončić has looked noticeably off-the-pace of late and said as much late last week.
“I think you can see it with me on the court,” Dončić told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
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“Sometimes I don’t feel it’s me. I’m just being out there. I used to have really fun, smiling on court, but it’s just been so frustrating for a lot of reasons, not just basketball.”
The 24-year-old Slovenian put up strong counting stats in the loss to Philadelphia, finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists whilst Irving added 23 points, six rebounds, and five assists.
Tim Hardaway Jr. was the only other Maverick to score in double-figures with the 31-year-old putting up 21 points on 5-of-10 from three.
Dallas’ rotation outside of Dončić, Irving, and Hardaway Jr. finished with just 40 points on 13-of-31 shooting.
Postgame, Irving described the Western Conference playoff race as “a little bit of a clusterf–k right now”.
The 76ers, meanwhile, were led by MVP hopeful Joel Embiid’s 25 points and nine rebounds on 8-of-17 shooting whilst James Harden added 15 points and 12 assists.
Tyrese Maxey put up 22 points and four assists whilst De’Anthony had 17 points on 5-of-6 from three to go along with a game-high +16 off the bench.
Dallas got off to a strong start building a lead as high as a dozen in the first half before Philadelphia ended the game on a 16-5 run to seal it.
The 76ers hit on 17 of their 36 three-point attempts and shot 12 more free-throws compared the Mavericks.
Philadelphia find themselves two games back of the two-seeded Celtics out East with six games to play and will shift their focus to the Raptors on Saturday.
Dallas, meanwhile, will be in Miami on Sunday as they desperately try to keep their postseason hopes alive.