Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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NBA Preview: Philadelphia Sixers (40-21) at Dallas Mavericks (32-31)

The Philadelphia 76ers are capable of winning on most nights, even if All-Star Joel Embiid is injured.

That was demonstrated by the Sixers on Wednesday in Miami, and they might have to do it again on Thursday when they play the Dallas Mavericks in the second game of a five-game road trip.

Thursday’s status for Embiid was unknown, but the Sixers are 9-4 without him this season.

Five players scored double-digit points for the 76ers, who defeated the Heat 119-96 despite Embiid’s absence due to left foot soreness.

On Wednesday, Tyrese Maxey led Philadelphia with 27 points and seven assists. Tobias Harris scored 18, and James Harden scored 23 more points.

After two consecutive home defeats to the Boston Celtics and the Heat, the 76ers put on a much better show.

Paul Reed, a deep reserve, had arguably his best game of the season, scoring 16 points, grabbing a career-high 14 rebounds, and preventing two shots. Additionally, Shake Milton contributed 12 points from the bench.

Another crucial factor was the Sixers’ depth.

Rivers has had to adjust as Embiid, Harden, and Maxey have all missed a number of games this season.

Against the Sixers, the Mavericks will attempt to end a two-game losing streak.

With Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving leading the way, Dallas will also attempt to begin winning games. In the five games Doncic and Irving have played together, the team has lost four of them.

On February 6, the Brooklyn Nets acquired Irving.

The Mavericks were defeated by the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, 124-122, when Irving missed a three-point attempt at the final buzzer.

Irving contributed 16 points, nine assists, and five rebounds, while Doncic had 39 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.

Irving, who has played seven games for the Mavericks and has an average of 24.7 points and 6.9 assists, believes that the wins and chemistry will develop over time.

The Mavericks lost to the Pacers again one game after giving up a 27-point lead in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Clearly, if they want to beat the Sixers, their defense needs to get better.

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