Preview: Philadelphia At Dallas
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 21, 2016
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
The Dallas Mavericks are losers of five of their last six games and came out of the All-Star break with a disappointing performance on Friday in an overtime loss to the Orlando Magic. The Mavericks will try to set things straight when they host the scrappy Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.
Dallas squandered a chance to win in regulation on Friday when Dirk Nowitzki missed an open jumper in the final second and endured an ugly scene when forward Chandler Parsons and center Zaza Pachulia were caught by cameras yelling at each other on the sidelines. “Nothing at all. Nothing,” Pachulia told reporters as both players downplayed the incident after the game. “It’s not the thing you guys are thinking. Trust me, we were talking. We’re trying to help this team. We’re trying to win, bottom line.” The 76ers own the worst record in the NBA but never stop battling and threw a scare into the New Orleans Pelicans down the stretch on Friday despite falling behind by 22 points. Philadelphia put seven scorers in double figures in the 121-114 setback – it’s third straight loss.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, FSN Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE 76ERS (8-46): Each of Philadelphia’s last three losses have come by seven or fewer points, and the young team continues to make strides. Nerlens Noel, 21, sat out the final game before the All-Star break to rest a sore knee but looked plenty healthy while collecting 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting, nine rebounds and four assists in Friday’s loss. Point guard Ish Smith is a relative old man at 27 and has stabilized the offense since joining the team after Christmas, averaging 15.1 points and 7.8 assists in 22 starts.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (29-27): Dallas set a franchise record with 19 3-pointers on Friday, but starting shooting guard Wesley Matthews was just 1-of-7 from beyond the arc. The 29-year-old, who signed a $70 million contract as a free agent over the summer despite trying to recover from an Achilles injury, is posting career lows of 38.1 percent shooting and 34.4 percent from beyond the arc. “I’m not going to hang my head,” Matthews told ESPN.com of his slump. “I’m not going to stop talking, leading, hustling, taking the best offensive player on the defensive end. I’m not going to shy away from shots. I’m not going to shy away from going to the paint.”
1. 76ers G Nik Stauskas is 7-of-11 from 3-point range over the last two games.
2. Parsons went 6-of-7 from beyond the arc last time out and is shooting 27-of-42 from the floor over the last three games.
3. Dallas has taken six straight in the series, including a 92-86 victory in Philadelphia on Nov. 16.
PREDICTION: Mavericks 102, 76ers 98