Mavs Manage 124-112 Win At Philly
It is understandable when the Dallas Mavericks allow LeBron James to score a season-high 42 points as he did Tuesday in Miami's win at the AAC. He is the Hollywood movie star of the NBA -- so much so that on Friday came the revelation that Michael Jordan's heir will star in the sequel to Michael Jordan's "Space Jam'' movie.
But for one half in Philly, the Mavericks allowed themselves to be Denzel'ed and Streep'ed by the likes of Thaddeus Young, Michael Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten.
At halftime, after having led by 22 in the first quarter (!), the Mavs had committed a ridiculous 17 turnovers and allowed 62 points. And in keeping with a tradition now 23 games deep, even while having scored 69 themselves in that half, they allowed wild scoring nights from individual opponents.
Young (ending with 30) matched his season average at the half with 15. Carter-Williams (ending with 25) scores 17 points a game and had 14 at the half -- but he had the flu. Wroten averages 12 a game and had that at the half. And he doesn't have the flu (or much of anything else).
And so they got to be like LeBron. Just as, before them, 10 guys in the last 22 games accomplished season-highs in scoring and got to be LeBron, too. Birdman. DeRozan. Tolliver. Teletovic.
"We knew that ball security was going to be an important part of (the game),'' Carlisle said, and "the first half was an unmitigated failure in that area. The second half (was) much better. We were able to get some separation and finish it."
Seventeen turnovers in a first half? Dallas is the only team in the league to have done that this year. Against a team-tank Sixers squad that due to its trade-deadline giveaways only fielded an eight-man roster?
Dallas is very fortunate to have been playing a 15-41 club with a 10-game losing streak.
Dallas is also very fortune to have offensive weapons to deodorize problems.
"When we were actually able to get into our set in the half court," Shawn Marion said, "we were able to do anything we wanted to do."
That included Marion (22 points, 11-of-14 shooting) and Dirk Nowitzki (25 points, 9-of-12 shooting). (Two good candidates right there for your "Dirkie'' vote, as are DeJuan Blair with 18 points and Jose Calderon with 10 assists.) When Dallas wasn't throwing it to the wrong team, it was throwing it to its two forwards, who finished in a way that allowed the Mavs a season-best/decade-best 39 assists.
The Mavs shot 62.3 percent, so good that if Wayne Ellington had made the final-possession garbage-time jumper, Dallas would've set the NBA season mark for best shooting percentage. The Sixers are the league's last-ranked defensive team, so there shouldn't be too much chest-puffing here ...
Especially because this Philly bunch in uniform on Friday isn't going to rank very high in the NBA on offense, either.
LeBron is a star. He gets his. These guys? I don't think any of the Sixers are going to be asked to co-star in "Space Jam 2.'' They won't get speaking parts, they won't be extras, they won't even be seat fillers at the Razzies.
And yet, for a half, Dallas rolled out that red carpet. A LeBron (James) was mistaken for a Lorenzo (Brown, who was a plus-9 in that absurd first half). Philly's makeshift token full-court pressure really did create "hell'' for a bunch of Mavs who struggles to advance the ball.
A Star Was Born ... almost every time a Sixer shot.
For way too long on Friday, down the red carpet Philly marched and way too often the Dallas defense slobbered affectionately all over them like Our Boys In Blue are Ryan Seacrest.
Seacrest out. Let's hope. Enough red carpets.
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