Justin Jackson scored 16 of his 24 points in the third quarter and the Dallas Mavericks took advantage of a short-handed Philadelphia 76ers lineup in a 122-102 victory Monday night.
Philadelphia went more than 10 minutes without a field goal spanning the second and third quarters. Dallas took advantage to build a 20-point lead early in the third and protected it from there.
Jackson, acquired on Feb. 6 from Sacramento, had his highest point total with Dallas. He led a balanced Mavericks effort as leading scorer Luka Doncic sat out his second straight game with a thigh contusion.
Eleven Mavs played double-digit minutes and six scored in double figures, led by Salah Mejri’s 16 points and 14 rebounds. Dallas won for just the fifth time in its last 22 games.
Dirk Nowitzki scored seven points in 17 minutes on the second night of a back-to-back. With the game well in hand in the fourth quarter, the home crowd broke into a chorus of “We want Dirk! We want Dirk!”
Nowitzki has five games remaining, three at home, in what is expected to be his final season.
Playing without Joel Embiid (load management) and Jimmy Butler (back tightness), Philadelphia leaned heavily on its three other regular starters. J.J. Redick had 26 points, while Tobias Harris added 25 and Ben Simmons 17.
But it wasn’t nearly enough. Redick made 4 of 11 3s, while the rest of the team shot 2 for 22 from behind the arc.
The Sixers got no closer than 11 in the second half. Jackson scored nine of his team’s last 11 in the third quarter to restore the lead to 20.
With key players for both teams out, Dallas out of the playoff picture and Philadelphia nearly locked into the East’s third seed, the game became a chance for the Sixers to try different lineup combinations and the Mavericks to give minutes to young players.
Nothing worked for Philadelphia in the second quarter, when the Sixers missed their final 14 shots spanning the last 8:22 of the first half. Dallas closed the half on a 28-8 run, capped by Nowitzki’s 3-pointer that spun around the rim, popped up and then fell through.
PORZINGIS ON THE BENCH
Kristaps Porzingis, who has been accused of raping a woman in New York last year while a member of the Knicks, was dressed in a suit on the Mavericks’ bench. Coach Rick Carlisle said he had called Porzingis on Sunday mentioning that the Mavs were open to giving him time off, but that Porzingis told Carlisle he wanted to be with the team. “From a basketball standpoint, it’s business as usual,” Carlisle said.
76ers: Rookie Zhaire Smith, the 16th pick in the first round of the 2018 draft, made just his second appearance of the season. He played 10 minutes and didn’t score. … Philadelphia, one of the NBA’s best home teams, is just 19-19 on the road.
Mavericks: Owner Mark Cuban said he had nothing to say about Porzingis’ situation, citing that federal authorities had told the team not to comment. He did, however, offer that the team would honor Nowitzki in its final home game on April 9. “If you can get here for the last game, you want to be here for the last game in Dallas,” Cuban said. “It’s going to be a special night whether he likes it or wants it or not.”
76ers: Visit the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.
Mavericks: Host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.