NBA Basketball: Dallas Mavericks at Philly Sixers – Mavericks Favored
Dallas begins a road trip that will take it into the All-Star break, going for a seventh straight victory Sunday in a matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Mavericks (41-9), who already have three win streaks of more than seven games this season, are 4-0 against teams in the Atlantic Division, including a 93-79 win over Philadelphia on Dec. 15.
Dallas set a franchise record on Friday with their 17th straight home win, 95-74 over Houston. That streak dates back to a Dec. 7 loss to Detroit.
The Mavericks, though, won’t play in front of the home fans again until hosting Miami on Feb. 22 in a rematch of last year’s NBA finals. This road trip also includes games at Milwaukee and Houston.
Dallas has won six of seven away from home, and its 17-6 road record is second-best in the NBA behind Phoenix’s 19-6 mark.
Josh Howard led the Mavs on Friday with 22 points, hours after being selected as an injury replacement on the Western Conference All-Star team.
"It’s pretty cool to make it at all, regardless of the circumstances," said Howard, averaging 22.3 points and 8.7 rebounds in three games since the birth of his first child.
Jerry Stackhouse had 10 of his 14 points during a 16-0 Dallas run in the third quarter Friday.
"We were fortunate enough to get a lead and get some momentum there in the beginning of the third quarter and pretty much for the whole second half," coach Avery Johnson said. "We protected the lead pretty well tonight, which was a good sign. Now we have to play another one on Sunday."
The Mavericks will put their streak on the line against Philadelphia (17-34), which has won six of its last 11 games. Before that stretch, the 76ers had lost 29 of their last 36 games.
Philadelphia is coming off a 90-89 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. The 76ers blew a 13-point third-quarter lead and missed some golden opportunities late in the fourth quarter, including a missed layup by Samuel Dalembert with one minute to play.
"Unfortunately for us, Sam missed that layup that could have put us up at the end of the wire," coach Maurice Cheeks said.
Despite the loss, the 76ers are optimistic for the first time in a long time.
"I knew we were going to have a shot at the end, and we did," Kyle Korver said after Friday’s loss. "That’s a lot different feeling than we had a month ago."
Andre Iguodala had 22 points and seven assists against Los Angeles. He has led the 76ers in scoring in each of their last nine games, averaging 24.2 points, 7.6 assists and 6.0 rebounds in that stretch. In five career games against Dallas, however, Iguodala has averaged 11.8 points and 3.4 assists.
The 76ers are 2-2 on their season-high seven-game homestand, with each loss coming by one point. Only Boston has fewer home wins than the 76ers, who are 9-13 at the Wachovia Center.
By: Marc Young – theSpread.com – Email Us
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