The Mavericks polished off a 3-0 road trip with a manly
effort down the stretch against the Sixers. They snuffed talented second-year
guar Jrue Holiday on a baseline drive with under a minute to go and the ball
ricocheted out to Jason Terry, who took it in for a dunk and a 96-91 lead with
53.3 seconds left.
Dirk Nowitzki, who had 21 points, made a step-back mid-range
jumper on the previous possession to push the lead from one to three points.
The Mavericks got a little lucky when Andre Iguodala missed
two free throws with 47.3 left, prompting the crowd to unload with a chorus of
boos and sending many of the fans to the exits. Holiday would miss two more
freebies moments later to snuff any chance the Sixers may have had.
The Mavericks now have won seven in a row and 17 of 18.
Jason Kidd had a triple double with 13 points, 13 assists
and 10 rebounds.
Terry had a huge night with 30 points and was pretty much lethal
from every angle and distance. Terry averaged 24.7 points for the road trip.
It was a remarkable first half in that neither team led by
more than four points until the Mavericks got a 3-pointer from Jason Terry with
2:36 left in the half to make it 44-38. The lead would grow to 49-39 before the
Mavericks settled for a seven-point cushion at halftime.
There were 18 lead changes and two ties in the first half.
Tyson Chandler went down clutching his right leg with 1:06
left in the first half. It looked like it could have been a knee problem, but
the Mavericks quickly said it was a sprained right ankle and that Chandler
would not return.
That thrust Brendan Haywood into the spotlight in the second
half. He had several impact plays as the Mavericks clung to a slim lead through
most of the half.
Up 85-82, the Mavericks and Sixers combined to go cold for
six consecutive possessions before Dirk Nowitzki pumped in a jumper from the
top of the key to make it a five-point lead.