Playing in their final game of this three game road trip, the Sixers fell to the Dallas Mavericks by a close score of 97-94 despite Evan Turner’s monster game.
The Sixers struggled to score for the entire game as the team managed to shoot just 38% from the field. Had it not been for Sixers’ defense forcing twenty Dallas turnovers that led to 31 fast break points, the final score could have been a lot worse. Defensively, the Sixers collected twelve steals on the night and held Dallas to 43% shooting.
Evan Turner led the way for the Sixers with a near triple-double performance as he netted 26 points, collected 9 rebounds, and dished out 7 assists for a team that is playing their fourth consecutive game without rookie sensation Michael Carter-Williams. Turner has been a dominant offense force for this team early on in the season and he continued his strong play tonight against one of the better teams in the Western Conference. He is now averaging 21.6 PPG on the year to lead the Sixers.
The Mavericks were led by their three All-Star veterans as the three combined for just enough points to keep Dallas ahead down the stretch. Monta Ellis scored 24 points and handed out 10 assists while Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion each added 20 points for the 7-4 Mavericks, who improved to 5-0 at the American Airlines Center this season.
For the Sixers, the bench struggled mightily to make any big contribution tonight. The catalyst off the bench for the Sixers had been Tony Wrotten, but with MCW still out with an injury, the second year man has started in his absence.
Since entering the starting lineup four games ago, Wroten has seen his game improve drastically and he has played extremely well for the Sixers. Wroten scored 19 points, had 3 assists and 5 steals. Thad Young and Spencer Hawes combined to add 22 points and 22 rebounds.
The starting lineup produced majority of the points as the bench managed to score only 13 total points, with Brandon Davies being the high man with 6 points off the bench.
With tonight’s loss, the Sixers now fall to 5-7 on the season, but remain a half a game up on the Toronto Raptors for first place in the Atlantic Division. Part of the problem for this team has been winning games on the road. The team has now lost four straight road games and ranks 30th in points allowed per game allowing 111 points per contest.
If the Sixers wish to stay atop the division, changes need to be made on the defensive end. Brett Brown and company will have a day to tweak some of the defensive strategies before welcoming the second place Raptors to the Wells Fargo Center for a game that could give the Sixers a chance to increase their division lead or fall back in the division.