Doncic’s 44th triple-double rallies Mavs ahead of 76ers 107-98 | Basketball


DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic had 33 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists for his 44th career triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks rallied from a 16-point second-quarter deficit and beat the Boston 76ers. Philadelphia 107-98 Friday night.

The game was delayed 44 minutes midway through the first period when it was determined that one of the rims was bent.

Reggie Bullock scored 20 points, including two 3-point clutch points, for Dallas. Jalen Brunson added 19 points for the Mavericks, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

“To stay with that and understand that the game wasn’t won or lost in the first two minutes, it shows a lot of character for this group in there,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said.

Joel Embiid had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the 76ers, who have lost two straight games for the first time since a three-game skid in mid-December. Dallas native Tyrese Maxey added 18 points.

“We should have really blasted them,” said Embiid, who scored his 23rd double-double in 40 games this season. “We gave them life.”

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The Mavericks remained two games behind fourth-place Utah in the Western Conference. The 76ers fell two games behind first-place Chicago in the East and 1½ behind second-place Miami.

After leading 63-53 at halftime, a Dallas squad missing big men Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber through injuries outscored Philadelphia 54-35, thanks in part to the use of zone defense.

“We hardly made the zone all season,” said Doncic. “It was amazing to see people talking. If you talk, you’re going to do a good job defending, and that’s what we did tonight.

“A few times this year we’ve been pretty bad against the zone,” said Seth Curry, the former Maverick who led Philadelphia with 3 for 6 3-pointers. “We have to find ways to attack. Obviously after tonight, we will see him again.

While the 76ers outshot the Mavericks 51.4% to 45.9%, Dallas had 80 field goal attempts to Philadelphia’s 70. The Sixers came into play last in the NBA averaging 42.3 rebounds and grabbed just 36 to Dallas’ 40.

With Philadelphia leading 89-88 midway through the fourth quarter, Dallas went on an 8-2 run that included Bullock hitting 3 straight runs for a 96-91 lead he never relinquished.

Bullock made his 14th start of the season, his first since early January, with big men Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber out through injury.

It was the eighth triple-double this season for Doncic, who was selected as an All-Star reserve on Thursday after starting the previous two games. He broke a 10th-place tie with “Fat Lever” for career triple-doubles and tied a season high with 15 assists.

“You are an All-Star. I don’t take it for granted,” said Doncic. “I am very happy.”

The delay occurred with 6:03 left in the first quarter when one of the baskets went out of line. Before the arena maintenance crew got to work, 7-foot-4 Boban Marjanovic of Dallas tried unsuccessfully to put it back in place. The entire hoop, backboard and stanchion had to be replaced.

“It was enough time for us to have our defense good,” Bullock said.

76ers: Philadelphia shot 56.4 percent in the first half. … Embiid’s 12 free-throw attempts (nine made) in the first half exceeded his average of 11.1 per game, but he fired just two in the second half. … Seth Curry returned to the 76ers roster after missing the previous game with back spasms.

Mavericks: … Brunson scored his 11 first-half points in the second quarter.

76ers: At Chicago on Sunday. They are 2-0 against the Bulls this season.

Mavericks: Host Atlanta and Trae Young, who they traded to acquire Doncic in the 2018 draft on Sunday in Game 3 of a six-game home season.

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