Preseason Game 3: Mavs vs. Sixers
The Mavs (2-1) will finish preseason play on Friday at 6 p.m. CT at American Airlines Center against Charlotte before opening regular season play on Oct. 17 in Phoenix.
Playing without Harrison Barnes (strained right hamstring), DeAndre Jordan (death in the family) and Dirk Nowitzki (sore left ankle), the Mavs were able to overcome a nine-point deficit and wound up splitting two games they played against the Sixers (3-1) in China.
The Mavs held a 114-112 lead with 13 seconds left after Daryl Macon made 1-of-2 free throws with 13 seconds to go. Jalen Brunson then stole an inbound pass, and split a pair of charity tosses that pushed the Mavs’ lead to 115-112 with 9.7 seconds remaining.
The Sixers then missed a chance to tie the game and send it into overtime when Demetrius Jackson misfired on a 3-point basket.
Dallas led 94-90 early in the fourth quarter following consecutive 3-point baskets by Devin Harris and Ryan Broekhoff. Then the fans got what they truly wanted when fan-favorite Ding Yanyuhang received a huge roar after he entered the game for the first time.
A Chinese native who the Mavs acquired over the offseason, Ding missed the first two preseason games with a sore right knee. Ding, who was the 2017 Most Valuable Player in the Chinese Basketball Association, then received another loud roar when he converted the second of two free throws that gave Dallas a 103-102 lead and put the Mavs ahead for good with 3:53 left in the game.
Besides Doncic, J. J. Barea scored 14 points for the Mavs, Dennis Smith Jr. finished with 10 poiints and five assists, and Dwight Powell notched 10 points. Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 29 points.
In the third quarter, Smith and Doncic gave the sellout crowd a measure of excitement. First, Smith drove down the lane, then tossed an over the shoulder pass, which Powell collected and hammered home a dunk.
Shortly thereafter, Doncic delivered a behind-the-back dribble – he split the defense between Mike Muscala and Embiid — and completed that nifty sequence with a layup which put the Mavs ahead 70-65.
The Sixers got 20 points from Embiid and 13 from Robert Covington to take a 61-57 lead at the half. Without Jordan, Embiid was a tower of power in the middle, where the Mavs offered little resistance as Philadelphia scored 38 points in the paint in the first half.
As they did when they lost to the Sixers, 120-114, in Shanghai on Friday, the Mavs busted out of the gates and raced to an early lead. Thanks to Doncic making his first three 3-point attempts, Dallas mounted a 17-9 lead with 7:13 remaining in the first quarter.