Hardaway Jr. on Porzingis: ‘When he is engaged like that, we can be a dangerous team’

The Dallas Mavericks(9-4) have now won two straight and five of their last six after defeating the Denver Nuggets(9-5) 111-101 at American Airlines Center on Monday.

The last time these two teams faced off was a few weeks ago in Denver, where the Nuggets routed Dallas 106-75. 

Dallas got revenge on Monday night! After trailing most of the second half, Dallas went on a 19-5 run to start the fourth to take control of the game.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of Dallas’ win over Denver.

The Great for the Dallas Mavericks:

-Kristaps Porzingis has been great after missing five games with a back injury. On Monday, he finished with 29 points (5-8 3FG), 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. In the last five games, Porzingis is averaging 23.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.

“KP was great again on both sides of the ball,” Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said postgame. “We asked him to not just score for us, but we also asked him to play defense on the MVP (Nikola Jokić) tonight — and he did his best. When you look at KP at the 5, we don’t want to have him out there for 40 minutes at the 5. I think for the journey of this season, that’s just too many minutes at the 5. For us to get him at the 5, tonight was good, and we’ll continue to get him at the 5.”

The Mavericks improved to 13-5 all-time when Porzingis goes for 25-plus points and 10-plus boards. 

-Luka Doncic finished with 23 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds. Doncic has now recorded at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in each of his last six games. It is now the longest streak of 20-5-5 across the NBA this season. Tonight was his seventh double-double of the season and his fourth game with 10-plus assists.

Doncic did leave late in the game with a lower leg injury, and according to the team, will be out Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns with left knee and left ankle sprains.

-Tim Hardaway Jr. had 19 points for Dallas tonight, which included 13 points down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Hardaway Jr. added a season-high seven rebounds and a season-high-tying four assists for the Mavs. The Mavericks are now 6-2 when Hardaway Jr. goes for 15-plus points.

-Jalen Brunson had 17 points and six assists off the bench for the Mavericks. This is Brunson’s seventh consecutive game, scoring in double figures, and he is averaging 18.9 points per game on 57.5% shooting from the field in that stretch. The Mavericks bench outscored Denver 27-16 tonight. Dallas improved to 6-0 when the bench unit outscores the opponent’s bench unit.

Fourth Quarter: Dallas outscored the Nuggets 32-16 in the fourth quarter, led by Hardaway Jr.’s 13 points. The Mavericks were sizzling in the fourth as they shot 59% from the floor. In addition, they held the Nuggets to 32% from the field, including 1/8 from downtown. Dallas went small in the fourth as Dorian Finney-Smith got some run at center, and it worked.

The Not so Great for the Mavericks:

Second Quarter: Dallas was outscored 26-14 by Denver. They shot 22.7% from the field in the quarter, and ultimately, the Nuggets took a nine-point lead into halftime.

Bottom Line:

You have to be happy about the play of Porzingis. If he continues to play at this level, the Mavericks are going to give teams fits.

“It is all about confidence for KP,” Hardaway Jr. said. “Just knowing him personally, on and off the floor, he needs to stay active. When he is active in the pick-and-roll situations, picking-and-popping, taking the ball off-dribble off his rebounds, posting up and doing the little things like blocking shots and talking on defense, when he is engaged like that, we can be a dangerous team.”

However, Dallas is hoping Doncic’s injuries are not severe, which according to reports, it’s not. 

“Luka walked off on his own power,” Kidd said. “I think he got rolled up on his lower left leg.”

The Mavericks have struggled with teams above .500 this season(1-3). Monday’s win over Denver was their first win against a team above .500.

What’s Next:

Dallas begins a four-game road trip with a two-game set in Phoenix against the red-hot Suns, who have won nine straight.

Best of the Rest:

-Nikola Jokić led Denver with a season-high 35 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists tonight; Monte Morris (17), Aaron Gordon (14), and Austin Rivers (12) all started and scored in double figures for Denver.

Listen below as Kidd and Porzingis talk win over Denver:

Cavs’ Rubio on injuries: ‘We can’t be complaining about this guy being out or that guy’

Beating a team twice in a two-game set is very difficult, and it becomes even harder when you are down many of your key players. That is what the Cavaliers had to do on Monday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse as they concluded their two-game set against the Boston Celtics. 

Coming into this game, Cleveland had won two straight and six of their last seven.

Cleveland, who overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the Celtics on Saturday night, was already missing Lauri Markkanen(Return To Competition Reconditioning), Kevin Love(Return To Competition Reconditioning), Collin Sexton(knee), Lamar Stevens(Ankle), and Jarrett Allen(Illness). They would also lose rookie Evan Mobley(elbow) early in the fourth. 

The Cavaliers(9-6) trailed by as much as nine points in the fourth and got within one late in the game, but Boston’s Dennis Schroder hit two big shots and stretched the Celtics lead to five, and Cleveland would fall to Boston(7-7) 98-92.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottomline of the Cavs’ loss to Boston:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Cedi Osman scored 12 of his 26 points, including four of his game-high six threes in the fourth. He also dished out five assists off the Cavaliers’ bench. The five-year veteran is giving the Cavs great minutes off the bench this season, and he is shooting a career-high 42% from three-point range. 

-Ricky Rubio scored 26 of his game-high 28 points in the second half, including 14 in the third quarter. Rubio got the start for Cleveland. He also added six rebounds and two assists on Monday. He, like Osman, kept the Cavs in this game, and was making array of shots off the dribble.

The Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

-Evan Mobley: Mama said there would be days like this, and Mobley, who started at center for the injured Allen, had an off day for the Cavs. He was 0/11 from the floor and scored only two points, but he did have nine rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. Mobley will learn from this one as Boston’s Al Horford defended him very well. 

On Tuesday, the Cavs announced that Mobley would be out 2-4 weeks after an MRI confirmed that he had a sprained right elbow. According to the team, Mobley will now undergo a period of treatment and rehabilitation.

Shooting: Cleveland shot 38.6% from the field on Monday night, but they did shoot 40% from downtown, so it wasn’t all bad. 

Bottom Line:

Both teams were playing their third game in four nights on Monday, and it showed.

Cleveland would’ve had to play better than they did on Saturday night to get this one, and without their key players, including Mobley, defeating Boston was going to be tough.

Mobley going down is a significant loss for the Cavaliers. He was playing so well. Hopefully, they can get Markkanen and Love back soon. Cleveland battled injuries all last season and is struggling with injuries now, but this is a resilient bunch, so expect this team to fight. 

“Hopefully, the guys who are out get healthy and recover fast,” Rubio said postgame. “We are who we are. Tonight, nine players played. If we have to play with five players we will. We can’t be complaining about this guy being out or that guy. At the end of the day, everybody goes through a lot of stuff.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland, who went 2-2 on their four-game homestand, goes to Brooklyn to battle the Nets before returning home for another four-game homestand.

Best of the Rest:

-Darius Garland had 17 points, including three threes on Monday night; Isaac Okoro had a bounce-back performance for Cleveland as he had 12 points, five rebounds, and three assists. On Saturday, Okoro was 0/7 and finished with two points.

-Boston’s Jayson Tatum scored 23 points, and in his return from a back injury, Horford added 17 points and nine rebounds.

Watch below as Osman and Rubio react to Cleveland’s loss to Boston:

76ers assistant Joerger stepping away from team for cancer treatments

Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Dave Joerger is stepping from the team to continue cancer treatments. According to ESPN, Joerger has a form of “head and neck” cancer.

The 47-year-old Joerger reportedly told the team after their loss to the Pacers on Saturday night about his diagnosis.

Joerger released the following statement through the team:

“I will be stepping away from the bench, effective immediately, as I was recently diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer. I will take this time to focus on my health and I look forward to rejoining the team once I’ve completed the treatment process. 

“Over the last few months, I learned the importance of self-evaluation and care, early detection and annual medical exams. I know I will beat this diagnosis with the help of my world-class medical team at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health, under the direction of Dr. David M. Cognetti, Dr. Voichita Bar Ad and Dr. Jennifer Johnson. I would like to thank the entire medical team and support staff at Jefferson Health for their extraordinary care. I would also like to acknowledge Josh Harris, David Blitzer, Doc Rivers, Daryl Morey, Elton Brand and the entire 76ers organization. Their unwavering support has allowed me to concentrate all of my efforts towards beating cancer. Most importantly, thank you to my wife Kimberly and my loving family who continue to provide me with strength.  

“The game of basketball has given me so much, highlighted by the extended support system and lifelong friendships I have been able to form. I look forward to using my platform to continue to raise awareness and help support the fight against cancer.”

 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said the following about Joerger:

“Dave is not only one of the most talented and respected coaches in the NBA, but he’s a great friend, colleague, husband and father. The same positivity, enthusiasm and grit that have made him a successful coach will also carry him through his fight against cancer. I know I speak for everyone at the 76ers when I say, “Get well soon, we love you and we’ll be with you throughout this entire process. Your battle is our battle.” 

Joerger joined the 76ers last season as assistant after being a head coach in Memphis and Sacramento.

Cavs’ Bickerstaff on win over Boston: ‘There is no basketball reason why we should have won’

With 3:06 left in the third quarter, the Cleveland Cavaliers trailed the Boston Celtics 72-53. However, Cleveland outscored Boston 38-17 the rest of the way and would defeat Boston 91-89 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Saturday night.

After losing to Washington on Wednesday night, Cleveland(9-5) has now won two straight. Boston’s(6-7) two-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday night.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of Cleveland’s big win over Boston.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Evan Mobley has been exceptional in the first 14 games of his career, and after a slow start, he was outstanding on Saturday night. Mobley scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth. He added nine rebounds, three blocks, and two steals. He made big shots down the stretch and made great plays on defense, including this block on Jayson Tatum.

In addition, according to the Cavs, Mobley became the fastest player in team history to reach 200 points and 100 rebounds.

-Darius Garland led the Cavs with a season-high 22 points to go along with six assists and four rebounds. Garland also hit the game-winning free throws after he was fouled by Marcus Smart on his drive to the basket with 09.4 seconds left. It was Garland’s second straight game with 20-plus points and six-plus assists.

-Cedi Osman brought energy and effort off the bench against Boston. He scored all nine of his points in the fourth. Osman, who played the whole fourth quarter, also had three rebounds, two steals, and a block in the final period. 

-Ricky Rubio also was big-time off the Cavs’ bench. He did not shoot it that well from the field(4/17 FG), but he did score four of his 16 points and had five of his seven assists in the final quarter, including a beautiful lob pass to Jarrett Allen to give the Cavs an 89-87 lead with 35.4 seconds left in the game. Rubio also added five rebounds.

Fourth Quarter: Cleveland trailed by as many as 19 in the third but cut it to 12, heading into the fourth. The Cavs went on an 11-0 run to start the final period to cut the lead to one. Led by the lineup of Mobley, Rubio, Osman, Denzel Valentine, and Dylan Windler, Cleveland scrapped, clawed and got back into the game. Ultimately, Garland and Allen returned to put the Cavs over the top. The Cavaliers outscored the Celtics 25-15 in the final period, and Boston shot only 30%  from the field.

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

The First Three Quarters: Boston held the Cavaliers to only nine points in the first quarter on 15% shooting from the field and six turnovers, which led to 11 Celtic points. The second quarter was a little better for Cleveland, but they trailed 52-38 at halftime. The Cavs did outscore the Celtics by two in the third, but they were down as many as 19 that quarter. 

-Isaac Okoro was 0/7 from the field and finished with two points in 18 minutes of action.

Bottom Line:

What an amazing comeback by the never-say-die Cavaliers. They definitely should have lost this game, but they found a way, and it appears this team has the heart, the scrap, and the toughness to keep finding a way.

“There is no basketball reason why we should have won, but there was a collective spirit,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said postgame.

What’s Next:

Cleveland battles the Celtics again at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Monday night as they conclude their four-game homestand.

Best of the Rest:

-Boston’s Dennis Schroder had a game-high 28 points; Jayson Tatum had 21 points, and Robert Williams added 12 points, a game-high 16 rebounds, and three blocks.

-Jarrett Allen chipped in with 11 points and eight rebounds for the Cavaliers.

-Both teams were missing key pieces as Boston was without Jaylen Brown(hamstring), Al Horford(back), and Josh Richardson(knee). Cleveland was still without Kevin Love(Reconditioning) and Lauri Markkanen(Health and Safety Protocols), and they were missing reserve Lamar Stevens.

Watch below as Garland, Mobley, and Osman react to Cleveland’s big win over Boston:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mavs’ Porzingis: ‘He(Luka Doncic) takes so much pressure off everybody else’

The Mavericks’ Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis came to play against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night. 

The two scored 32 points apiece, while Doncic, who had a triple-double, added 15 assists and 12 rebounds as Dallas defeated the Spurs on the road 123-109. 

Dallas(8-4), who led by as many as 27 points on Friday night, has now played and beaten the Spurs(4-8) three times this season.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Mavs’ win against San Antonio:

The Great for the Dallas Mavericks:

-Luka Doncic messed around and got his first triple-double of the season. Doncic is now sixth in NBA history in 30-point triple-doubles as he was 11/23 from the floor, including six threes. According to Mavs PR, Doncic has joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to record six-plus career games of 30-plus points, 12-plus rebounds, and 15-plus assists.

-Kristaps Porzingis had his best game of the season as he scored 32 points on 12/22 shooting from the field, including three threes, grabbed seven rebounds, and three blocks. It was Porzingis’ 28th career 30-point game (14th with the Mavs). This is Porzingis'(22 points and 12 rebounds) second straight strong game as he had a double-double against the Bulls.

-Dorian Finney-Smith was solid on Friday night. He had 15 points, including three threes, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a block. This was Smith’s first-career game of 15-plus, five-plus rebounds, three-plus assists.

Third Quarter: Dallas outscored San Antonio 34-20 in the quarter. The Mavericks, who led 68-57 at halftime, had their largest lead of 27 in third. They shot 52% from the field. Both Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson scored eight points in the quarter.

Not so Great for the Mavericks:

-Not much to add here. Actually, nothing to add. 

Bottom Line:

This season, Dallas has the lowly Spurs’ number. However, a win is a win, and you beat the teams that are on your schedule. It will get more challenging for the Mavericks as the next five games will be against the Nuggets(home), @Suns(2x), and @Clippers(2x).

“He(Luka Doncic) takes so much pressure off everybody else,” Porzingis said postgame. “Makes everybody else better and get more open looks.”

What’s Next:

The Mavericks return home on Monday to battle the Denver Nuggets.

Best of the Rest:

-The Spurs had seven players in double figures led by Devin Vassell’s 20 points off the bench.

-Jalen Brunson is a weapon off the Mavs’ bench. He had 17 points and three assists.

Listen below as Mavs head coach Jason Kidd talks Doncic, Porzingis, and win against Spurs:

Cavs’ Garland: ‘We’ve got the bark and the bite right now’

The Cleveland Cavaliers were looking for a bounce-back performance on Friday night against the visiting Detroit Pistons, and they got it. 

Cleveland(8-5) led by as many as 27 points and defeated the Pistons(2-9) 98-78.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of Cleveland’s win over the Pistons.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Darius Garland did it all for Cleveland on Friday night. He scored 21 points, including four threes, and dished out seven assists as he was lobbing it left and right to Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley at the rim. Garland also added two rebounds and two steals.

-Evan Mobley, who was the third overall pick, got a chance to face the number one overall pick in Cade Cunningham on Friday night, and as he has done all year long, Mobley filled out the stat sheet. He had 16 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, and two steals. According to the team, Mobley became the fastest Cavs rookie to grab 100 rebounds since Brad Daugherty (12 games) and Hot Rod Williams (13 games) in 1986.

-Cedi Osman was outstanding off the Cavs’ bench. He scored 17 points.

Defense: Cleveland held the Pistons to 78 points on .367% shooting from the field. In addition, they forced 23 turnovers, which turned into 27 points. The 78 points are the lowest amount of points they’ve allowed in a game since 2016.

Third Quarter Defense: The Cavaliers held the Pistons to 11 points in the third. Detroit(5/20) shot 25% from the floor. Cleveland led by as much as 22 in the quarter and took complete control of the game.

Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

-Cleveland did have 21 turnovers on Friday. Not a big deal on this night because it only led to 11 Piston points, but against a better team, this could have been a problem.

Bottom Line:

The Cavs did what good teams do to a bad team, and that’s beat them up. In addition, it was good to see this team come out with a level of anger after the tough loss to the Wizards that snapped their four-game winning streak. 

“We’ve got the bark and the bite right now,” Garland said postgame. “Everybody is jelling and is fun to be around. It’s a lot of fun.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland gets back at it on Saturday night at home against the Boston Celtics.

Best of the Rest:

Jarrett Allen’s streak of five straight double-doubles ended on Friday night as he chipped in with 11 points and seven rebounds, and this beautiful dunk below:

-Isaac Okoro added nine points and nine rebounds.

-Ricky Rubio had five points, nine assists, and five steals off the bench.

-Lamar Stevens left with a right ankle sprain in the second quarter and did not return.

-Kevin Love (Health and Safety Protocols) and Lauri Markkanen (Health and Safety Protocols) are still out. However, Love was in the arena on Friday night and joined the team on the bench.

-Jerami Grant led the Pistons with 16 points and Cunningham added nine points, six rebounds, and three assists.

Watch below as Garland, Mobley, and Osman react to team’s win over Pistons:

 

Mavs’ Kidd is impressed by Lonzo Ball’s growth as a shooter

On Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks(7-4) had a lead after one quarter against the Chicago Bulls. However, the Bulls would take over from there. Behind Lonzo Ball’s 21 points, including seven threes and Zach LaVine’s 23 points, the Bulls(8-3) defeated Dallas 117-107 at United Center to end Dallas’ three-game winning streak.

Before the game, Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd discussed Ball, who, like Kidd, struggled early on his career with his shot, but like Kidd, appears to have turned himself into a decent shooter, which was on display Wednesday night. 

As a rookie, Ball shot .306% from three-point range. Last season with the Pelicans, Ball bumped that up to .378% from downtown, and after 11 games this season, Ball is shooting .447% from three-point range.

Kidd had a similar career. He shot 27.2% from downtown as a rookie, but ultimately, Kidd became a competent shooter and got over 40% from three-point range later in his career. Currently, Kidd is 12th all-time in three-pointers made. 

The Hall of Famer is impressed with Ball’s worth ethic and his growth as a shooter.

“One, it tells you that he’s working on his game,” Kidd said about Ball. “And two, I think it just shows that, sometimes, when I see we, we just need time. Sometimes, we want it to be instant. We have instant oatmeal; we have a lot of instant meals, but unfortunately, it takes time… 

“When you look at Ball and what he’s done, he works on his game, his craft, and sometimes, we want it on day one, and unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way; we’re human. He’s human. I love that he hasn’t listened to the noise, and he continued to work.”

Not many thought Kidd would become the shooter he became later in his career, and now Ball is hoping to do the same.

Best of the Rest:

-Dallas gets back at it on Friday night when they head to San Antonio to battle the Spurs. After San Antonio, the Mavericks return home on Monday to face Denver before heading out on a four-game road trip.

-Dallas had five players in double figures against Chicago led by Kristaps Porzingis’ 22 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points, including five threes. Luka Doncic(6/18 FG) struggled with his shot; he had 20 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds.

Listen below as Kidd talks Lonzo Ball:

Cavs stumble late against Wizards, but to their credit, they fought hard

It appeared on Wednesday night that the Cleveland Cavaliers(7-5) were going to get their fifth straight win as they had a 10-point lead with just under 11 minutes left against the visiting Washington Wizards(8-5).

Cleveland would take a nine-point lead with just over six minutes to go. However, Washington would close the game on a 19-7 run and took the lead for good when Kyle Kuzma hit a corner three with 11.4 seconds. Washington would hold on to defeat the Cavs 97-94 to snap Cleveland’s four-game winning streak.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of Cleveland’s loss to Washington:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Ricky Rubio led the way for Cleveland with 20 points, five assists, five rebounds, and two steals in 28 minutes off the bench. This is the second straight game where Rubio, who was getting serenaded with MVP chants, led the team in points and assists.

-Evan Mobley continues to pile up the numbers. He had 19 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and a block. After 12 games, Mobley is second among rookies in points(15.3), rebounds(7.9), and first in blocks(1.3) per contest.

-Darius Garland had 19 points and four assists. He also made a team-high three three-point shots on Wednesday night.

Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

Fourth Quarter: Cleveland had a six-point lead entering the fourth, but Washington would outscore the Cavs 29-20 in the final period. Cleveland shot 1/10 three-point range in the quarter. In addition, Washington shot 57% from the field, including 5/11 from three-point range.

Leaving Kuzma open for three: Kuzma, who scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth, was hot as he was 4/5 from three-point range in the quarter, and with the Cavs leading 93-89 with 30.4 seconds, Kuzma hit a three to cut it to one.

Rubio would make one of two free throws to give Cleveland a 94-92 lead. With the Wizards trailing by two, Kuzma would get open and knocked down a three in the corner. Cleveland, who had a foul to give, tried to foul Bradley Beal, but the officials did not call it, and Kuzma was able to get free. 

“We had a foul to give, and we fouled Bradley Beal, and they missed the call,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said postgame. “We have to learn in this situation; the three is what kills you.”

Darius Garland’s final shot: Cleveland had one last chance to win, and with the Cavs trailing by one, Garland launched a 25-foot three with 04.3 seconds. It was not a bad shot, but the third-year guard should have worked to get a better shot.

 “When it left my hands, I thought it was good,” Garland said. “All my shots were like that. But that one felt really good, just didn’t go in.” 

Bottom Line:

This was a game the Cavaliers should have won, but the Wizards were able to execute better down the stretch. Washington is the more experienced team, and it showed in this one. Cleveland is without many of their key pieces(Sexton, Love, and Markkanen), but they continue to battle to their credit.

What’s Next:

Cleveland continues their four-game homestand on Friday against the Pistons.

Best of the Rest:

-Montrezl Harrell led Washington with 24 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Cleveland did a decent job on Wizards star Bradley Beal, who had only 13 points on 4/19 shooting from the field.

-Cavs Jarrett Allen had his fifth consecutive double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

76ers’ Rivers: ‘Tyrese [Maxey] was sensational’

On Tuesday night, the Philadelphia 76ers(8-4) hosted the world champion, Milwaukee Bucks(5-6). 

However, Philadelphia was without their top three scorers in Joel Embiid(Health and Safety Protocols), Tobias Harris(Health and Safety Protocols), and Seth Curry(Foot contusion). Also, they were missing Matisse Thybulle(Health and Safety Protocols), and of course, Ben Simmons.

Philly battled for the whole game but did not have enough as they were outscored 27-16 in the fourth and fell to Milwaukee 118-109.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom Line of Philly’s loss to Milwaukee:

The Great for the 76ers:

-Tyrese Maxey did everything in his power to lead the Sixers to victory. The second-year guard led Philadelphia with a game-high-tying and season-high 31 points (12-24 FG), including a career-best four made threes, along with five boards and four assists. Maxey set a new single-quarter career-high with 17 points in the first period (7-9 FG, 3-4 3FG).

-Georges Niang scored 12 of his season-high 21 points against the Bucks off the bench, including five threes. According to Stathead, this is the 22nd time of Niang’s career where he has scored at least 10 points in a half.

-Andre Drummond has been great this season. He had another double-double with 17 points, a game-high 20 rebounds, and two blocks. This is Drummond’s second straight game of at least 20 rebounds(25 rebounds against Knicks on Monday night), leaving him tied for the fifth-most double-digit rebounding games in the league this year. Through 12 games, Drummond is the second player with consecutive games of at least 10 points and 20 rebounds.

-Shake Milton started for the injured Seth Curry and had a solid performance with 20 points, six assists, and four rebounds.

Not so Great for the 76ers:

Philadelphia did not shoot the ball all that great on Tuesday night, which is understandable. The 76ers shot 41% from the field.

Bottom Line:

Look, it would have been amazing if the 76ers had won this game, and while there are no moral victories in this league, Philadelphia might have earned a moral victory. Without Embiid and Harris, it’s going to be tough, but maybe they can find a way to steal a few games without their top players.

“I don’t know if anything surprises me with these guys,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said postgame. “They play hard; they try to figure it out… Tyrese [Maxey] was sensational tonight, kept attacking, Georges [Niang] gave us everything he had, I thought [Drummond] offensively on the glass was really good.”

What’s Next:

Philadelphia finishes their three-game homestand on Thursday night against the Raptors.

Best of the Rest:

Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 31 points and 16 rebounds. Antetokounmpo has now scored at least 30 points in four games this season; Grayson Allen set a season-high with 25 points in the game, and Bobby Portis added 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Mavs’ Kidd: ‘I really believe our bench is a big part of our success’

After a slow start against the New Orleans Pelicans(1-10), the Dallas Mavericks picked it up in the second and third quarters, ultimately leading by as many as 22 points in the fourth and defeating the Pelicans 108-92 at American Airlines Center.

Dallas(7-3) has now won four out of their last five, marking the first time they have reached the 7-3 mark through 10 games since the 2013-14 season.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom Line of Dallas’ win over New Orleans.

The Great for the Mavericks:

-The Mavericks had five players in double figures, and Luka Doncic was the catalyst again for Dallas. Doncic had a team-high 25 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists on Monday night. Over his last five games(four wins), Doncic is averaging 27.4 points per game.

-Super-sub Jalen Brunson had 17 points off the bench for Dallas. Brunson also added six assists and four rebounds. This is Brunson’s fourth consecutive game scoring in double figures, and he is averaging 21.5 points per game on 59.3% shooting from the field in that stretch.

-Tim Hardaway Jr. had scored 17 points, including a game-high four threes, to go along with six rebounds and four assists.

-Kristaps Porzingis had 12 points and 8 rebounds. It’s good to have Porzingis around as the Mavericks are 4-1 with Porzingis in the lineup this season.

-The Mavericks bench outscored the Pelicans bench by a season-high 32 tonight, 42-10. Of course, we know about Brunson’s 17 points off the bench, but Reggie Bullock added 12 points(2/3 3PT), and Frank Ntilikina had nine points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

“I think it’s one of our strengths,” Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said about the bench. “As you have seen, we can start a guy that comes off the bench and he can help us win. When you look at Frank [Ntilikina] and looking at [Jalen] Brunson and Sterling [Brown] and those guys that are coming off the bench, they all can provide something different, starting on the defensive end. I really believe our bench is a big part of our success.”

Second-Fourth Quarters: After trailing by five after one quarter, Dallas outscored the Pelicans by 21 points the rest of the way.

Not so Great for the Mavericks:

-First Quarter: Dallas trailed again after the first quarter. The Mavericks have trailed or been tied(once) in six of their ten games after the first quarter this season. 

The Bottom Line:

The Pelicans are one of the worst teams in basketball right now, especially without Brandon Ingram(hip) and Zion Williamson(foot), who did not play on Monday, so these are the games the Mavericks should win.

Dallas is getting it done at home, and they are 5-1 at American Airlines Center.

What’s Next:

Dallas goes on the road to face the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

Best of the Rest:

Jonas Valanciunas scored 22 points and contributed a game-high 11 rebounds for New Orleans, and Josh Hart had 22 points, six rebounds, and five assists tonight.