Dirk’s dominance and stifling defense fueled the Mavericks’ most impressive comeback win since their NBA championship run.
Nowitzki recovered from a horrible first half (2-of-11 shooting) to light up the 76ers for 24 of his 28 points after the break. Nowitzki single-handedly scored as many points as the 76ers in the second half.
The Mavs took the lead with a 14-0 run in the third, sparked by 10 points and an assist from Nowitzki, and never trailed again. The Sixers pulled even a couple of times, including with a little more than nine minutes remaining in the game, but Jason Kidd (nine points, eight rebounds, nine assists) keyed a 9-0 run to put the Mavs in position to close.
Nowitzki’s brilliance will get the majority of attention, but the Mavs couldn’t come back to beat a quality Eastern Conference team on the road without the dirty work on the defensive end, which Dallas has been doing consistently since its 0-3 start. Philadelphia shot only 21.4 percent (9-of-42) from the floor in the second half.
What it means: The Mavs have won six consecutive games for the first time all season. They’ll head to Madison Square Garden for a Sunday matinee against Jeremy Lin and the Knicks as one of the NBA’s hottest teams.
Play of the game: Nowitzki knocked down a transition 3 in traffic from the top of the arc to give the Mavs a 54-53 lead, their first since the early stages of the game. When he hits that kind of shot -- and shows no hesitation to launch it -- you know the big German is in a groove.
Stat of the night: The Mavericks, who trailed by as many as 15 in the first half, had not won a game this season in which they trailed by double digits. They hadn’t won a road game in which they trailed by more than five points.