Rapid Reaction: Mavs 97, 76ers 94

How it happened: The Dallas Mavericks overcame a miserable start to beat a sub-.500 Philadelphia 76ers squad that was missing arguably its best player in rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams.

It took the Mavs five minutes to score against the Sixers, who rank dead last in the NBA in scoring defense, and Dallas established new season lows for points in the first quarter (18) and first half (43).

But the Mavs, who spotted the Sixers an eight-point edge and trailed by as many as 10 points in the second quarter, got rolling after halftime.

That’s when Monta Ellis heated up, scoring 19 of his 24 points and collecting five of his 10 assists in the second half. Ellis had 13 points and three assists in the third quarter alone, when the Mavs seized the lead by scoring 31 points.

Ellis was one of three Mavs who scored at least 20 points, joining Dirk Nowitzki (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Shawn Marion (20 points).

Philadelphia, which is short on offensive firepower, had a poor shooting night, making only 38.4 percent of its attempts from the floor. The Sixers’ offensive inefficiency allowed the Mavs to hang around while slogging through the first two quarters.

What it means: The Mavs are still undefeated at the American Airlines Center this season, having won their first five home games. Dallas is 7-4 overall and has yet to lose to a team that doesn’t have a winning record. This is the first time the Mavs have been three games over .500 since they were 4-1 last season. The Mavs hope to have their first three-game winning streak of the season after Wednesday’s home game against the Houston Rockets.

Play of the game: The Mavs’ first lead of the game came in entertaining fashion. After Vince Carter blocked a shot, Ellis sparked a fast break that Shawn Marion finished with a two-hand slam dunk off a feed from Jae Crowder. That finally gave the Mavs a lead with 1:44 remaining in the third quarter.

Stat of the night: Nowitzki had his first double-double since Feb. 24. It was the 376th double-double of his career.