Dirk Nowitzki reaches 29K career points in Mavs’ win over 76ers
DALLAS (AP) — Wesley Matthews scored 21 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 18 and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 129-103 on Sunday night.
Six Mavericks scored in double figures in Dallas’ highest scoring game of the season. The Mavericks won for just the second time in their last seven games.
Jahlil Okafor scored a career-high 31 points for Philadelphia, which has lost eight of nine. Okafor’s total was not only his highest as a pro, but one more than his high total during his one-and-done national championship season at Duke last year.
After playing three consecutive overtime games, the Mavericks were able to relax a bit in the fourth quarter. Dallas grabbed control in the second quarter, scoring 38 points and making 16 of 17 free-throw attempts while erasing an early eight-point deficit. Dallas finished the game 34 of 36 at the line.
The Sixers led 43-35 before Dallas closed the half with a 31-11 run. The 66 points were Dallas’ best half of the season.
Philadelphia closed to 80-71 on Nik Stauskas’ 3-pointer with 5:09 left in the third, but the Mavericks scored the next 10 points. Dallas led by as many as 30 in the fourth.
After a Robert Covington 3 just 9 seconds into the game, Okafor scored 18 of the 76ers’ next 20 points. He finished the first half with 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting.
Nowitzki went over 29,000 career points with a 3-pointer with 10:21 left in the third quarter. He is sixth in scoring in NBA history.
76ers: Forward Jerami Grant played despite being poked in the eye for the third time this season on Friday night. Coach Brett Brown, when asked what Grant has shown him this season, quipped: "He’s shown me that he needs goggles." … The Sixers have lost their last seven games against Dallas.
Mavericks: If the Mavericks plan to sign forward David Lee, they weren’t confirming anything on Sunday. "Until something’s signed, it’s not signed. We learned that this summer," owner Mark Cuban said, referring to the team’s verbal agreement with DeAndre Jordan before he re-signed with the Clippers. Lee was waived by the Celtics earlier in the day. … Devin Harris returned to the lineup after missing the past 10 games with a left big toe strain. Deron Williams started for the Mavericks despite a right calf strain.
76ers: Host Orlando on Tuesday.
Mavericks: Host Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
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