Joel Embiid scored 25 points, James Harden recorded a double-double of 15 points and 12 assists and the Philadelphia 76ers snapped out of a three-game slump on Wednesday with a 116-108 victory over the visiting Dallas Mavericks.
Philadelphia (50-26) overcame a sluggish start in which it fell behind by 12 points during the first half, ratcheting up the defensive pressure after intermission. The 76ers held the Mavericks to just 17 fourth-quarter points on 7-of-19 shooting from the floor.
Capitalising on its stingy defence on the other end of the court, Philadelphia knocked down four fourth-quarter 3-pointers -- including De’Anthony Melton’s midway through the period off a Harden assist.
Melton went 5-for-6 from beyond the arc en route to 17 points off the bench, and his triple just after the six-minute mark in the fourth pushed the 76ers’ lead to five points. The advantage never dipped below three points the rest of the way.
Tyrese Maxey scored 22 points to extend his run of 21-plus-point efforts to seven consecutive games. He shot 4-for-9 from deep, contributing to Philadelphia’s 17-for-36 night from 3-point range.
Tobias Harris chipped in 13 points for the 76ers, while Georges Niang knocked down 4 of 7 3-point attempts en route to 14 points. Niang contributed to Philadelphia’s 39-30 edge in points off the bench and added two blocks.
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Luka Doncic flirted with a triple-double for Dallas (37-40), posting team highs of 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. knocked down five 3-pointers on the way to 21 points.
No other Maverick scored in double figures.
The loss marked Dallas’ fifth in the last six games, contributing to the Mavericks’ slide in the Western Conference standings. It entered Wednesday’s game in 11th place, just outside the play-in tournament.
Philadelphia pulled within two games of Boston for second in the East. The Celtics is in action Thursday against NBA-leading Milwaukee.
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