Philadelphia (28-27) at Dallas (44-11)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Dallas, TX
Temp: 91° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EST Mon Feb 27, 2006
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Despite owning the best record in the Western Conference, the Dallas Mavericks realize they need to get off to better starts.

The Mavs hope to do just that as they try to extend their franchise-record home winning streak to 15 games with a matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Dallas, which has won five straight overall, has rallied from big deficits in each of its last two games. The Mavs erased a 19-point deficit in a 97-87 victory over Memphis on Thursday before coming back from 24 down in the second half in a 115-113 overtime win over Toronto on Saturday.

Memphis scored 56 points at halftime and Toronto had 67 at the break before Dallas tightened up its defense.

“Teams are coming in here dropping 30-some points on us in the first quarter,” Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. “We’ve been digging ourselves in a hole, so I’ll continue to work on finding the right formula to help get us off to better starts. Maybe I won’t call timeouts as quick as I used to. We’ll have to do something.”

Johnson took the blame for the poor starts.

“I don’t think I’m doing a good enough job in our pregame meeting,” he said. “I don’t think I’m doing a good enough job emphasizing how important it is to get off to better starts. I think there’s been some confusion in regards to the game plan and that’s my fault. I take full responsibility.”

Dallas’ comeback on Saturday was the second biggest in franchise history. The Mavs erased a 25-point deficit in a win over Denver in 1994.

Dirk Nowitzki had 32 points and 11 rebounds Saturday to lead Dallas, and made the game-winning jumper with one second left in the extra period. Nowitzki scored 16 points after the third quarter, including eight in overtime.

“We have to find our sense of urgency a little bit earlier,” Nowitzki said. “We gave up almost 70 in the first half. It looked like we just went through the motions.”

The Mavs are 12-0 at home against Eastern Conference teams this season.

Philadelphia is hoping to have either forward Chris Webber or center Samuel Dalembert back in the lineup for this game.

Webber missed a 108-102 win over Chicago on Saturday due to the flu and Dalembert has missed the last two contests with a left ankle sprain, but the Sixers have won three straight since the All-Star break.

Allen Iverson scored 14 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter and Kyle Korver added 19 for Philadelphia on Saturday.

“We tried it different ways in the first half of the season and now we just have to do it the way (coach) Mo Cheeks wants it done every night,” Iverson said.

Korver is averaging 21.0 points per game during the winning streak.

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