The Dallas Mavericks’ deep bench has provided a major lift during the team’s impressive 17-game run. The Philadelphia 76ers are also getting a significant boost from their reserves during that stretch.
Dallas goes for its seventh straight victory Tuesday night when it faces a 76ers team trying to extend its longest winning streak of the season to five.
During a 16-1 run that has moved them two games in front of the Los Angeles Lakers for the second spot in the Western Conference, the Mavericks (43-16) have received 49.2 points per game from their bench, which is nearly 10 more than their season average.
Top reserve Jason Terry(notes) is scoring 17.5 points per game in the last 17, while in that stretch J.J. Barea(notes) (13.1 points, 4.5 assists) and Shawn Marion(notes) (12.3 points, 7.7 rebounds) are also giving coach Rick Carlisle plenty of production. The trio combined for 51 points and backup center Ian Mahinmi(notes) added 13 in Sunday’s 114-96 victory at Toronto.
“I thought our bench really saved us,” Nowitzki said after Dallas rallied from a 19-point first-quarter deficit. “Some nights your starting five just don’t have it for whatever reason, fatigue, rhythm or whatever. Our bench was phenomenal.”
That word can also be used to describe the 76ers’ reserves. Philadelphia’s bench, among the NBA’s best with 40.1 points per game, is averaging 42.2 on 49.2 percent shooting during a 13-4 run that has the team one game back of the New York Knicks for the sixth spot in the East.
Thanks to 38 combined points off the bench from Louis Williams(notes), Thaddeus Young(notes) and rookie Evan Turner(notes), the 76ers (30-29) erased a 12-point first-period deficit Sunday and hung on for a 95-91 victory at NBA-worst Cleveland.
Philadelphia’s season-best fourth straight win moved it above .500 for the first time since it was 3-2 on Nov. 6, 2009.
“Coach (Doug Collins) is right about us probably losing this game a couple months ago,” said forward Elton Brand(notes), who finished with 16 points and returned to the game after dislocating the little finger on his left hand. “We’ve grown a lot. The bench gave us a huge lift, gave us the chance to win.”
The 76ers’ last five-game winning streak was Jan. 31-Feb. 9, 2010.
Philadelphia, trying to post its fourth straight victory at Wells Fargo Center, will face a Mavericks team that has won four in a row and nine of 10 on the road.
Dallas recorded its sixth consecutive home win over the 76ers on Nov. 12, 99-90. With Nowitzki slowed with a sprained ankle and scoring 16 points, Barea had 19 off the bench, Terry scored 13 and backup center Brendan Haywood(notes) grabbed a season-best 17 rebounds.
Young led Philadelphia with 17 points in that game. He scored a team-high 22 off the bench as the 76ers snapped a three-game skid to Dallas with a 92-81 home win Jan. 22, 2010.