Iverson, averaging 29 points per game, missed his third straight game due to a strained left rotator cuff.
“We were without our leading scorer, so everyone else had to step up and be aggressive,” Salmons said. “A.I. wasn’t there to bail us out, so we had to make our shots and chip in as a team.”
If the Mavericks thought the 76ers would be pushovers without the Answer, they were mistaken.
The Sixers compensated with solid defense, limiting the Mavericks to 36.7 percent field goal shooting (33-for-90).
“Team defense and containing everybody is our main concept,” Salmons said.
Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 25 points, nine rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots, but he went only 7-for-25 from the floor. Michael Finley was 6-for-23 from the field, finishing with 14 points.
“You have to give Philly credit, they made us work for our baskets,” Finley said. “We had a lot of shots near the end of the shot clock which are tough shots. Credit their defense for taking us out of things we normally do. …This was a terrible game for us all the way around. Nothing seemed to be clicking for us.”
Erick Dampier had 14 points, a career-high 26 rebounds and a season-high seven blocked shots for the Mavericks, who had won six of their previous seven.
“It’s a shame to waste an effort (from Dampier) like that on a loss,” said Jerry Stackhouse, who had 16 points for Dallas.
The Sixers lost in overtime at New Orleans on Friday night, but they kept their poise down the stretch 24 hours later.
Korver scored seven of their last nine points, including two free throws with 2:23 remaining to give Philadelphia the lead for good, 89-87.
“I tried to rebound, I tried to guard, I tried to do it all,” Korver said. “We wanted to come out and play hard and we got the win. We were just going at them and challenging them and it worked.”
But Terry missed an open 16-footer with 13.9 remaining after Nowitzki had drawn a double-team. Korver converted two foul shots with 11.1 left for the final margin.
“Dirk drew a lot of attention and he made a good pass,” Terry said. “I was there, I had a good look at it. It didn’t fall.”
The Sixers held an 80-73 lead early in the fourth quarter before the Mavericks went on a 11-0 run capped by Stackhouse’s 17-footer to take an 84-80 advantage with 4:46 to play.
But Philadelphia moved back in front 87-85 with 2:56 remaining on Korver’s 3-pointer.
The 76ers, who led by as many as 11 points in the first half, carried a 75-70 edge into the fourth quarter.
Philadelphia went on a 12-3 run for a 44-35 advantage with 4:34 remaining in the first half. Salmons had 13 points to help the Sixers take a 52-43 halftime lead.
: Iverson said he would “definitely” play Monday night at home against Indiana. …Top assistant Avery Johnson once again filled in for Dallas coach Don Nelson, recovering from rotator cuff surgery. The Mavericks are 4-2 since Johnson took over for Nelson, who is expected back on the bench by the second week in February. …F Josh Howard missed his third straight game for Dallas due to back spasms. …F Kenny Thomas was in the Sixers’ starting lineup despite a nose injury sustained in Friday night’s game. Thomas had 12 points and nine rebounds. … Philadelphia’s reserves outscored Dallas’ bench in the first half 30-2, 42-5 for the game. “We try to wear teams down with different bodies,” Salmons said. … Dallas had 16 blocked shots, one short of the team record.