Thursday was almost the equivalent of a day off for the Dallas Mavericks.
Sure, the Mavs suited up and broke a mild sweat against the hapless Philadelphia 76ers. But the game quickly got out of hand before many inside the American Airlines Center could find their seats.
With the starters playing light minutes, the Mavs blew out the Sixers in record fashion, 123-70, to run their record to 6-3.
Dallas was off and running and led 38-10 after the first quarter, 73-29 at the half and 95-53 after the third period. And it wasn’t even that close.
It was the seventh time in franchise history that the Mavs allowed as few as 10 points in the first quarter. The last time was Nov. 18, 2008, against Charlotte.
The final score wound up being the largest win in Mavericks history, which previously was a 128-78 victory over the New York Knicks on Jan. 24, 2010. It is also the largest winning margin in the NBA by any team this season.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting in 20 efficient minutes, Monta Ellis added 17, and Brandan Wright and Chandler Parsons each had 14.
The Sixers are the youngest team in the NBA and were no match for the veteran Mavs. The game was so one-sided that it looked like a scrimmage.
At one point late in the game, the Mavs led 123-65.
The Mavs distributed 33 assists on 41 field goals, turned 28 turnovers by the Sixers into 39 points and outscored Philadelphia 32-9 in fast-break points.
In the first quarter, the Mavs were 10 of 18 from the field and 4 of 9 from 3-point territory with one turnover, while the Sixers were 4 of 18 from the field and 0 of 6 from 3-point range with nine turnovers.
Barring an earthquake, the game was basically over as the Sixers (0-8) showed why they are the only NBA team that has yet to win a game this season.
“You want to get out of it healthy and you want to get a win,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Thursday’s debacle. “Look, the sum total of the thing was our guys played hard, they played together, they concentrated, they didn’t have any slippage tonight and we got the job done.
“The score is very lopsided, but you’ve got to get the win and move on to the next one.”
The next game for the Mavs is Saturday against Minnesota in the finale of a four-game homestand. After losing the opener to Miami and rallying from 24 points down to beat Sacramento, the Mavs played name that number against the Sixers.
“We just came out with the positive mindset of just coming out here and working hard and doing what we needed to do,” said Wright, who played just 16 minutes. “We knew our team was a better team, obviously, and we just had to come out here and stick to the basics, do what we do best.”
About the only thing the Mavs lost was the opening tip. And, oh, they lost the third quarter, too.
Philadelphia outscored the Mavs 24-22 in the third quarter. But the Mavs reloaded and outscored the Sixers in the final quarter — which was mop-up duty — 28-17.
“He just said come out here and keep playing, don’t let the score dictate the game,” Wright said of Carlisle’s halftime message. “Keep playing hard, and that’s what we did. You can’t worry about the score or anything like that.
“The game was out of hand. It was pretty much settled at halftime, so you just go out there and play hard and look forward to the next one.”