Dallas Mavericks

Mavericks won’t take winless 76ers for granted

Dirk Nowitzki struggled against the Lakers, scoring only nine points and sat out Saturday’s victory over the Rockets. He’s expected to play Monday against the 76ers.
Dirk Nowitzki struggled against the Lakers, scoring only nine points and sat out Saturday’s victory over the Rockets. He’s expected to play Monday against the 76ers. Star-Telegram

Now that it appears as though they’re hitting their stride, the Dallas Mavericks are hoping lightning doesn’t strike twice under a similar set of circumstances.

On Tuesday in New Orleans the Mavs looked ill-prepared in getting blown out (120-105) by a Pelicans team that was 0-6 and was the only franchise in the Western Conference at the time without a victory.

They’re a young team, but they play hard and they’ve got a lot of energy.

Mavericks guard Raymond Felton on the 76ers

The Mavericks (6-4) are hoping none of their transgressions are repeated at 6 p.m. Monday when they play the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center.

It’s a Sixers team that, at 0-10, is the only team in the NBA without a victory this season.

“We’ve just got to keep it going,” guard Raymond Felton said. “We’re going to be in their building. They’re a young team, but they play hard and they’ve got a lot of energy. So we’ve got to come out and match their energy and more, and try to go get a win.”

Last year in this same arena, the Mavs clung to a precarious four-point lead over the Sixers with less than five minutes left before hanging on for a 110-103 triumph. That victory propelled the 76ers to their 16th straight loss to open the season, which was a franchise record for the most losses to open a season.

Dirk Nowitzki did not play against the Rockets after going 4-of-13 from the field and scoring a season-low nine points against the Lakers.

“I remember last year in Philly it was kind of similar,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “I wasn’t playing, it was a back-to-back. We had to dig in deep, and then we got the win.”

Nowitzki didn’t play in last season’s game in Philadelphia because fatigue had set in, and he was just 4-of-27 from 3-point range in his previous four games. However, Nowitzki should be fresh this time, particularly because he didn’t play in Saturday’s 110-98 victory in Houston so he could get some much-needed rest.

During Friday’s 90-82 home win over the Los Angeles Lakers, Nowitzki was just 4-of-13 from the field and scored a season-low nine points. So when a decision was made to sit Nowitzki against the Rockets, the 18-year veteran agreed.

“I think Coach [Rick Carlisle] looked at my game against the Lakers and kind of said, ‘We don’t want to see that again,’ ” Nowitzki said. “So that was that decision right there. I should feel a lot better than I did in the Lakers game.”

Their crowd is going to be fired up to get that first win, and the players are too, and we’ve got to be sharp.

Dirk Nowitzki on playing at Philadelphia

The Mavs as a whole are feeling a lot better as they’ll carry a three-game winning streak into tonight’s game. But they won’t be taking another winless team for granted, and start adding another number in the win column before the game is played.

This time, the Mavs will have a healthy dose of respect for a team starving to get a victory.

“Their crowd is going to be fired up to get that first win, and the players are too, and we’ve got to be sharp,” said Nowitzki, who averaged a team-high 18.9 points entering the Lakers game. “We’ve got to be sharp like we were Saturday.

“They’re very athletic, so we’ve got to hold onto the boards, and then I think we should be OK.”

Dwain Price: 817-390-7760, @dwainprice

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