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Mavericks 123, 76ers 70

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DALLAS — Since coach Rick Carlisle criticized his team Sunday for a failure to compete, the Dallas Mavericks have taken things to the extreme.

On Tuesday night, they fell behind by 24 points only to rally and win. And on Thursday night, they blitzed Philadelphia for an almost unbelievable 44-point halftime lead in an epic 123-70 blowout of the winless 76ers at the American Airlines Center.

Dallas (6-3) jumped out to a 23-7 lead after seven minutes and led 38-10 after the first quarter, the largest margin after one quarter in franchise history.

The Mavs continued to pour it on from there against the overmatched Sixers, winless in their first eight games. Philadelphia was historically pitiful in just about every phase of the game, including 28 turnovers and 29.9 percent shooting from the field and 51.5 percent from the free throw line.

About the only thing that went Philly’s way was the opening tip.

Dallas headed to the locker room with the scoreboard showing 73-30, and then to add insult to injury, the Sixers were docked a point after replay revealed an earlier 3-pointer should have counted as two points. So the score rolled back to 73-29. If it were a boxing match, the referee would have had no choice but to stop it right there.

The Mavs’ largest halftime lead in franchise history was also the Sixers’ biggest halftime deficit in the shot-clock era (1954-55).

Dallas became the only team in the shot-clock era to score 70 points or more in the first half while surrendering fewer than 30. The 53-point win goes down as the Mavs’ largest ever, eclipsing their 50-point rout of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 24, 2010.

The Sixers didn’t reach 20 points until more than halfway through the second quarter. At the end of the third quarter, the Dallas lead was 42 points at 95-53.

In the first quarter, Philadelphia made just four field goals and had one assist while turning it over nine times. Dallas, meanwhile, outscored the Sixers at the free throw line in the quarter, going 14 of 14.

Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki, who on Tuesday moved past Hakeem Olajuwon into ninth place on the NBA’s career scoring list and became the leading scorer among international players, scored 21 points in 20 minutes, connecting on 7-of-8 shots from the field.

Dallas guard Monta Ellis had 17 points, four assists and four rebounds, and forward Chandler Parsons and reserve center Brandan Wright each had 14 points. Tyson Chandler had nine points and 10 rebounds. None of them played beyond the third quarter.

Charlie Villanueva came off Dallas’ bench in the fourth quarter and scored 10 points in eight minutes, outscoring every Sixers player except guards Tony Wroten and Michael Carter-Williams.

Philadelphia had one starter score in double figures. Wroten had 11 points. Carter-Williams, who made his season debut after recovering from shoulder surgery, came off the bench for 19 points on 6-of-19 shooting from the field and five assists.

The Sixers are the only team still searching for their first win. They might have to wait a while longer. Their road trip continues at Houston on Friday and then at the defending champion San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

NOTES: Sixers G Michael Carter-Williams made his season debut after recovering from shoulder surgery. Carter-Williams, who started all 70 games he played last season, came off the bench Thursday, backing up Tony Wroten, who was enjoying a hot start to the season. … Mavericks C Tyson Chandler entered the night with four double-doubles in his past five games … G Devin Harris, in his second stint with Dallas, played in his 300th game with the franchise. … Dallas G Jameer Nelson left Tuesday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with a right hamstring injury, but he was in the lineup Thursday. … Mavericks G Raymond Felton remained sidelined due to a right ankle sprain. Once active, he will begin to serve a four-game suspension for a weapons charge dating from last season, when he was with the New York Knicks. … Philadelphia’s last win in Dallas was Jan. 29, 2005, a span of eight games entering play Thursday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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