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News » Sixers can't get it done vs. Mavericks for seventh straight loss

Sixers can't get it done vs. Mavericks for seventh straight loss

Sixers can't get it done vs. Mavericks for seventh straight loss DALLAS - You certainly can't expect to lose a game on a fade-away, 15-foot baseline jumper with less than 2 seconds to go, but with the losses piling up the way they are for the 76ers , it certainly isn't all that surprising.

Dallas sub Jason Terry hit the improbable shot, despite Willie Green being draped all over him, with 1.4 seconds left to give the Mavericks a 104-102 win at the American Airlines Center last night. It was the seventh loss in a row for the Sixers (5-13).

Again, there were positives for the Sixers , most notably their negating a 17-point, first-half deficit and making a game out of a contest that had seemed to be one-sided.

The Sixers missed 32 of their 48 shots in the first half, many from inside the paint. The Mavs (13-5) took advantage of the Sixers' shooting shortcomings and used a pair of 14-3 spurts to get to that 17-point advantage. During those runs, the Sixers shot a combined 1-for-19.

But, with the help of a 32-12 rebounding advantage in the second half, the Sixers clawed and chipped and had a chance to break their skid against one of the NBA's best.

A 12-3 run late in the fourth quarter tied the game at 102 when Andre Iguodala drained a trey from the top of the key with 5.6 seconds remaining. Shortly after, Terry nailed the game-winner.

"Sometimes when you're going through the thick of it, you take some games like this on the chin," said Green, who finished with a team-high 23 points. "It was a good, hard-fought game, but give credit to the Dallas Mavericks and Jason Terry. He hit a good shot from the corner. I was on him, I thought, pretty much in his face. But there wasn't too much defense for that shot right there, it was a good shot."

The Sixers got the ball for one final shot to tie or win, but Iguodala's contested shot from the left wing appeared to be off the mark and center Sam Dalembert grabbed it out of the air as time expired.

Losing close games is becoming all too familiar to this group. Seven of their last eight losses have been by eight or fewer points. Again, coach Eddie Jordan lamented the fact that his team just couldn't make shots and get stops when needed.

"It is a shame that we have come so close so many times," he said. "And whether it is a shot by them or a shot by us, it just didn't go down [for us] or theirs went down. This team is fighting their tails off and we are doing a lot of good things and making progress in where we want to go. We just have to come up with some W's."

When shots aren't falling, like they weren't for the Sixers in the first half, conventional Basketball wisdom says to drive the ball to the basket. But the Sixers don't really have anyone who can consistently break down a defender, get penetration and either get a good shot or go to the foul line. They might have one in a couple of days - a player who has made a Hall of Fame career doing it - but Allen Iverson wasn't in uniform last night.

The defining play of the first half came near the end of it. Mavs point guard Jason Kidd was about to inbound from halfcourt when there seemed to be some confusion by Dallas as to who was supposed to be where. Whether it was real or just a ruse to throw off the Sixers , Kidd quickly hit Shawn Marion with an alley-oop pass that Marion threw down with 2.4 seconds left.

It was one of many eye-popping passes by Kidd, who finished with 22 points and 11 assists. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 28 points, and Drew Gooden came off the bench for 15. Marion (14) and Jose Barea (11) also scored in double figures.

Sixers forward Elton Brand had 21 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench after having missed the last three games with a tight right hamstring. Thaddeus Young also scored 21, and Iguodala had 19. Dalembert pulled down a season-high 19 rebounds.

Had it not been for Terry's heroics, those numbers might mean more to the players who posted them.

"It was a play that we run often," Terry said of his game-winner. "I remember just like it was yesterday against Minnesota last year, same move, same rhythm, great pass by Jason Kidd, good screen by Dirk and the shot prevailed."

Said Jordan: "We are just trying to get better. We try to do things well with our game plan and then we just have to make adjustments. We've started switching things like Sammy's matchup with Dirk. That was really good for us, and that is where you start. You start with the one-on-one matchups."

Dalembert did help, limiting Nowitzki to 11-for-26 shooting, but it wasn't enough.

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Added: December 1, 2009


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