Philadelphia 76ers Preview
With standout center Joel Embiid out indefinitely due to a torn ligament in his left ring finger, the Philadelphia 76ers will keep working to adapt as they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night to start a two-game road trip. The 76ers earned a 109-98 victory against Boston on Thursday in Embiid’s absence, and they will aim to continue the run as a new rotation jells.
“We’re going to miss Joel for however long it is, but (Thursday) was a good start,” Philadelphia guard Ben Simmons said. Rookie forward Matisse Thybulle returned against the Celtics after missing seven games with a right knee sprain, though he was scoreless in 19 minutes. The 76ers have eclipsed 100 points in each of their three January games.
Dallas Mavericks Preview
After dropping the first leg of a home back-to-back set with a 129-114 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, the Dallas Mavericks will shoot for a rebound effort as they host the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night. Luka Doncic enters play with 25-plus-point double-doubles in six straight games for the Mavericks, who fell to 2-3 on their season-high six-game homestand after the Friday defeat, struggling to keep up with a Los Angeles team that was without star Anthony Davis (bruised buttocks).
The Mavericks’ other losses during the homestand came by three points (in overtime) and by one point. Kristaps Porzingis, who hasn’t played since Dec. 28, remains out because of a right knee injury.