PHILADELPHIA -- Another one of Dallas' big leads turned this one into a snoozer early. Only coach Avery Johnson didn't expect his team to be the one that went to sleep.
Once Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry snapped the Mavs out of their 10-minute funk, they had the easy win they were coasting toward against the woeful 76ers.
We've seen this before. The Mavericks built an early lead and then cruised to a 106-89 win in Philadelphia. It was Dallas's 27th straight victory when leading at the end of the first quarter, matching the second-longest single-season streak of that kind in NBA history. Only the 1996-97 Bulls had a longer winning-streak in games they led at the end of the first period (47 in a row before a loss in their regular-season finale).
Nowitzki had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and the Mavericks built on their NBA-best road record with a 106-89 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday night.
Terry hit consecutive jumpers in the fourth quarter to help the Mavs stave off a surprising Sixers rally that saw them slice a 30-point deficit down to only eight. Nowitzki also added back-to-back baskets that pushed the lead back to 14 and helped Dallas to its 18th road win of the season.
"In the second half, we kind of went to sleep," Johnson said.
Terry scored 16 points and had 11 assists, and Devean George and Josh Howard each had 15 points. The Mavericks had 28 assists on 39 baskets and shot 52 percent overall.
The Mavericks play two more on the road this week at Milwaukee and Houston and don't return home until their NBA finals rematch with Miami on Feb. 22.
"They're a scrappy young team and they just kept coming at us, but we stood our ground and put them away there at the end," Terry said.
Iguodala was the only starter on the floor for most of Philadelphia's 30-8 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters and stunned a Dallas team was on cruise control early in this one. Willie Green scored a pair of baskets and Korver hit a jumper to pull the Sixers to 86-75.
Iguodala was fouled on a driving layup and sank the free throw to cap the run and make it 86-78 with 8:40 left.
"I'm not surprised we came back. We're not going to lay down," Korver said. "But Terry got open looks and then they took control of things."
Then Terry hit his jumpers, Nowitzki hit two and George sank a 3 for a 97-80 lead that put away for the Sixers for good.
"When they stormed back on us at the end, we were fortunate," Johnson said. "That's what really good teams do. When teams make runs, you have to try and shoot them down and try and go on the offensive."
But the game never should have been that close.
The Mavericks absolutely overwhelmed the Sixers in the first half, making a remarkable 15 of 19 shots from the floor (79 percent) and used a 31-9 spurt that seemingly put the game out of reach. Turned out, the Mavs were sure glad they had that cushion early in the fourth.
"I think we all felt like we were in control," said Mavs guard Jerry Stackhouse.
George scored nine points in the quarter, with the game looking quite similar to their last meeting when Dallas scored 21 straight points in a December victory. It was more of the same in the third, twice going up by 30 points -- the final time with 5:46 left in the quarter.
"I must have stopped working my guys, because [the Sixers] stormed back on us," Johnson said.
Sixers C Steven Hunter dislocated a finger in his left hand in the first quarter. ... Dallas' season-high point total for a quarter is 66 against Seattle. ... Each of Philadelphia's last two losses were by one point. ... The Sixers are 2-29 when trailing at the end of three.