Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/14

Game 1: Wednesday, January 14th
Game 2: Monday, March 22nd

76ers 107

(29-42, 18-16 home)

Coverage: CSN

7:00 PM ET, March 22, 2004

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

1 2 3 4 T
DAL 23 34 17 2498
PHI 26 35 23 23107

Top Performers

Dallas: D. Nowitzki 30 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

Philadelphia: K. Thomas 27 Pts, 13 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

No Iverson, no problem for Phila.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- With Allen Iverson out of the lineup, John Salmons got a chance to show off his 3-point shooting prowess.

Salmons set career highs with 21 points and five 3-pointers to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 107-98 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.

"Shooting is just repetition. That's all," said Salmons, whose had never made more than two 3s in a game. "For me, there's no reason to shoot an NBA 3 in college. So, coming out of college, I just wasn't used to shooting them."

Playing without Iverson and second-leading scorer Glenn Robinson, the Sixers displayed some of their best ball movement of the season.

Kenny Thomas tied a season high with 27 points and added 13 rebounds. Rookie Willie Green had 19 points for the Sixers, who ended a four-game losing streak.

Earlier Monday, Iverson was listed as day to day with a sore right knee. He ended up missing his 23rd game of the season, the most he's sat out in one campaign.

Iverson was not on the bench during the game. A team spokesman said he was in the training room, receiving treatment on his injured knee.

With Robinson missing his fourth straight game with an elbow injury, the Sixers' sluggish offense was supposed to be no match for the high-scoring Mavericks.

"We've been able to find guys that step up in these situations," Sixers interim coach Chris Ford said. "Johnny and Aaron (McKie) and Willie all stepped up and did their jobs. They had an opportunity and made the best of it."

Dirk Nowitzki had 30 points on 11-for-20 shooting to lead Dallas, which had won two straight.

Philadelphia used an 8-0 run to start the third quarter and extend a four-point halftime lead to 12. Salmons hit a 3 with 3:42 left in the quarter that gave the Sixers their largest lead at 80-67.

Dallas pulled within 10 with 8:02 remaining in the game when Nowitzki made a wide-open 3. But McKie hit a pair of free throws before Salmons sank a 3 and Green added a jumper that pushed the lead back to 17 and put the game out of reach.

"Thomas was exceptional," Dallas assistant coach Donn Nelson said. "He gave us all kinds of problems and we didn't have an answer for that."

Donn Nelson took over when his father, Don Nelson, was ejected 33 seconds into the second half for arguing a foul call.

Thomas made 11 of 13 free throw attempts and had a season-high seven assists. McKie had 16 points to help the Sixers bounce back from an 0-4 road trip that ended with a 101-69 loss in Miami on Saturday night.

The answer to their offensive woes was a Dallas team that allowed 122 points in the first matchup between the two teams on Jan. 14.

"I don't think we've scored like that all year," Thomas said. "At halftime, we had 61 points. It felt good because we had to match their intensity and knock down shots because they're a scoring team."

The Mavericks' Steve Nash scored 10 points, but had just three in the first 3{ quarters. Michael Finley also had 10.

"There's no excuse for our defense," Nash said. "You can at least guard somebody when things aren't going well (offensively) for you."

Salmons had 12 points in the first quarter, including two 3s and a reverse layup in the final three minutes that put Philadelphia ahead 26-20 after one. The Sixers' lead was no larger than seven the rest of the first half and they led 61-57 at halftime.

"The odds are against us," Salmons said of Philadelphia's chances in the Eastern Conference playoff race. "But it's not like us to give up." ^Notes:@ Sixers F Derrick Coleman (left knee tendinitis) was placed on the injured list prior to the game. ... Antoine Walker, who was benched midway through the third quarter of Sunday's victory at New Jersey and did not return, missed his first three attempts and finished with nine points. ... The Sixers are now 8-17 this season against Western Conference teams at home. ... Philadelphia set a season high with their fourth straight win at home.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 98 107
FGM-FGA 40-84 (.476) 36-66 (.545)
3PM-3PA 7-18 (.389) 11-18 (.611)
FTM-FTA 11-17 (.647) 24-28 (.857)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-32 8-35
Assists 22 22
Turnovers 11 18
Steals 13 8
Blocks 3 5
Fast Break Points 8 1
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (2/0) 14 (0/0)

Top Performers

Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
Points: 30
Reb: 6
Ast: 2
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Kenny Thomas Thomas
Points: 27
Reb: 13
Ast: 7
Stl: 1
Blk: 0