Dallas Mavericks center Salah Mejri, right, and Philadelphia 76ers forward Nerlens Noel (4) vie for control of the ball during the first half Wednesday. Mejri scored a season-high 16 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds. LM Otero AP
Dallas Mavericks center Salah Mejri, right, and Philadelphia 76ers forward Nerlens Noel (4) vie for control of the ball during the first half Wednesday. Mejri scored a season-high 16 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds. LM Otero AP

Dallas Mavericks

Mejri takes star turn from Ferrell as Mavericks pummel 76ers

By Dwain Price

dprice@star-telegram.com

February 01, 2017 10:45 PM

UPDATED February 02, 2017 12:11 AM

DALLAS

That love affair Dallas Mavericks fans have with their favorite basketball team took a major shift Wednesday night at American Airlines Center.

After stunning wins over San Antonio and Cleveland this past Sunday and Monday, respectively, point guard Yogi Ferrell was all the rage after his spectacular performances in those two games. Wednesday, the love-fest shifted to Salah Mejri.

A second-year center from Tunisia, Mejri scored a season-high 16 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds as the Mavs ran away and hid from Philadelphia in the second half and posted a 113-95 victory over the 76ers.

It was the eighth win in their last 11 games for the Mavs, who increased their record to 19-30. This is the best 11-game stretch for the Mavs since they were 8-3 from Nov. 1-20, 2015.

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Also, the Mavs have won three consecutive games for just the second time this season.

With Devin Harris tallying 11 of his 14 points in the third quarter and Mejri adding 10 points in the fourth quarter, the Mavs broke loose from a 50-47 lead at intermission and outscored the Sixers in the second half 63-48.

Mejri, who has struggled most of this season and played a total of 10 minutes against San Antonio and Cleveland, put in 20 workmanlike minutes against the Sixers.

“He’s been holding out on us,” coach Rick Carlisle said jokingly. “He wasn’t feeling great the Cleveland game, and so he did a lot of work the last couple of days with the trainers.”

Once in the fourth quarter, Mejri dribbled from 15 feet on the left wing and hammered home a windmill one-handed dunk, the way former Sixers legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving used to do it back in the day.

“I kept playing hard,” Mejri said. “I felt like every rebound was falling in my hands.

“I think everybody was feeling good after these two back-to-back wins and today we needed to play hard.”

While Mejri had a solid impact, Ferrell also made his presence felt. Late in the third quarter, the rookie point guard missed a shot, and then hustled downcourt and knocked the ball away from Sergio Rodriguez and then did a swan dive into the fans along the baseline.

As the crowd roared its approval, Harris went down and drilled a 3-pointer and Ferrell knocked down a jumper as the Mavs carried a 81-69 lead into the fourth quarter.

“The key to the game, I thought, was that stretch late in the third when Yogi ran down a loose ball from behind, and Salah took a charge,” Carlisle said.

“The momentum clearly shifted to us and we were able to finish the game strong.”

Seth Curry led the Mavs with 22 points and six assists, and Harrison Barnes scored 15 points. And Ferrell?

Well, he was only 3-of-13 from the field, but still managed 11 points and five assists while providing the Mavs with some much-needed energy.

Mavericks Insider: Dallas finishes soft part of schedule against Knicks

Beat writer Dwain Price breaks down the significance of the last six games and previews Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks. New York comes to American Airlines Center to take on the Mavericks Wednesday.

kcasas@star-telegram.com

Philadelphia

23

24

22

26

95

Dallas

20

30

31

32

113

Philadelphia

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

F

Pt

Ilyasova

31:07

4-9

4-4

10

2

13

Okafor

24:29

7-16

2-5

1

3

16

Luwawu-Cabarrot

22:55

3-5

0-0

4

5

7

McConnell

28:54

3-6

2-2

4

0

8

Stauskas

35:12

2-5

3-4

3

3

8

Saric

24:24

3-9

3-6

7

1

10

Henderson

24:08

3-7

4-4

3

1

10

Noel

17:09

4-8

0-0

3

2

8

Rodriguez

13:18

2-6

0-0

2

1

5

Randle

12:02

3-5

1-1

2

3

8

Holmes

6:22

1-1

0-0

0

0

2

Totals

240

35-77

19-26

39

21

95

Percentages: FG .455, FT .731. 3-Point Goals: 6-22, .273 (Luwawu-Cabarrot 1-2, Randle 1-3, Ilyasova 1-4, Rodriguez 1-4, Saric 1-4, Stauskas 1-4, Henderson 0-1). Team Rebounds: 6. Team Turnovers: 13 (17 PTS). Blocked Shots: 2 (Holmes, Randle). Turnovers: 13 (Luwawu-Cabarrot 2, McConnell 2, Saric 2, Stauskas 2, Henderson, Ilyasova, Noel, Okafor, Randle). Steals: 5 (Henderson, McConnell, Noel, Randle, Saric).

Dallas

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

F

Pt

Barnes

31:46

6-13

2-2

7

2

15

Nowitzki

28:14

4-12

0-0

5

1

8

Curry

34:21

8-14

3-4

3

2

22

Ferrell

37:43

3-13

5-5

3

2

11

Matthews

30:36

3-9

2-2

6

2

9

Mejri

21:03

7-9

2-4

17

2

16

Harris

18:39

3-5

5-5

1

2

14

Finney-Smith

18:10

1-1

3-4

1

2

5

Powell

10:26

2-5

1-2

4

4

6

Anderson

4:31

3-4

0-0

4

0

7

Brussino

4:31

0-1

0-0

1

0

0

Totals

240

40-86

23-28

52

19

113

Percentages: FG .465, FT .821. 3-Point Goals: 10-26, .385 (Harris 3-3, Curry 3-7, Powell 1-1, Anderson 1-2, Barnes 1-3, Matthews 1-4, Nowitzki 0-2, Ferrell 0-4). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 11 (11 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Ferrell, Finney-Smith, Mejri, Powell). Turnovers: 11 (Curry 3, Ferrell 2, Anderson, Barnes, Matthews, Mejri, Nowitzki, Powell). Steals: 10 (Curry 4, Barnes, Ferrell, Finney-Smith, Mejri, Nowitzki, Powell). Att.—19,263 (19,200). T—2:12.