Basketball

Nigeria-Greek’s Antetokounmpo features as Philadelphia 76ers battled Dallas Mavericks in NBA China Games

 Joel Embiid and the three-time NBA Champion Philadelphia 76ers battled against Dirk Nowitzki and the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai on Friday .

Dallas was the visiting team for the first game played at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai today October 5 and the home team for the second game played at Shenzhen Universiade Center in Shenzhen on 8 October. The two exhibition contests have bee set out to mark the NBA’s 25th and 26th games played in China. Following NBA China Games 2018, 17 NBA teams will have participated since 2004 (in Beijing, Guangzhou, Macao, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Taipei).

The Philadelphia 76ers finished the 2017-18 season with the third-best record in the Eastern Conference at 52-30. It was Philadelphia’s best regular season record since the 2000-01 campaign, when the team, led by Allen Iverson, went to The Finals. Clinching a playoff berth for the first time since the 2011-12 season, the 76ers ended the regular season on a team record 16-game win streak, which was franchise’s longest win streak to finish a regular season.

Forward-center Joel Embiid (Cameroon) was named 2017-18 All-NBA Second Team, becoming the 14th player in franchise history earn All-NBA Team honors, as well as 2017-18 NBA All-Defensive Second Team. The Cameroonian was selected as a starter in the 67th NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles and was named Player of the Week twice, from Jan. 15-21 and Feb. 5-11. Embiid was also the only player in the NBA to average 22.0, 11.0 and 3.0 and first 76er to do so since Charles Barkley in 1986-87.

Dirk Nowitzki’s name is all over the Mavericks’ record books. In addition to being the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, Nowitzki is also Dallas’ all-time leader in games played, games started, minutes played, field goals made, 3-pointers made, free throws made, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, total rebounds and blocked shots. Nowitzki, who is now in his 21st NBA season, is the longest tenured player with one team.

The 2018-19 campaign marks the 39th season in the history of the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas has won three division titles (1987, 2007, 2010) and appeared in the postseason 21 times (including 15 times in a 16-year span from 2001 to 2016). The Mavericks have made four Western Conference Finals appearances (1988, 2003, 2006, 2011) and advanced to the NBA Finals twice (2006 and 2011). In 2011, Dallas defeated Miami in six games to capture its first NBA championship in franchise history.

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