DALLAS — It’s hard to tell that Joel Embiid has been hampered by wearing a brace on his left knee.

Aside from early shooting woes, the 76ers center displayed the fluid moves he used before sustaining a bone bruise in the knee on March 12. That was a good thing for the Sixers. Led by Embiid’s 36 points and seven rebounds, they defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 113-95, Monday night at American Airlines Center.

On one play, Embiid even channeled Hakeem Olajuwon’s Dream Shake move to score on Willie Cauley-Stein.

“Obviously, he’s getting used to it,” Doc Rivers said of Embiid’s playing with a brace. “But I thought he played in an attack mode all night, didn’t settle.

“He felt like the last couple of games he’d been settling. When you have something on you, you tend to do that. So I thought he was phenomenal in how aggressive he was, and he made the right plays.”

Embiid made solid plays out of the double team. That forced the Mavericks to abandon that tactic, which led to the MVP candidate scoring at will.

But the four-time All-Star said he still had problems with his knee brace.

“I’m still not there,” he said. “I’m still not smooth enough. The first half I missed a couple of shots before it [started] going in just because it’s still not as smooth as it was before. But I’m getting there. I’m getting used to it.”

Asked if it’s just a matter of not thinking about the brace, Embiid said it’s hard not to think about it.

“It’s so big and heavy,” he said. “It kind of blocks your circulation, blood flow. So it makes your leg tired fast. So it’s hard not to think about it. But that’s something I’ve got to work through.”

His ability to battle through it on this night is a good sign for the Sixers (37-17), who moved a half-game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets atop the Eastern Conference.

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The victory also left them 3-1 in their four-game road trip against the Boston Celtics, the New Orleans Pelicans, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Mavs (29-24). At 17-12 away from home, the Sixers are tied with Phoenix Suns (17-7 road record) and Los Angeles Lakers (17-10) for the league’s most road wins. The Sixers also improved to 19-4 when all five starters play.

Dallas fell to its second loss in as many days and third in four games.

This marked Embiid’s fifth game back after missing 10 with his knee injury. He’s been adjusting to wearing the knee brace since his return.

Rivers said before Monday’s game that he doesn’t know how long Embiid will have to wear one.

“I mean, they go back and forth on it,” Rivers said. “You know, he probably tried 10 different ones already. I’m probably underselling that. I know it’s not going to be for the rest of the season, I can tell you that.”

Very few inside the Dallas arena would have believed he had problems, especially watching his third-quarter performance.

That’s when he scored 13 points while making all five of his shots and going 2-for-2 from the foul line. For the game, Embiid made 10 of 17 shots, including 2 of 3 three-pointers. He also went 14-for-15 from the foul line.

Embiid exited the game with 3 minutes, 25 seconds left in third quarter and didn’t return. The Sixers rested their starters in the fourth quarter.

Furkan Korkmaz finished with 20 points in a reserve role to tie his season high that he reached two nights earlier in Oklahoma City. He also had two steals on Monday. Tobias Harris and Shake Milton each had 10 points. Ben Simmons added 8 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds.

Luka Doncic paced the Mavs with 32 points.

Former Sixers shooting guard JJ Redick (four points on 1-for-7 shooting) made his Mavericks debut in this game. This came after the 36-year-old, who’s been hampered by a sore right heel and Achilles, went through his first full practice on Saturday. Dallas acquired Redick from the Pelicans on March 25.

Meanwhile, Mavs standout power forward Kristaps Porzingis missed the game to let his right knee recover. The previous night, he had 31 points and 15 rebounds in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs. He has yet to be cleared to play on back-to-back nights.

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Embiid struggled from the field early on. He made only two of his six first-quarter shots. However, he had 12 points in that quarter after making all eight of his foul shots.

With Embiid leading the way, the Sixers were able to take a four-point cushion (30-26) into the second quarter. He found his shooting touch in the second quarter, making 3 of 6 shots en route to scoring 11 points. Embiid’s 10-foot jumper with 1 minute, 1 second before intermission put the Sixers up, 60-45.

He had 23 points in the first half.