Fortunately for the Dallas Mavericks(36-28), they do not have to play the Sacramento Kings(27-37) again in the regular season or the playoffs as Dallas fell again to the Kings at home 111-99 on Sunday night.
This season, Dallas has lost three times to the Kings in less than a month, including two times in Dallas.
After the game, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, who was ejected late in the fourth quarter after receiving his second technical foul, made no excuses for the loss.
“There’s no excuses,” he said. “On paper, forget Sacramento’s record. They’ve got some very talented guys down there. They’ve been a tough matchup for us, and we didn’t play well enough.”
Luka Doncic, who, like Carlisle, was ejected late in the fourth after he picked up two technicals on Sunday night, had 30 points, six rebounds and six assists against Sacramento, is not sure why the Mavericks can’t beat the Kings.
“I don’t really know,” Doncic said. “I guess it’s not a good matchup, but we just got to move to the next one. We got bigger things ahead of us.”
According to Jalen Brunson, who came off the bench and scored 17 points, Sacramento is a talented team.
“Unique team, a lot of talented guys,” Brunson said. “It’s really hard to pinpoint what exactly it is, but one thing I know for sure is we matched their energy a little too late. We had spurts where we matched their energy, but they had a lot of energy tonight. Part of that is one me coming off the bench being able to be a spark. I need to be able to match their energy. I messed up on the court. They are a unique team.”
Going forward, Dallas has to worry about Doncic. The two-time All-Star has 15 technicals this season, and one more technical means he will be suspended for one game. However, Doncic says that won’t happen.
“I won’t get another one,” Doncic said. “Don’t worry.”
With the loss, Dallas is now tied with the Lakers and Blazers for the fifth seed in the Western Conference. However, because Dallas holds the tiebreaker, they are still the fifth seed.
This was a bad loss for Dallas, but as Doncic said, they have to move forward, which starts on Tuesday night when they travel to Miami to battle the Heat.