The Dallas Mavericks(33-27) came into Monday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings(25-36) with revenge on their mind, These two teams met last Sunday in Dallas, and the Kings, who led by as many as 17 points in the first half, defeated Dallas 121-107.
On Monday night, both teams came into this game looking a little different. The Mavericks were without Kristaps Porzingis(ankle), Josh Richardson(hamstring), and JJ Redick(heel), while the Kings were without their leading scorer De’Aaron Fox(Health and Safety Protocols), but the Kings had just a little more as they defeated the Mavericks 113-106 at Golden 1 Center to snap the Mavericks’ three-game winning streak.
Richaun Holmes led Sacramento with 24 points, Harrison Barnes added 19, and rookie Tyrese Haliburton had 14 points and 10 assists. Luka Doncic’s 24 points paced Dallas, and Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke chipped in with 19 points apiece.
Just like in their previous matchup, the Kings got off to another good start. Sacramento led by as many as 18 points in the first quarter and had a 59-52 lead at halftime. Dallas would take two-point leads in the third and fourth quarters, but Sacramento would pull away late.
According to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, the bad start led to the loss on Monday night.
“Another poor start really did us in,” Carlisle said after the game. “Just gotta be way better to start the game. The last three quarters were obviously better, but this is very disappointing tonight. We got a quick turnaround and a tough game tomorrow.”
With all that Dallas is playing for right now, keeping the sixth seed and the possibility of the fifth seed, this loss with unacceptable, especially when Sacramento does not have one of their best players.
Dallas has an opportunity to bounce back on Tuesday night as they continue their three-game road trip against the Warriors.
For the first two quarters, the Dallas Mavericks(30-26) did not bring the energy necessary to defeat the Sacramento Kings(23-34) on Sunday night. Dallas allowed the Kings to score 45 points in the second quarter, and they could not recover as Sacramento would go on to defeat the Mavericks 121-107 at American Airlines Center.
“Really just a poor performance from the beginning,” Mavericks head Rick Carlisle said after the game. “They really came out with force, had us on our heels. We got down big early [and] fought back. It was two at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was a killer, 45-30.
Sacramento led by as many as 21 points in the third quarter, but then the Mavericks finally woke up. Dallas went on a 15-2 run to cut the lead to eight and would trail 87-77 entering the fourth quarter.
“The third quarter, we had a group in there with really just hard, unselfish play that went on a strong run — I think it was 15-2 — and got us within eight,” Carlisle said. “We had some chances to get it under six a couple of times, I think and were unable to do it. A lot of what we’ve been talking about is that it’s a 48-minute game, and we’ve got to start stronger. “
Luka Doncic, who had 22 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter, had a little duel with the Kings’ De’Aaron Fox, who scored 12 of his 30 points in the final quarter. However, for Doncic and the Mavs, it was too little, too late.
“We didn’t come out playing hard,” Doncic said. “That is what has happened the last couple of games now. I have to be way better. We have to play harder. I have to play harder. It starts with me, so I have to play way better.”
According to Carlisle, the Mavericks, who have lost two straight and four of their five games, have to figure out ways to get back on track.
“There’s been some soul searching over the last five games,” he said. “We’ve talked about some things. We haven’t had much practice time. We’ll be able to have a practice on Tuesday. Of course, there’s concern. I think this game brings the issues into a sharper focus. We’ve got to get ourselves back on track just from a process standpoint. Forget about wins and losses; we’ve got to win games. That’s our job is to win games.”
Despite their struggles, Dorian Finney-Smith, who had 22 points on Sunday night, thinks the team has everything it needs to compete with anyone in the league. They just have to give more effort.
“We just have to go out there and play hard,” he said. “We can compete with anybody; we have the talent; it is just the energy.”
Dallas is in a bit of a rut right now, and the last two games, the defense, the energy, and the effort have not been there for this team. That has to improve if they want to get back on track.
Kristaps Porzingis struggled with his shot on Sunday night. He was 3-14 from the field and finished with nine points. Porzingis did have a game-high 11 rebounds.
Jalen Brunson came off the bench for 20 points on 8-10 shooting to go with 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
Kings’ Terence Davis came off the bench for 23 points (9-12 FG, 5-5 3FG) to go with three rebounds and three assists. His 23 points were his second-most this season.
Dallas has lost four straight games at American Airlines Center, and continue their five-game homestand against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.