A pair of teams slugging it out to see who can escape the Western Conference basement battle it out in the Lone Star State. The Sacramento Kings continue a road swing when they travel to face the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday night. Sacramento came up on the short end of a 111-106 decision in Minnesota Sunday night for their second straight loss. Dallas lost for the third time in four games as they were beaten 104-97 on the road by Houston Sunday night. The Mavericks lead the all-time regular season series 92-68 but the teams split two previous meetings this season, each winning on the road. In the last meeting, it was Dallas taking a 106-99 road win on February 3.
Sacramento Kings Try to Take Season Series Lead
Sacramento dropped their second straight and their fourth in the last five games as they were unable to take advantage of a sloppy Minnesota team. The Kings held the lead after the first and third quarters before falling apart in the fourth as they were outscored by 10. Sacramento covered the line but moral victories don’t count in the standings. The Kings shot 47.7 percent from the floor, including 10 of 25 from three point range, and won the rebounding battle 43-37. Free throw shooting proved the difference as Minnesota was 28 of 32 to Sacramento’s 12 of 17. De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 23 in the loss.
The Kings have struggled on the offensive end of the floor this season. Sacramento is 30th in the league in scoring with 98.6 points per game and 29th in rebounding with 40.2 boards per contest. The Kings are 27th with 21 assists a night. Sacramento has been a little below average defensively, ranking 20th by allowing 106.8 points per game. De’Aaron Fox is running the point as a rookie for the Kings and averages 11.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Buddy Hield (12.6 points) and Skal Labissiere (7.9 points, 4.5 rebounds) are part of the young wing group for Sacramento. Willie Cauley-Stein (12.4 points, 6.7 boards) is the key man in the low block while Bogdan Bogdanovic (11.2 points) and Garrett Temple (8.2 points) provide veteran help in the backcourt. Iman Shumpert, Zach Randolph (team-high 14.5 points, seven rebounds), Vince Carter and Kosta Koufos have to be mentors for the young guys along with Frank Mason III and Justin Jackson. Sacramento is tied for 20th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 45.2 percent from the floor. The Kings stand tied for 26th in the league with 8.9 three pointers per game and currently are 2nd in three point shooting at 38.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Dallas Mavericks Look to Defend Home Floor
Dallas was shorthanded against the Rockets and it ended up costing them the game as they were overmatched by Houston’s depth. The Mavericks lost for the eighth time in the last 10 games with the defeat. Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews, J.J. Barea and Salah Mejri were all out of the mix for Sunday’s game. Dallas trailed by just two at the half but was outscored 30-20 in the third quarter and never made a serious run in the fourth: the closest they got was the final margin, which was helped by an 8-0 run to close the game. The Mavericks shot 40.9 percent from the field and went only 10 of 31 from beyond the arc in the contest. Yogi Ferrell led Dallas with 20 points in the loss.
The Mavericks have struggled on the offensive end of the floor this season. Dallas is 26th in the league in scoring with 101.9 points per game. The Mavericks are 27th in rebounding with 40.7 boards per contest and are 19th in the league with 22.4 assists per game. Dallas is slightly above average on the defensive end, ranking 10th in scoring defense by allowing 104.3 points per game. Harrison Barnes leads the Mavericks with 18.3 points plus 6.6 rebounds per game. Dennis Smith Jr. (14.8 points, five assists) is the point guard of the future: he missed two games with a knee effusion. He missed six games with a strained hip as well this season. Yogi Ferrell (10.4 points) and J.J. Barea (11.2 points, six assists) are contributing in the backcourt. Doug McDermott, Salah Mejri, Nerlens Noel, Wesley Matthews (12.9 points), Kyle Collinsworth and the ageless Dirk Nowitzki are all cogs in the Mavericks’ rotation. Noel is out until sometime in February after having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. Dallas is tied for 24th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 44.6 percent as a team. The Mavericks are tied for 5th in threes with 11.6 per game but are tied for 15th in three point shooting by hitting 36 percent from beyond the arc.
- Kings are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 vs. NBA Southwest
- Kings are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400
- Mavericks are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 Tuesday games
- Mavericks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
- Mavericks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
Sacramento battled but couldn’t hold on late to get the win over Minnesota to open their road trip. The Kings now face a team that is struggling as much as they are this season. Sacramento won in this building already this season but saw Dallas return the favor at the Golden 1 Center. The Kings aren’t a great road team, going 9-21 this season, though the Mavericks aren’t much better at home with an 11-18 mark. Still, Barea should be back and it’s expected that Matthews and Nowitzki have a good shot at playing here: give Dallas the slight edge in this one as they get the win at home.