DALLAS, TEXAS – The Dallas Mavericks (18-40) returned home to host the Sacramento Kings (18-38) in the final match before the NBA All-Star break. In their previous game against the Houston Rockets, key veterans like Dirk Nowitzki, J.J. Barea, and Wesley Matthews were all sidelined due to injury. Fortunately, all three vets were back on the court tonight against the Kings.
However, with their return Dallas still struggled to get things going from jump. Starting games at a slow pace has been an issue for the Mavs and tonight proved they still haven’t found a way to get over that hump.
It got ugly in the first— for Dallas at least.
Barea hit a 3-pointer to put Dallas on the board first but Sacramento’s Zach Randolph’s hot hand dominated the first frame posting 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting.
To put things in perspective, with just under three minutes remaining in the first the Kings were outshooting the Mavericks 55.6% (10-19) to 23.5% (4-18).
The story did not get any better in second quarter for the Mavs as the Kings boasted a lead as much as 23 points.
At the 5:31 mark, Sacramento was outrebounding Dallas 22-13 and dominated the paint 32-12. The Kings remained on top 65-44 going into halftime.
The Mavericks had a change of pace in the second half especially with Harrison Barnes finding his shot again. Barnes had an unusually quiet first quarter only scoring two points (1-3) from the floor. At the start of the final frame, Barnes already netted 18 points.
Dallas scored 27 points in the third and even cut the deficit down to 14 points. That small victory was short lived when the Kings rallied together to push the lead back up to at least 20 points with the help of Bogdan Bogdanovic scoring 17 points all before the fourth.
Sacramento dominated all four quarters with Dallas’ biggest lead being a mere three points. The Mavs had a late push with less than two minutes in the fourth to get within 10 points. Unfortunately, the late push was too little too late.
The Kings finish on top 114-109 and move ahead (2-1) in the season series. Sacramento has now won four of the last five meetings at the AAC.
Zach Randolph – 22 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists
J.J. Barea – 19 points, 5 rebounds, 13 assists
After tonight’s loss, Dallas will have the chance to rest and draw up a better game plan heading into the final chunk of the regular season. The Mavericks will be back in action to take on the Los Angeles Lakers February 23rd.
Whitley Pleasant is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a Bachelors in Art. The Mesquite, Texas native had an early interest in media beginning in high school. Whitley spent one year being a student DJ at KEOM 88.5 FM writing scripts, editing sound bites, conducting interviews, and operating the switchboard for the morning and evening drive. Working at the radio station paved the way to her television career.