Kings fail to show up; lose to Mavs 99-79


Sacramento Kings v Dallas Mavericks
Cousins was the Kings offense in Dallas on Sunday photo: NBAE

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings went into Dallas on Sunday with a chance to finish a three-game road with a winning record and hand the Mavericks their second loss to the Kings in 12 days at the American Airlines Center. Instead, the Kings never had a lead in the game, allowed the Mavericks to dominate from beyond the 3-point arc, did not support a 33-point performance by DeMarcus Cousins and lost the game 99-79.

The Kings (10-17) were coming off a big victory in Memphis on Friday night were they to had grind their way to a 96-92 win against a team that makes it living grinding the opposition down to defeat them. Momentum should have been with them as they faced a team they had destroyed just days earlier.

The Mavericks (7-20) were coming off a devastating loss in Utah on Friday night. Dallas had tied the game up at 100-all with seconds remaining. Deron Williams missed a shot that could have won the game for Dallas and Rodney Hood drove the ball into the frontcourt for the Jazz, pulled up hitting a 26-foot jump shot to give the Utah a 3-point lead with 0.8-seconds remaining. The Jazz won the game 103-100.

It appears the motivation of overcoming a loss was stronger than the motivation of establishing a winning streak on Sunday night.

New season low point total for the Kings

The final total of 79 points was a new season low for Sacramento.  Why did the Kings score so few points? Poor shooting percentage would be the number one problem:

  • The Kings shot 39.5-percent (30-for-76) from the floor. The odds of winning an NBA game really drop when a team shoots under 40-percent
  • Converting just 8-of-31 (25.8-percent) 3-point shot opportunities. It is a 3-point league and a long-range shooting percentage in the 20s is going to make it tough to win
  • Going just 11-for-17 (64.7-percent) from the free throw line. They call it the “charity stripe” for a reason. A team has to take advantage of those uncontested shots. The small total of 17 attempts tells you that the Kings did not drive it to the basket enough in the game

Lack of scorers in double figures for Sacramento

The Kings had only two players post totals in double figures on Sunday night. DeMarcus Cousins put up 33 points while shooting 50-percent from the field. He also recorded nine rebounds. Ty Lawson was the only other Kings player to score in double figures in support of Cousins big effort. Lawson scored 10 points off the bench.

Sacramento had only two players who had scored more than three points at the half.

By contrast, the Mavericks had six players post scoring totals in double figures. Four of the five Dallas starters scored in double digits. Former King Seth Curry scored 13 points coming off the bench for the Mavs.

Sacramento Kings v Dallas Mavericks
Ben McLemore handles the ball for the Kings photo: NBAE

The Mavericks guards dominated the backcourt play

Dallas guards outscored the Sacramento guards 57-17 in the game. The Mavericks guards helped lead a 44.2-percent (34-for-77) shooting barrage that included hitting 13-of-33 shots from 3-point land.

A major loss of momentum for the Kings

A win in Dallas would have given the Kings a winning record on the three-game road trip. Now the Kings come home on Tuesday to face a Portland team that they have already lost to once this season before heading back out on the road for two more games before Christmas.

The Kings then have to go to Utah on Wednesday night for second game of a back-to-back set. They lost 104-84 on their last visit to Salt Lake City.

After facing Utah, the Kings have to travel to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves on Friday night. The T-Wolves have won just seven games this season but so has Dallas. Plus, we know that the road is a very fickle place in the NBA.

Sacramento Kings v Dallas Mavericks
Cousins drives to the basket in Dallas photo: NBAE

The Kings will need Gay and Casspi back

Sacramento was without Rudy Gay (right hip flexor strain) and Omri Casspi (illness) for the second consecutive game on Sunday night. The Kings could use the firepower of both players back in their lineup on Tuesday when they face the Trail Blazers.

O’Neal, Green provide huge lift for Warriors win over Nets

By Joe Hawkes

OAKLAND — With a six game road trip set to begin Monday in Detroit, the Warriors appear to be hitting their stride at the right time.

Playing without power forward David Lee (stomach flu) and center Andrew Bogut (shoulder inflammation), Jermaine O’Neal and Draymond Green filled in nicely, helping the Golden State Warriors  pick up their third straight victory after the All-Star break with a 93-86 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in front of a sellout crowd of 19,596 at Oracle Arena Saturday night.

“That’s what this game was all about, guys stepping up,” said Warriors head coach Mark Jackson after the game. “We needed that. Guys stepping up when needed and those guys stepped up tonight.”

O’Neal, who was caught in traffic due to the Monster Truck rally next door at Coliseum, had a season-high 23 points and 13 rebounds while starting in place for Bogut, who missed his seventh straight game. O’Neal’s performance was vintage O’Neal. The kind of performance that made him a six-time All-Star in eight seasons with the Indiana Pacers.

“At this point of the year, you got to play hard and make every possession counts,” said the 18-year veteran O’Neal. “I don’t know what next year holds for me, but I know that my team will play hard each night. ”

Green poured in 18 points and 10 rebounds in 38 minutes of action tonight while starting for Lee. Green was all over the court and brought huge energy to the starting lineup seeing 38 minutes of action.

Stephen Curry scored 17 points with eight assists, and Andre Iguodala scored six points to go along with 11 rebounds logging a game-high 44 minutes.

Curry shot 7-for-13 from the field, including 3-for-4 from 3. With the Warriors clinging to a 88-86 lead with 1:02 left in the fourth quarter, Curry hit a 3-pointer off the glass giving Golden State a 91-86 lead with under a minute left in the game.

Golden State (34-22) dominated in many facets of the game including points in the paint (52-38), rebounds (50-39), assists (26-11), and steals (12-5), while holding Brooklyn to shooting 32-for-78 (41.0%) and 2-for-21 from 3 (9.5%).

Deron Williams led Brooklyn (25-28) with 20 points and dished out six assists.

Joe Johnson had 15 points, Andray Blatche had 14 points and eight rebounds, and Paul Pierce chipped in 11 points for Brooklyn, who have dropped eight of their last nine in Oakland.

Golden State improves to 18-10 at home this season, and were able to payback Brooklyn for snapping the Warriors’ 10-game winning streak with a 102-98 win in Brooklyn in January.