Kings bounce back on Sunday night, beating the Mavs 120-113

Dallas Kings final

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The road can be a harsh mistress in the National Basketball Association. Road teams — even strong, veteran squads — suffer humiliating upsets as the visitors in NBA arenas every season.

Sacramento experienced a heartbreaking loss on Friday night as the Golden State Warriors went on a late 17-2 run to defeat the Kings 130-125 on their home court. The Sactown team would have no time to pout about the loss as they had to head out on the road for a tough back-to-back set in Dallas and Minnesota.

First meeting with Dallas of the season

Dallas Doncic
Graphic @DallasMavs

The game on Sunday was the first of three games between the Mavs and Kings in 2018-19. The next game will be played March 21 in Sacramento and the final game will take place on March 26 in the DFW Metroplex.

It was the first time the Kings would face the rookie they passed on to draft Marvin Bagley III — Luka Doncic. Early on, draft experts were convinced that Doncic was going to a King because of his European pedigree. They were wrong.

Even now, NBA reporters are criticizing the Kings for not selecting Doncic. The fact that he is averaging 17.8 points per game along with 6.8 rpg and 4.5 apg may have something to do with that criticism. His 13 20-plus point games may also contribute to that chatter.

The Kings had to play shorthanded

Marvin Bagley III was injured in the Warriors game on Friday night. The Kings rookie star suffered a deep bruise on his left knee and is out for an indefinite period of time. The last word on his condition has him being re-evaluated in 10-14 days.

Iman Shumpert injured his hip in that same game on Friday night and his availability versus the Mavericks was considered a game-time decision. The decision was Shumpert would not be available to play in Dallas.

The first half was a draw

Dallas Hield

As the teams hit the locker rooms at halftime, the Kings held a 61-58 lead over the Mavericks. The half featured seven lead changes and the game was tied six times. The Kings biggest was nine points while the Mavs’ largest lead was seven points.

Dallas won the battle in the paint 30-28. Sacramento outscored the Mavericks 19-9 on Fast Break Points.

The Kings shot 46.9% (23/49) in the half while Dallas hit 22-of-52 (42.3%) of their shots. Each team connected on four 3-point baskets in first 24-minutes.

Buddy Hield paced the Kings scoring with 17 points while De’Aaron Fox added 14 on his own.

The Mavericks scoring attack was led by Luka Doncic who put up 13 points. Dirk Nowitzki added three points. The significance of those points is they came in his first appearance before the fans in Dallas this season.

SAC increases its lead in the third period

The Kings outscored the Mavericks 32-25 in the third quarter. Sacramento shot 13-for-24 (54.2%) from the field in the third while Dallas hit 8-of-22 (36.4%) from the floor. Buddy Hield was the Kings leading scorer with nine points while Luka Doncic led the Mavs with six points.

With 36 minutes in the book, Sacramento held a 93-83 lead over the team from DFW.

The Mavs kept it close in the fourth

Doncic scored nine points and Jalen Brunson added eight as the Mavericks outscored the Kings 30-27 in the final period. De’Aaron Fox scored eight points for the Kings who added 27 to their total in the last quarter.

When the final the buzzer sounded, the Kings had won the game 120-113.

The Sactown backcourt duo combined for 56 points

Dallas Kings 5

Kings guards Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox each scored 28 points in the game (season-high for Hield). Hield shot 12-for-23 for the game while going 3-for-9 from long distance. He also grabbed four rebounds and added two assists.

Fox went hit 11-of-19 attempts while going 0-for-3 from behind the 3-point line. He hit 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Fox dished out five assists and made three steals.

Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica each posted 15 points for the Kings. “Byelly” made it “double-double” by hauling in 10 rebounds.

Mavs scoring

Luka Doncic (remember that name) was the Mavericks leading scorer with 28 points. He also had nine assists. Former Warrior Harrison Barnes recorded 15 points.

The “Monster of the Boards” DeAndre Jordan hauled in 23 rebounds (10 on offense) and scored eight points. The 23 rebounds is a season-high for Jordan.

The standings

The Kings (16-13) are now tied for sixth place in the Western Conference with Memphis and Portland.

Dallas (15-13) is in sole possession of ninth place in the West.

Up next

The Kings will be back in action on Monday night in Minnesota versus a team that just lost four games in a row on the road. The T-Wolves are going to be hungry to get back into the win column so they will be a very dangerous opponent for Sacramento.

The Mavericks will head out on the road and will face the Nuggets in Denver on Tuesday night.

Kings run out of gas in the fourth quarter on Saturday night and lose to Dallas 106-99

2-3-18 feature photo
Buddy Hield puts in the final three points for the Kings on Saturday night

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento – The Sacramento Kings played a pretty solid game versus the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night for 36-minutes. Unfortunately for the Kings, a regulation NBA game takes 48-minutes to be official.

The Kings began the fourth period with an 85-81 lead and looked like they were ready to battle the Mavericks down the stretch to post a win on their home court. The Mavericks had a different plan.

After shooting above 50-percent for the entire game, the Kings went ice cold in final quarter with the proverbial lid being put on the basket. In the meantime, the Mavericks found a burst of energy and went on a 16-0 run to establish a 10 point lead. Sacramento did not score their first points in the quarter until the 6:08 mark when De’Aaron Fox hit a 14-foot jump shot.

The home team cut the Mavericks lead down to six points with 2:45 to play but by then, the Kings were “gassed”. Fatigue – both mental and physical – had taken over and the chance to win the second game of a home back-to-back set was ended.

Dallas – who came into the game losers of five consecutive games – won the game 106-99. This was just the seventh road win of the year for the Mavericks.

The Kings have now lost two games in a row at home since going 3-3 on their 13-day, six-game road trip. Sacramento has two games remaining in this four-game home stand.

Top performers


2-3-18 Dirk
Dirk shoots the 3-ball in the fourth quarter versus the Kings
  • Mavs starting five: all of the Dallas starters scored in double-figures on Saturday night. Harrison Barnes scored a game-high 18 points while Dwight Powell posted 17, Dirk 15, Dennis Smith Jr. 12 and Wesley Matthews 11. Yogi Ferrell also added 11 points coming off the bench.
  • Smith Jr. scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half. He shot very poorly overall but he just kept working even when things were not going his way. Smith Jr. shot 4-for-15 overall and 0-for-6 from 3-point range. He converted 4-of-7 free throw opportunities. The rookie also added five rebounds, five assists and two steals to his stat line for the contest.
  • Barnes hit 7 of 14 field goal attempts going 4-for-8 from 3-point land. He scored 12 of his 18 points in the first half and was responsible for keeping the Mavs in the game when the Kings were playing with energy.
  • Mr. Nowitzki’stats must also be mentioned out of pure respect for his 19 years in “the Association”. Dirk shot 5-for-9 overall and hit 3 of 7 from behind the 3-point line. He also grabbed seven rebounds.


2-3-18 Fox to hoop
@swipathefox takes it to the bucket in the fourth period for SAC
  • De’Aaron Fox had two completely different halves in this game. He finished with 15 points to match Garrett Temple for the team-high scorer. Fox scored just four points shooting 2-for-2 in the first half. He seemed to bothered by Smith Jr. and maybe he was battling his fatigue early. In the second half, Fox posted 11 points shooting 5-for-11 from the field (0-for-3 for 3’s) while hitting 1 of 2 from the charity stripe. Fox also dished out three assists and made three steals in second half.
  • Garrett Temple played a strong 31-minutes off the bench scoring 15 points hitting 6 of 10 shots from the floor. He also went 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Temple added two assists and two steals.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein played 31-minutes which was a little surprising after seeing almost 35-minutes of time on the floor against the Warriors on Friday night and just coming back from injury. He scored 14 points shooting 7-for-12 from the floor. WCS also grabbed eight rebounds, had two steals and blocked one shot.

Key Stats

Dallas (17-36)

  • The Mavericks went after the Kings reputation for not being able to defend against the 3-point shot. They attempted 41 shots from long-range and made 13 of them (31.7-percent). The Mavs 3-point shooting helped them win the game.
  • Dallas out-rebounded the Kings 37-31. They grabbed 10 offensive boards to SAC’s seven.
  • The Mavs outscored the Kings in second-chance points 19-11 for the game. Offensive rebounds do make a difference.
  • Dallas also went to the free throw line 14 times compared to just six times for Sacramento. They converted 11 of those 14 opportunities.
  • The Mavericks also outscored the Kings in the paint 48-44.

Sacramento (16-36)

  • The Kings shot 43-for-82 (52.4-percent) for the game. Their biggest problem was they shot just 22.7-percent (5-for-22) in the fourth quarter which allowed Dallas to go on their 16-0 run.
  • The Kings only went to the free throw line six times. They were successful on five of their six opportunities but six free throw attempts is not going to get it done in the NBA. Sacramento needs to be going to the line at least 20 times per game.
  • The Kings did make 12 steals in the game to the Mavericks eight. SAC also blocked three shots to zero blocked shots for the Mavs.

Up next


The Kings are off until Monday when they will host the Chicago Bulls. Head coach Dave Joerger said the team will have Super Bowl Sunday off and will go back to work on Monday.


The Mavs will also play on Monday night when they will face the “Blake Griffin-less” Clippers in LA.


Kings post first win of 2017-18 on the road Friday night beating Dallas 93-88

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Dal Hill
George Hill was the Kings scoring leader with 21 points Photo: USA Today Sports

Sacramento won the game because they played with intensity

Nothing may illustrate that point more than the sequence that took place with 34.1-seconds left to play in the game and the Kings leading 89-86. Zach Randolph missed a 16-foot fadeaway jump shot. Buddy Hield made a hustle rebound under the basket to keep the possession alive for Sacramento. George Hill ultimately hit a 17-foot jumper that for all intensive purposes sealed the win for the Kings.

This was a game of runs

In the second quarter, the Mavs went on a 12-0 run to go up 38-26 and it looked like Kings were going to be in real trouble on the road before halftime. The Kings woke up and went on to outscore the Mavericks 20-8 in the final 5:22 of the period. George Hill was the leader with help from Z-Bo, Cauley-Stein and Buddy Hield.

Sacramento came back to floor ready to go after halftime. They won the 3rd quarter by posting 25 points to just 14 for Dallas. Buddy Hield led the scoring barrage with eight points while Hill added seven points and Randolph put up six. The Kings went into the 4th quarter with a 71-60 lead.

Another run started immediately at the beginning of the final quarter. Unfortunately for the Kings, it was the Mavericks who went on an 11-0 run to take a 72-71 lead with 9:38 to go in the game. Dirk Nowitzki — yes the old guy — and J.J. Barea were the players who fueled the run for Dallas.

The Kings retook the lead when Skal Labissiere hit a 19-foot jumper (assist Fox) at 8:46 to make it a 73-72 game. The Kings would never relinquish the lead again in the contest. They did not have an easy time in those final minutes but they played them with a lead.

Top Performers

Dal z-bo
Zach “Z-Bo” Randolph made his presence known in Dallas Photo: USA Today Sports


  • George Hill was the man again on Saturday night with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. He shot 9-for-12 from the floor and was a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the 3-point line.
  • Zach Randolph got the start at center in Dallas after having to miss the home opener due to oral surgery. Z-Bo showed off his toughness on both ends of the court as he scored 13 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Three of those rebounds came on offense — think second chance point opportunities.
  • Buddy Hield recorded 13 points and 6 rebounds but it was that one offensive rebound with under a minute to go in the game that was really clutch. He did not have a great shooting night going 4-for-11 from the floor (1-for-6 for 3’s). Hield was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. He also dished out 3 assists.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein or maybe we should call him “Mr. Double-Double”. He scored 10 points and hauled in 11 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double game.
  • “The Fox” was hot again on Friday night. How about 10 assists in the game coming off the bench? He scored 9 points, had 6 rebounds and 1 steal in 26-minutes on the floor.
  • Other contributors: Labissiere 8 points + 5 rebounds, Temple 8 points + 6 rebounds,  Vince Carter 6 points, Koufos 3 points + 5 rebounds and Justin Jackson 2 points + 4 rebounds.


  • Top scorer for his team and the game — Harrison Barnes 24 points on 8-for-18 shooting.
  • Yogi Ferrell hit some key baskets to keep his team in the contest and finished with 14 points.
  • Dorian Finney-Smith scored 14 points coming off the bench and was a big factor late in the game.
  • J.J. Barea — who started at point guard because Dennis Smith, Jr. was held out due to swelling in a knee — scored 9 points and distributed 10 assists.
  • Dirk Nowitzki — first vice president of AARP — played 29-minutes scoring 10 points and pulling down 9 rebounds. He really is my hero.

Team Stats

Mr. Double-Double Willie Cauley-Stein Photo: USA Today Sports


  • SAC shot 42.5-percent from the field (37-for-87)
  • They hit 10-of-23 from 3-point range. That is 43.5-percent shooting. Joerger has to pleased with that.
  • The Kings made 9-of-13 free throw attempts. They had only 10 attempts versus Houston. The 13 on Friday was an improvement but that total needs to get up into the 20s.
  • Kings out-rebounded the Mavs 57-36. More importantly, they owned the offensive glass 16-7.
  • The team had 20 assists and 14 turnovers giving up 14 points off those TOVs.
  • Second Chance Points Kings 14 vs Mavericks 6


  • The Mavericks shot 41.3-percent from the field (31-for-75)
  • They were 11-for-33 (33.3-percent) from beyond the arc
  • Dallas went to the FT line 21 times and converted 15 of those attempts
  • The Mavs posted 19 assists while turning the ball over 12 times (6 points for Kings)

Both teams play Saturday night on the road


The Kings (1-1) head north and will play at a “Mile High” in Denver when they will face the 0-1 Nuggets. This will be the first road back-to-back set for the Kings rookies. Denver is 0-1 this season. Game time is 6 p.m. PDT.


The 0-2 Mavericks will head south to face the 2-0 Houston Rockets in their home opener. They will not have to see Chris Paul who will be out 2-4 weeks due to his knee injury.

Who are these guys? Kings tame the Mavs 133-111

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Sacramento Kings
Photo Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Dallas Mavericks (35-38) came to Sleep Train Arena on Sunday as a team that needed a win to stay alive in the playoff hunt. The Mavs began the contest as the number nine team in the Western Conference. When the game was over, Dallas was still in ninth place one-half  game behind the Rockets for final spot in the playoffs.

The Sacramento Kings (29-44) really have nothing left to play for except for professional pride. The Kings made themselves proud on Sunday as they ran the Dallas Mavericks out of the building and won the game 133-111. It was the Kings second consecutive win on their home court in three days.

The Kings scored 30-plus points in three of the four quarters. Sacramento never trailed the Mavs in the game. The Kings put up a game-high 39 points in the third quarter.

That third quarter production is key because the Kings have been in many games this season where they played well in the first half only to fall apart in the third quarter. They did not suffer that kind of humiliation in this game.

This was a team victory. The Kings had eight players score in double figures and posted a season high 72 points off the bench. They shot 62.2-percent (51-for-82) from the floor for the game which is a season high. Sacramento shot 45.0-percent (9-for-20) from beyond the 3-point line.

The Kings had 32 assists and turned the ball over just 11 times for an outstanding 3-to-1 ratio. They recorded 11 steals and three blocked shots versus Dallas. Sacramento outscored the Mavs 68-46 in the paint.

This was a dominant performance against a team that is fighting for their playoff lives. If the Kings could have put together five to six games like this earlier in the season, they would fighting for a playoff berth.


The Kings leading scorer was – no it was not Cousins. Rookie Willie Cauley-Stein put up 21 points to lead the Kings in scoring. Cauley-Stein added seven rebounds and two assists to his line score. The Kings youngest big man also played some very tough defense in his 28-minutes of playing time.

DeMarcus Cousins did have another double-double game putting up 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to go with five assists and two steals. Cousins recorded those numbers in just 28 minutes on the floor.

Rajon Rondo had another double-double game scoring 11 points and dishing out 11 assists. Rondo turned the ball over just two times.

Darren Collison led the Kings scoring off the bench with 17 points. Collison shot 7-for-11 from the floor and added four assists plus one steal.

Seth Curry got his second consecutive start for Sacramento. The other Curry scored 14 points and added three assists and one steal. He scored all 14 of those points in the third quarter. Curry shot 4-for-4 from the floor, 2-for-2 from 3-point land and 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

Ben McLemore returned to the line up after having been out due to a finger tip injury. The shooting guard added 14 points hitting on 5-of-9 shots.

Casspi and Koufos scored 10 points each. Rudy Gay scored nine while Quincy Acy added seven points.


Dirk Nowitzki failed to dominate the game for Dallas. He scored 14 points but shot just 6-for-15 from the field. Nowitzki never seemed to get into the flow of the game on Sunday.

Guard Raymond Felton led the scoring for the Mavs with his 15 points. Felton also had five assists and two steals.

J.J. Barea put up 14 points. Former Warrior David Lee scored 12 points off the bench.

The Mavericks shot a respectable 47.7-percent (42-for-88) for the game. Dallas went 8-for-24 from behind the 3-point arc.

Up next

The Kings have to play the second game of a back-to-back on Monday night in Portland versus the playoff bound Trail Blazers. Sacramento is 3-14 in the second games of back-to-backs this season.

The Mavericks also have a back-to-back scheduled as they play the Nuggets on Monday night in Denver.

Sacramento Kings Thursday night game wrap up: Kings end four game skid in Dallas, win 104-101

by Michael Martinez

picture credit Ronda Churchill/AP

Wednesday night in Dallas was an important match up for the Sacramento Kings. The team headed into the night on a four gaming losing streak and a 22 game losing streak on the Mavs’ home court. Overall, the Kings put in a tremendous team effort and were able to defeat the Western Conference’s sixth seed, Dallas Mavericks, 104-101.

Rudy Gay was in the starting line up for the Kings who played tough against Dallas in the first quarter. The Kings’ only flaw was five turnovers but they did a great job of rebounding and passing the ball. Rajon Rondo had four of the Kings’ eight assists in the quarter as he headed back to Dallas.

Sacramento struggled with the three ball to start the game, 0-7, but managed to stay in it. Nobody on the Kings scored more than four points and the Mavs got a nice first quarter out of David Lee. After one, the Mavs led Sacramento, 24-19.

The Kings played an even better second quarter. Marco Belinelli came alive with eight points to start the quarter for the Kings, who would go on an 11-4 run. Sacramento moved the ball extremely well throughout the half, but best of all they played great defense. The Kings did not allow the Mavs to get inside and forced Dallas to shoot out on the perimeter, who shot 1-11 from beyond the arc at the half.

At the half, the Kings held a 50-45 and shot well in the half. The team did a better job with the ball, only one turnover in the second quarter. DeMarcus Cousins and Rondo had a team high with eight points apiece with Rondo adding seven assists.

The Kings did much of the same in the third quarter as the second.

The Kings kept the momentum from the second quarter.With 7:38 remaining,  Ben McLemore  had a fast break jam causing a timeout by Dallas with the Kings up 60-55. Out of the timeout, Sacramento went on another run, 7-2, which finished with a sweet McLemore crossover who nailed a three off the dribble. Dallas was forced to call another timeout. The Mavs did answer back with eight straight points of their own

The third was a very clean half four both teams and Chandler Parson kept finding a way to score for the Mavs. Through three, Sacramento was able to shoot over 50% from the field and hold their lead, 73-69. The quarter was pretty even and both teams had 46 points in the paint. The Kings defense was still very solid, however.

In the fourth, the Kings went on another run, 7-2, to start the quarter off. The run would become an 11-2 run in a little less than four minutes. Belinelli was once again clutch for the Kings as he hit a three to put Sacramento up, 89-76, as Dallas took another time out.

The Mavs were able to make a push and after being down by 14 at one point, were only down by five with a little over a minute left to play. Unfortunately, the Kings could not make a free throw to save their life. At the 35 second mark, Cousins was fouled and missed both free throws. Darren Collison was fouled 12 second later and went one for two at the charity stripe to lead 102-97. Dirk Nowitzki scored very quickly to cut the lead to three.

Belinelli was fouled and missed both free throws. On the second miss, the Kings fought for the rebound and the ball squirted out. Both teams scrambled for the loose ball and Collison came up with it and fouled.

Collison finally put down two free throws for the Kings to go up 104-99 with four ticks remaining. Nowitzki was able to put in a late lay-up for a final score 104-101.

Many Kings player had great games. Cousins finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Rondo notched 18 points and tallied 12 assists.

Off the bench, Collison had 14 points and Belinelli added 16. Belinelli appears to be coming out of his season slump and was a huge spark for Sacramento. The Kings shot the ball extremely well shooting at 52.5% although their three pointers were mostly off. Parson finished with 28 points in the game but the Kings defense was able to hold on and they closed out a fourth quarter for the victory.

The Kings are now 25-35 and will head to San Antonio on Saturday. The team faces off against the Spurs, who clinched their 19th consecutive playoff berth in their last game. Tipoff starts at 5 p.m. as the Kings look to redeem a loss to San Antonio from a couple weeks ago.

Nowitzki’s Historic Night Leads Comeback From Dallas Mavericks.

By Shawn Whelchel

It was a tale of two halves for the Kings as Sacramento jumped out to a commanding first half lead, but couldn’t keep their foot on the gas as the offense sputtered late, leaving the door open for the Dallas Mavericks to mount an impressive comeback to steal a 106-98 victory at home.

The Kings offense came out firing on all cylinders to start the game, jumping out to a 24-point lead in the second quarter while picking apart the Dallas defense. But half time cooled the hot shooting Kings, as Dallas began finding a rhythm of their own, outscoring Sacramento 58-41 through the final two frames to secure a come-from-behind victory.

Rudy Gay led the charge for Sacramento, scoring 26 points on the night while nearly notching a triple-double with 8 rebounds and 8 assists to boot. Ramon Sessions followed Gay with 18 points and 3 rebounds.

Dirk Nowitzki led all Dallas scorers with 23 points of his own on a historic night where the German born star passed Hakeem Olajuwon for most points by an international player in NBA history while also moving into 9th place on the all-time scoring list.

Nowitzki came into the game needing just 17 points to secure his place in history, but after a scoreless first quarter it looked as if the feat would be questionable. However, Nowitzki would not be denied his claim as the second quarter saw a turnaround from both he and the rest of the team as their 34-point outburst brought them right back into the game.

The Kings competitive first half was nowhere to be found as they came out of the locker room, posting just 15 points on 26 percent shooting to allow Dallas to take their first lead of the game in the third quarter, which Dallas would not relinquish the rest of the game, bumping the Kings to a 5-3 record in the pacific division.

The Kings continue their tough road trip against the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday where Sacramento will look to snap their two-game skid before returning home to take on the champion San Antonio Spurs.

Game Notes:

PG Darren Collison was absent from Tuesday night’s contest with left shoulder stiffness. It remains to be seen if the guard will play Thursday night against the Grizzlies.


Kings come up short versus Dallas 93-91


Photo credit: Garrett Ellwood

By Charlie O. Mallonee

Heading into Sunday’s game with the Dallas Mavericks, the Kings had to answer two big questions. First, how would they bounce back after being humiliated by the Warriors 102-69 on Friday night? Second, how would play versus Dallas – a team in a three-way fight for the final two spots in the Western Conference Playoff race?

The Kings did bounce back from Friday night in a big way. Sacramento took Dallas down to the wire but ultimately came up short losing to the Mavericks 93-91.

After the game, Kings Head Coach Michael said, “It’s real simple. We’ve been in a lot of close games this year and we have to find a way to stop beating ourselves.” Malone was frustrated with his team’s rebounding and lack of second-chance points.

The Kings defense held Dallas to just 40.4-percent (36 for 89) shooting for the game but allowed the Mavs to shoot 41.9-percent (13 for 31) from beyond the 3-point line. Dallas hit five of those 3-pointers coming down the stretch in the fourth quarter which propelled them to the win.

The Kings were much improved on the ball handling side. They committed just 13 turnovers and recorded 21 assists. The problem for Sacramento was the 13 turnovers resulted in 21 points for the Mavericks. Dallas scored more than one-half of their points on turnovers and 3-point conversions.

The Kings were led by Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins. Gay was the leading scorer in the game with 32 points, and he added eight assists. Cousins recorded his 49th double-double putting up 28 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Gay and Cousins put the team on their backs and tried to carry them to victory.

Ray McCallum led the Kings on the point for the seventh straight game as Isaiah Thomas was still unavailable on Sunday. McCallum played all but 19-seconds of the game. He scored eight points and added nine assists. McCallum also had four rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot. He turned the ball over just three times.

Travis Outlaw was active all game and hit two key 3-point baskets in the final period to keep the Kings in contention for the win.

As a team the Kings shot 47.4-percent (36 for 76) from the field. They shot just 27.8-percent for 3-pointers. Sacramento shot 70.0-percent (14 for 20) from the free throw line. It was a game where literally one 3-point basket or three additional free throw conversions wins the game for the Kings.

The Mavericks were led by former Warrior Monta Ellis. Ellis scored 23 points off 19 shots, hit two 3-pointers, grabbed four rebounds and recorded four assists. Vince Carter had a productive game scoring 17 points in just 24-minutes of play. Carter was four of nine from 3-point land. Dirk Nowitzki put up 15 points on 17 shots in the game. Jose Calderon added 14 points that included four 3-pointers.

The Mavericks turned the ball over 10 times and allowed just eight points off those turnovers. Dallas out-rebounded the Kings 45-40.

The Mavericks record improves to 47-31 with the victory and has them in seventh place in Western Conference Playoff standings. Dallas now has a two game lead over eighth place Phoenix.

Dallas Head Coach Rick Carlisle said after the game,” We knew it was going to be a dog fight but the good thing is that we stayed together.  Dirk Nowitzki came in and made some big free throws at the end, but they came down and got a returned shot at one point. We’re happy with the win but we need to do much better.”

The Kings have five games remaining in the 2013-14 season and three of them are home games. Up next for the Kings is the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday in Sacramento. The Kings will be trying to avoid the season series sweep as the Thunder have won the previous three meetings. Sacramento will then go on the road to take on the Trail Blazers in Portland on Thursday. The Kings are 1-2 on the season versus the Blazers. Sacramento will then head to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Saturday before heading home to host the Minnesota Timberwolves next Sunday.

Peja Stojakovic was in the house on Sunday afternoon as the Kings continue to reconnect with the star players from the past.

Curry Surprises Jackson With Buzzer-Beater Over Mavs In OT On Coach’s Birthday

By Matthew Harrington
Warriors coach Mark Jackson received quite the birthday gift from his All-star guard Tuesday night at American Airlines Arena in Dallas. Stephen Curry hit the game-winning shot with .1 seconds remaining in overtime to cap a Golden State 122-120 upheaval of the Dallas Mavericks (44-31). As coach Jackson blew out the 49 candles on his cake, the Dubs created a little bit of breathing room in the Western Conference playoff picture. Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs entered play Tuesday with 44 wins, just one less than their foes from California. The Warriors (46-28) have two games in hand over Dallas.

Curry’s game-winner in the extra session, his third career buzzer-beating basket, was a culmination of a 43-minute, 23-point effort. Fellow guard Klay Thompson topped Golden State on 27 points, going 11-for-24 from the field including 4-of9 from downtown. Jermaine O’Neal, starting at center with Andrew Bogut not making the trip nursing a sore groin and David Lee in street clothes for the third-straight game, picked up 20 points and 8 rebounds. Marreese Speights’ 9 rebounds paced the Warriors.

Ex-Warrior Monta Ellis did his best to sink his former franchise, shooting 11-for-23 with 27 points. Mavs perennial All-Star Nowitzki contributed a game-high 33 points over 39 minutes of play and converted the double-double on a game-high 11 boards.

The Warriors connected on a blistering 57.1 shooting percentage, making 52 shots on 91 attempts including nearly half (15) of their 31 shots from beyond the arc. Mark Cuban’s club held the advantage in turnovers, forfeiting possession 8 times to the visitors’ 12. The Mavericks somehow managed to keep Golden State from going to the free throw line for the entirety of the second half.

The Warriors overpowered their hosts in the first, racing out to a 30-21 lead after twelve minutes of play. Dallas bombarded Golden State with 41 second-quarter points, the most the Warriors have yielded in a single frame this season, while limiting the visitors to 23 points for a 62-53 halftime edge.

It took the Warriors nearly ten minutes of play in the third to catch up to Dallas when Speights rolled in a layup to make it 78-all before Vince Carter hit one of two free throws to restore the slim Mavs one-point edge. The Warriors would score seven of the last nine points for an 85-81 lead after three frames.

Dallas capped a 10-5 run to open the fourth with a Carter basket to pull ahead 91-90 nearly four minutes in to the final stanza of regulation. The Warriors briefly wrestled the lead back from their foes but found themselves trailing 106-102 with 1:43 until the final horn. Andre Iguodala and Thompson sandwiched three-pointers around an Ellis jumper to knot things up a 108 a piece with a minute left but that would be the last basket of regulation as the teams would require an five-minute overtime to decide the victor.

Dallas opened the final five minutes on a Dirk jumper before Jermaine O’Neal hit only one of two free throws to pull the Warriors within one at 110-109. O’Neal represented the first Warrior to head to the charity stripe since Thompson completed the and-1 play with 2:55 left in the second quarter. From there the two teams would go shot-for-shot over the next five baskets before a Thompson trey preceded a Curry 16-foot jumper to put the Dubs up 118-117 over halfway through OT.

The Mavs’ Jose Calderon responded with a three of his own before O’Neal took a Draymon Green feed to the rim to knot things up at 120-all. The Warriors were looking for a quick basket to force a last-possession chance, a goal achieved when Green connected with O’Neal with 28 seconds left.

On the penultimate Dallas possession of the game, Ellis tried to take the winning shot but he was rejected on the layup by O’Neal. On the next Warrior possession Curry connected on the off-balance jumper with a tenth of a second remaining. The Mavs couldn’t connect on the in-bound deflection play, and after a brief review, the Warriors win was official.

Golden State looks to give Jackson a second belated gift Wednesday evening. They continue on to a showdown in San Antonio with the Spurs at the AT&T Center where they haven’t won since Valentine’s Day of 1997, just six days before then 31-year-old point guard Jackson was dealt from the Denver Nuggets back to the Indiana Pacers. After the second leg of the Texas road trip the Warriors return to the West Coast for a showdown with in-state rivals, the Sacramento Kings, Friday night at Oracle Arena.

Mavs squeak past Kings 103-100


Photo credit: NBAE/Getty Images

By Charlie O. Mallonee

After having been beaten by the Thunder on Friday, the Sacramento Kings had the unenviable task of playing the second half of a back-to-back Saturday night in Dallas against Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks. The Mavs are battling for the final spot in the playoffs in the Western Conference and winning was crucial if they were to stay in the hunt. Dallas did win 103-100, but the Mavs cannot be happy that the game was so close.

The Kings came into the game with just eleven active players and one of those players – Isaiah Thomas – could not play due a thigh contusion. Undermanned and on the road, the Kings should have been easy prey, but it would not turn out that way for Dallas.

Dallas was led by Nowitzki’s 19 points. He shot 50.0-percent from the field and added seven rebounds plus seven assists. Nowitzki was nine of 10 from the free throw line. Monte Ellis put up 17 points and dished out six assists. Samuel Dalembert scored 15 points going seven for eight from the field. Shawn Marion added 14 points.

The Mavs shot 48.6-percent (34 for 70) from the field. They shot just 30.4-percent (7 for 23) from 3-point range. Dallas really helped themselves from the charity stripe as they hit 28 of 35 (80.0-percent) from the free throw line.

The Mavericks also took advantage of the Kings’ turnovers. Dallas scored 25 points off Sacramento’s 18 turnovers.

The Kings field goal percentage was 51.9 (42 for 81) against Dallas. Sacramento shot just 30.0-percent (3 for 10) from beyond the 3-point line. They out-rebounded the Mavericks 47-35. The Kings outscored Dallas 60-38 in the paint.

Rudy Gay led the Kings in scoring with 30 points in 42 minutes on the floor. DeMarcus Cousins put up 17 points but was limited to just 29 minutes of playing time due to foul trouble.

With Isaiah Thomas on the bench, rookie Ray McCallum ran the team from the point for the second consecutive game. McCallum played the entire 48 minutes of the game. He scored 16 points and handed out eight assists. McCallum also had two steals and one blocked shot in the game.

Reggie Evans continues to impress with his 18 rebounds in the contest. He put up six points and had two steals.

The Kings will get a much needed day of rest on Sunday before taking on the Pelicans in New Orleans on Monday. Kings’ head coach Michael Malone indicated that Isaiah Thomas might be available versus the Pelicans.

Warriors remain hot, saddle Mavericks for fifth straight win

By Joe Hawkes

OAKLAND — The Golden State Warriors haven’t been just on a roll since the All-Star break, but they are serving notice that they will be a factor come playoff time.

Ask the Dallas Mavericks.

Golden State had five players score in double figures helping the Warriors slow down the Mavericks, 108-85 Tuesday night at Oracle Arena. The Warriors picked up their fifth straight win, and improved to 10-2 since the All-Star break, tied with the San Antonio Spurs (10-2) for tops in the NBA.

Jordan Crawford led Golden State with 19 points and led a Warriors bench that outscored the reserves for Dallas 53-34. Harrison Barnes also scored in double figures with 13 points off the bench.

Klay Thompson scored 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting, and Stephen Curry added 10 points, but was 4 for 12 from the floor (1 for 5 on 3s). David Lee scored six points, but grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds in 29 minutes. Golden State has made it a habit of outscoring their opponents in the third quarter.

In the last two games, the Warriors have outscored their opponents 62-30 after halftime, which has been key to keeping teams down and making it difficult for a comeback.

The real story was the play of Andrew Bogut.

Bogut provided a little more offensive punch for the Warriors, scoring 15 points (all in the first half) to go along with 10 rebounds. Bogut was a huge part of holding the Mavericks to 37-percent shooting from the floor, and handing Dallas (38-27) their second loss to the Warriors this season.

Former Warrior Monta Ellis finished with 15 points and Jose Calderon added 13 points and five assists. Dirk Nowitzki had 12 points, but scored just four points in the first half and was defended well by Lee for the majority of the game.

Dallas is having a hard time just holding on to the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs and this loss further weakens their grip. Dallas leads the Phoenix Suns by 1.5 games in the standings with 17 games to go in the regular season.

This was a win that the Warriors needed, especially with the big game in Los Angeles against the Clippers Wednesday.

Golden State has won two of the three matchups against their Pacific Division foe this season, but the Clippers are hotter than the Warriors, winning their last eight games.