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Game 22: Mavs at Kings presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Surviving perhaps their most difficult task of the young season Saturday in Portland, the Dallas Mavericks faced a must different challenge two nights later.

Looking to build off their last-second 108-106 win over the Trail Blazers, the Mavericks continued their West Coast swing with a showdown against a short-handed Sacramento Kings squad that had just completed a seven-player trade with Toronto headlined by the acquisition of forward Rudy Gay. Still, even with his team flying high on a three-game winning streak, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle cautioned his players against overlooking the Kings in anticipation of Wednesday’s matchup against the Golden State Warriors.

“In many ways it’s a harder game,” Carlisle explained before taking the court. “These situations take on weird personalities. These so-called depleted teams with eight guys come out and they throw a gangbuster game at you and you’ve got to be ready. We’ve got to be ready.”

But the Mavericks (13-9) would prove not to be ready for the onslaught that would come their way, seeing their win streak snapped following a 112-97 defeat.

After dishing out seven assists in Portland to go along with 30 points and six rebounds, 11-time All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki continued to operate as a facilitator while finding Shawn Marion on the baseline to open the scoring. But the Mavs wouldn’t have an early answer for Isaiah Thomas at the other end, finding themselves in a double-digit hole quickly as the undersized point guard took control of the Kings’ scoring duties.

And with Thomas tallying 10 points and three assists in the period, the Mavs trailed by as much as 16 before entering the second stanza down 11, 34-23.

Back-to-back-to-back scores to open the second quarter by leading scorer Monta Ellis, Nowitzki and reserve center Bernard James would be enough to get the Mavs into the game. James continued to give the Mavericks a lift from there, converting a three-point play off a feed from Ellis to bring the visitors within three. The big man then handed the scoring responsibilities back over to the Mavericks’ two go-to scorers, as Ellis and Nowitzki brought the Mavs in front with an 18-4 run to open the second.

However, big man DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings (6-13) charged right back with an 11-0 run of their own, going in front by double figures once again before taking a 57-47 advantage into the intermission.

“We substituted and had a big letdown,” Carlisle confessed. “And then we just made some mistakes. You know, and we never really recovered after that, which was unfortunate because we battled hard to get the lead back. But again, if you dig yourself a big hole in the first quarter and get down 16 in the first quarter, even if you make it back to get the lead again, you’ve used up a lot. And so we’ve got to play whistle to whistle, we’ve got to be more solid to start games and play all 48 (minutes) hard.”

Led by Cousins’ 19 points and 10 rebounds in the first half, the Kings took control of the game while outshooting the Mavs, 46.5 percent to 41.3 percent. Sacramento also held a 29-15 advantage in the rebounding department through two quarters.

In need of a spark early in the third, the Mavs would creep to within five, 61-56, on a 3-pointer by starting point guard Jose Calderon. Thomas then took it upon himself to create more separation on the scoreboard as the Kings’ aerial attack continued to give the Mavericks fits.

Derrick Williams’ 3-point assault and emphatic alley-oop finish from an assist off the backboard by Thomas then lifted the home team to a 20-point lead before heading into the fourth with the Mavs in a 92-73 hole.

“Little Isaiah and DeMarcus Cousins are handfuls. That’s a (heck) of a duo right there. And I think it was just a matter of letting everybody else get going,” Marion later admitted. “We tried to make a run back, but by that time they saw that the hoop was too big for them and they couldn’t miss tonight. Once they felt like they couldn’t miss and the basket is that wide open, ain’t no coming back.”

Unable to make a dent in their deficit, the Mavs would find themselves on the downside of a 97-73 score with 10:07 remaining after a triple by Kings swingman Travis Outlaw. Carlisle then pulled his main contributors midway through the fourth as the Kings pulled away down the stretch.

Leading the way in a losing effort, Ellis scored a team-high 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting, adding five assists. Meanwhile, Nowitzki added 18 points and six rebounds, dishing out seven assists for the second straight game. Calderon registered 11 points in the first unit and rookie first-rounder Shane Larkin came on late to score a career-high 10 points off the bench.

Leading the Kings, Cousins finished with 32 points on 10-of-17 shooting, adding a monster 19 rebounds. Williams pitched in career-high 31 points and Thomas ended the night with 24 points and a career-high 12 assists. The Kings’ 46.9 percent shooting as a team also bettered the Mavs’ 38.9 percent, adding a 51-39 rebounding advantage and 23-5 margin in fast-break points.

The Dallas team also committed 16 turnovers, which led to 16 Sacramento points, but couldn’t seize a win after converting the Kings’ 21 giveaways into 25 points.

“[The Kings] have been in a lot of close games. They’ve lost a lot of close games recently to really good teams. I don’t think we took them lightly. I just think that they outplayed us, and it was just one of those nights where they made a lot more plays than we did. I mean, the first and third quarters wiped us out,” Carlisle concluded.

“We were doing great on the road,” Calderon added after wins in New Orleans and Portland. “It was two in a row, so we wanted to go four out of four. … We’ve got to try to put that one out (of our minds) and just try to forget about it.”

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their tough road stretch in Oakland for a second showdown of the season against the Golden State Warriors. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 103-99 home win on Nov. 27. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 9:30 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Saturday, Dec. 14, against O.J. Mayo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 91-83 victory in Milwaukee back on Nov. 9. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — No letdowns.

After coming out of Portland with a 108-106 victory over arguably the NBA’s hottest team, the Dallas Mavericks don’t plan on suffering a letdown Monday night as they continue their road trip with a matchup against the 5-13 Sacramento Kings.

Ending the Trail Blazers’ four-game win streak and a stretch of 15 victories in a 16-game span, the Mavericks claimed plenty of momentum to finish off their West Coast road trip strong. But, before traveling to Oakland for a second showdown against the high-octane Golden State Warriors, the Mavs will have to get past a Sacramento team that’s looking to keep Dallas from claiming a sixth straight win in the series and fourth consecutive victory overall.

“I mean, yeah, it’s a big win. It’s one of the best teams in the league and the hottest team in the league, and we were able to do it on their home floor,” sixth man Vince Carter said while looking back to Saturday night’s outing. “That’s big for us, for a team that wasn’t playing that great on the road. This is a very important game for us for that reason. Winning this one gives us a little momentum going into a tough environment in Oakland.”

But, despite their looming matchup against Golden State, the Mavs don’t plan on getting caught looking head. That’s because the Dallas team expects to get the Kings’ best punch, even as they take the court likely short-handed while awaiting the finalization of a seven-player deal that will send forward Rudy Gay to town from Toronto.

And with the league’s top bench scorer, Isaiah Thomas, likely to now slide into the starting lineup at point guard for the Kings, the Mavs fully expect to be in for a dogfight Monday night.

“They’re short-handed, but at the same time they still have their starters,” Carter explained. “[Isaiah] Thomas is a starter in this league and a proven player, so I think all of that doesn’t matter. I think they still have their first five, six or maybe seven guys that have been playing anyways.”

Note: The Mavericks will continue their tough road stretch in Sacramento for a matchup Monday night against the Kings. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 9 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Saturday, Dec. 14, against O.J. Mayo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 91-83 victory in Milwaukee back on Nov. 9. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With a signature road victory now under their belt, the Dallas Mavericks will look to extend their winning streak to four Monday night against the Sacramento Kings.

Attempting to carry over the momentum of Saturday night’s 108-106 victory in Portland against the Western Conference-leading Trail Blazers, the Mavericks (13-8) will now try to continue their success on the road while bidding for a sixth straight win over Sacramento. The Mavs also enter Sleep Train Arena still buzzing after leading scorer Monta Ellis’ game-winning jumper as time expired to hand the Blazers just their second home loss of the season, looking to take care of the Kings (5-13) in easier fashion.

“The good thing is we’ve got to start winning on the road, and (Saturday night) was a great win to give us momentum to finish this road trip the way that we want to,” Ellis said as the Mavs get set to play the third of four straight games away from home. “We’ll take it game by game, but it was (against) a great team. Crazy game, and thank God that we came out with the win.”

Hoping to add another notch in the win column Monday night, the Mavs will in all likelihood once again try to milk the offense of Ellis and 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, who poured in 10 of his team-high 28 points in the fourth quarter against the Blazers. Nowitzki also added six rebounds and seven assists, operating as both a scorer and facilitator for the Mavs down the stretch.

“We were throwing it to him every time,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said after the team rode Nowitzki’s coattail. “You know, he’s going to cause something to happen, something good, and he’s going to make it tough on them, so we’ve got to get the ball in his hands. He delivered about five or six times in a row, so that was huge.”

“It was definitely a fun game to be a part of,” Nowitzki added after ending the Blazers’ four-game win streak. “I mean, here, the fans are as good as it gets in this league. The team is hot, so this was a fun atmosphere and fun game to play for us. We’re fortunate to get out with a win. (Heck) of a team effort.”

The Mavericks figure to look for the same formula of success while expecting to face a short-handed Sacramento squad, as a reported seven-player trade with Toronto to land forward Rudy Gay isn’t expected to be finalized in time to have the new players ready to go when the two teams face off.

Note: The Mavericks will continue their tough road stretch in Sacramento for a matchup Monday night against the Kings. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 9 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Saturday, Dec. 14, against O.J. Mayo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 91-83 victory in Milwaukee back on Nov. 9. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.