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Game 78: Mavs at Kings presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

Mavericks vs. Kings

Vince Carter moved past Elgin Baylor for 26th on the all-time scoring list as the Mavs dethroned the Kings Sunday night, 93-91.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Despite limping to a 4-4 mark during a franchise-record eight-game homestand, the Dallas Mavericks once again looked like a confident team following back-to-back wins in Los Angeles to begin their four-game road trip.

Looking to continue their recent dominance away from home, the Mavericks went in search of a fifth straight road win Sunday against the Sacramento Kings. Meanwhile, the Mavs tried to remain unbeaten on their current trip, looking to further separate themselves from Memphis and Phoenix in the three-team race for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference.

But, after two previous narrow wins over the Kings, the Mavs would again find themselves in a dogfight. Still, after surviving with a 93-91 win, the Mavericks (47-31) surged to 3-0 on their pivotal road trip.

“We got tested again tonight, and we bend but we don’t break. That’s the way it’s got to be,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said following the win.

One game after moving ahead of Dominique Wilkins (26,668) on the NBA’s all-time scoring list for 11th place, 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki turned his attention to the 10th spot while needing just 33 points entering the day to pass Oscar Robertson (26,710). But the 7-footer would see the Mavs once again struggle to contain Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and forward Rudy Gay in the opening quarter.

Still, despite Cousins’ 14 first-quarter points, the Mavs slid into the second period with a 29-24 edge behind the bench production of backup big man DeJuan Blair and sixth man Vince Carter.

“DeMarcus and Rudy were phenomenal all night and from the beginning they were aggressive,” Nowitzki foreshadowed. “They looked in a groove, they made some tough shots and they drove to the basket some, so those two were phenomenal. … They kept it close all night.”

With center Brandan Wright hoping to pick back up where he left off at during a 10-of-10 shooting performance for a season-high 23 points in Friday’s 107-95 win over the L.A. Lakers, the Mavs looked to create a separation on the scoreboard in the second stanza. But the Mavericks would once again see a rally by the Kings in front of their hometown fans to regain the lead. And with Cousins and Gay combining to score 32 points through two quarters, the Mavs found themselves on the downside of a 48-45 score at the midway mark.

With the duo of Cousins and Gay combining to shoot 12 of 19 from the field, the Kings’ 51.4 percent as a team bettered the Mavs’ 40.4 percent entering the halftime intermission. Meanwhile, the Mavs stayed in the game by connecting on five of 12 3-point attempts and converting the Kings’ six turnovers into 11 points at the other end of the floor.

After struggling through a 2-of-8 first half, Nowitzki continued to have a hard time finding the bottom of the net early in the third quarter. The Mavs then quickly found themselves in a nine-point hole as Cousins continued to have his way inside.

“We had a tough night with shotmaking really all night long,” Carlisle confessed. “It got us in a little bit of a hole, but guys hung in. When they went 6-0 out of halftime for a nine-point lead, they had momentum and we had to take it back. We were able to do that.”

But the Mavericks would slowly have to work their way back into the game as Nowitzki found a rhythm, drilling a 3-pointer from the top of the key off the feed from 2-guard Monta Ellis. And after point guard Jose Calderon capped a 12-2 Dallas run with a 3-pointer to boost the Mavs to a 57-56 edge, the floor general and Ellis carried the visiting team into the fourth with a 68-65 advantage.

Opening the final period with a trey, Carter quickly jumped back into the scoring column. The Kings (27-50) responded immediately, however, as Travis Outlaw caught fire from the outside. The Dallas defense then stiffened, getting a jolt of energy from Blair’s hustle to draw an offensive foul on Derrick Williams to protect a 75-73 lead with 8:55 left to play.

But the Kings wouldn’t go away so easily, taking a 77-75 lead on Cousins’ score in the painted area to force a timeout by Carlisle with 6:52 remaining. Carter then intervened, swishing back-to-back 3-pointers to lift the Mavs to an 81-79 lead with 4:55 remaining while moving ahead of Elgin Baylor (23,149) for 26th place on the league’s all-time scoring list.

“I had a game off versus the Lakers, so I was just glad to come back and play and do it for the team,” Carter later joked as he bounced back from a 0-of-8 night. “First of all, by playing so long you tend to pass and accomplish a lot of things. But I’m just glad we were able to get this win.”

The eight-time All-Star then drove and found forward Shawn Marion for a corner trey as the Mavericks tried to keep the Kings at bay. Ellis took matters into his own hands from there, connecting on a triple of his own before driving for a three-point play to give the Mavs a 90-84 lead with 1:51 left to hold on. Still, the lead wasn’t safe after Gay’s three-point play to cut the Kings’ deficit to three with 26.3 seconds left. And after rookie Ray McCallum kept the Kings within three, Marion failed to knock down clutch free throws down the stretch as the home team stayed alive with 12.7 ticks on the clock.

Marion then sent Gay to the line, where the versatile forward hit two foul shots with 8.5 seconds left on the game clock. But, after Nowitzki’s 1-of-2 trip to the foul line, the Dallas defense swarmed Cousins’ desperation attempt that misfired as time expired.

“Every game so far against them has been one-possession games down the stretch, and we had to dig deep for this one,” Nowitzki concluded. “They made some runs at us, but we had some big plays. I mean, Monta made some phenomenal plays in the fourth. I thought Vince’s back-to-back threes were big. We played some zone for a fair amount, and I thought that was decent. So, that was definitely a much-needed win.”

Scoring 23 points on 9-of-19 shooting, Ellis led four Mavericks in double figures. Carter added 17 points off the bench and Nowitzki finished a 5-of-17 night with 15 points. Meanwhile, Calderon scored 14 points while hitting four of seven from 3-point range.

Gay led the Kings with 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting and Cousins was the only other Sacramento scorer in double figures with 28 points and 10 rebounds. The Kings’ 47.4 percent as a team also bettered the Mavs’ 40.4 percent. But the Mavericks ended the game with a 45-40 rebounding edge and 21 points off the Kings’ 13 turnovers, surrendering just eight points off their own 10 giveaways.

“I mean, these guys played us tough the whole season and we knew it was going to be a dogfight,” Ellis explained. “But the good thing was we stayed together, Dirk made a big free throw down the stretch and then we came down and defended and they got a terrible shot. We’re just happy with the win, and we’ll get ready for the next one.”

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their four-game road trip in Salt Lake City, playing the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. Dallas leads the season series 3-0. The game will air locally on TXA 21 at 8 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Thursday to host the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio leads the season series 3-0. The game will air nationally on TNT at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting

Dallas Mavericks
Shawn Marion, F333-81-20-245912113107
Dirk Nowitzki, F345-172-63-401130101-815
Samuel Dalembert, C243-60-00-0381111125106
Monta Ellis, G399-192-43-3044411421023
Jose Calderon, G315-104-70-013422001514
DeJuan Blair173-60-00-26392001006
Vince Carter246-134-91-1022301221317
Devin Harris161-60-31-202271001-33
Jae Crowder120-00-00-020200001-170
Brandan Wright61-40-00-001100000-102
Wayne Ellington00-00-00-00000000000
Bernard James00-00-00-00000000000
Shane Larkin00-00-00-00000000000
Ricky Ledo00-00-00-00000000000
Gal Mekel00-00-00-00000000000
36-8913-318-1416294523751016 93
Sacramento Kings
Rudy Gay, F4412-181-27-915680021132
Reggie Evans, F181-20-00-002210013-62
DeMarcus Cousins, C3712-230-04-4191013242-1028
Ben McLemore, G272-91-50-102210002-35
Ray McCallum, G474-120-40-022493133-18
Travis Outlaw232-52-50-01341001006
Jason Thompson272-30-01-41780001285
Derrick Williams131-31-12-20440001245
Jared Cunningham00-10-10-000000002-30
Quincy Acy00-00-00-00000000000
Aaron Gray00-00-00-00000000000
Carl Landry00-00-00-00000000000
Willie Reed00-00-00-00000000000
Jason Terry00-00-00-00000000000
Isaiah Thomas00-00-00-00000000000
36-765-1814-206344021631317 91

Ellis’ Big Night

Monta Ellis scores 23 points and dishes out four assists as the Mavericks defeat the Kings in Sacramento.


Mavericks vs. Kings: First half

Sacramento leads Dallas 48-45 at the break.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After alternating wins and losses during a franchise-record eight-game homestand, the Dallas Mavericks seem to have found their stride just in time.

Sprinting through their final back-to-back of the season and surging into sole possession of the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings, the Mavericks (46-31) will try to continue making up ground on their current four-game road trip.

Charging through the Los Angeles Clippers and L.A. Lakers in consecutive nights, the Mavs scratched and clawed their way to 2-0 on their current trip. Now, the Mavs will try to build on their recent success, looking to snatch the season series with the Sacramento Kings in a Sunday matinee.

“You know, we started off hot at home, and then it feels like the roles have been reversed,” backup big man Brandan Wright said after scoring a season-high 23 points on 10-of-10 shooting in Friday’s 107-95 win over the Lakers.

He added: “We’re playing a lot better on the road and we’re playing really, really good basketball. We’ve got a really, really tough one on Sunday. You know, [the Kings] beat us pretty bad over there last time and then last week was a close game, so we’ve got to get ready.”

Avenging a 112-97 road defeat back on Dec. 9, the Mavericks moved to 2-1 in the season series by capturing narrow victories over the Kings (27-49) at home with a 107-103 win on Jan. 31 and 103-100 win last Saturday. The visiting Dallas team will now try to continue to build towards securing a playoff spot, entering the day one-half game ahead of Memphis and Phoenix in the race for the West’s final two postseason positions.

Meanwhile, 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki looks to further cement his place in NBA lore after passing Dominique Wilkins (26,668) on the league’s all-time scoring list for 11th place. And while needing just 33 points to pass Oscar Robertson (26,710) for 10th, Nowitzki will also try to lead the Mavs to a fifth straight road win.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s been a crazy ride. I used to be a big fan of Dominique,” Nowitzki said of Friday’s accolade. “I watched all of his dunk contests and the many ways he could score, sometimes missing his own shot and beating the person (to the rebound) to dunk over two people. He was just so much fun to watch, and it’s been surreal. It’s been a crazy ride for 16 years, and I’m going to keep competing for a couple of years.”

Note: The Mavericks will now make the third stop on their four-game road trip, playing the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Dallas leads the season series 2-1. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 5 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Thursday to host the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio leads the season series 3-0. The game will air nationally on TNT at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting