Sacramento Kings at Mavericks
(7 p.m., American Airlines Center, Dallas)
TV: Bally Sports Southwest.
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM (Univision 1270 AM, Spanish)
About the Mavericks (36-27): They will get one last chance to get it right against the Kings after losing two games in the last two weeks against the team that is lottery bound for the 15th consecutive season . . . The Kings have statistically been one of the worst defenses in NBA history, yet the Mavericks have yet to score more than 107 points in either meeting. The Kings surrender more than 119 per game for the season . . . And there’s no way to overstate how important this game has become. The Mavericks have pulled into a tie for fifth in the Western Conference, thanks to a 27-13 record since they were 9-14. They have the tiebreaker in hand against the Los Angeles Lakers, but still can’t afford any losses in games that should be wins . . . Luka Dončić is coming off a massive triple-double with 31 points, 20 assists and 12 rebounds. It was the 35th triple-double in his three-year career, but his first since March 15 . . . However, perhaps the hottest Mavericks lately is Dorian Finney-Smith. The 6-7 forward has been on a shooting tear while continuing to be the defensive glue for this team. In the last eight games he’s played, Finney-Smith has averaged 15.3 points and has hit 29 of 51 3-point shots (56.9 percent). And that includes the game winner from the corner with 9 seconds to play Saturday against Washington, after a splendid assist from Luka.
About the Kings (26-37): They started a four-game trip with a 110-106 victory over the Lakers on Friday in LeBron James’ first game back from injury . . . They have won four of their last seven with two of those victories coming at the Mavericks’ expense . . . They have an assortment of injuries and ailments, starting with point guard and leading scorer De’Aaron Fox, who is out for COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Former Maverick Harrison Barnes (adductor strain) has missed the last two games and is listed as day-to-day . . . On the bright side, the Kings welcomed back center Marvin Bagley from a hand injury in the win over the Lakers . . . One of their bright spots has been rookie guard Tyrese Haliburton, who had 23 points in the win over LA on Friday. The 12th pick of last year’s draft, he has averaged 18 points and 8.4 assists in the last five games, making 39.4 percent of his 3-pointers in that span . . . Keep an eye on Terence Davis. In the first two meetings, he made all seven of his 3-pointers and averaged 15.5 points. He’s only averaged 8.3 points since joining the Kings, but seems to enjoy playing the Mavericks.