The Dallas Mavericks went to bed Wednesday night knowing if they had done just a little bit more they would have gotten out of Golden 1 Center with a win over the Sacramento Kings.

But Kings forward Chimezie Metu had the final say-so as his three-pointer as time expired lifted Sacramento to a dramatic 95-94 victory and overshadowed Isaiah Thomas’ solid debut with the Mavs.

The Mavs overcame a 12-point halftime deficit and actually were clinging to an 86-81 lead with 5:44 remaining in the game following a three-pointer and vicious dunk by Dorian Finney-Smith. However, the Mavs had three turnovers and missed two free throws down the stretch.

Here are our five takeaways from Wednesday’s game.

HEARTBREAK HOTEL: Just one final defensive stop. That’s all that separated the Mavs from winning – or losing – Wednesday’s game. But when De’Aaron Fox scampered by Frank Ntilikina and got into the lane after the Kings brought the ball inbounds with just 3.8 seconds, Dwight Powell made the instinctive decision to leave Chimezie Metu and slide in the lane to cut off Fox. Unfortunately, Fox rifled a pass to Metu for an uncontested three-pointer, which Metu converted for the win at the buzzer. “(Powell) was going to help,” coach Jason Kidd said. “He thought Frank might have been beat, but unfortunately if we give up a layup the game is tied and we go into overtime. But DP went to help and they made a shot.”

THOMAS HAD AN IMPACT: In his 13 minutes after signing a 10-day contract late Wednesday, Isaiah Thomas had six points and four assists. Earlier Wednesday morning, Thomas was in Seattle grocery shopping when he got the call from Mavs general manager Nico Harrison. Thomas said: “It’s crazy because I was at Fred Meyer this morning getting some groceries and Nico had called me. The first thing he was asking me was, “You think you can play tonight?’ I was like, ‘Hell yeah I can play tonight.’ It’s been a lot, but I’m built for this. I’m ready for it. I’m thankful for the opportunity and it was a no-brainer when he asked.”

PORZINGIS SAID PLAYERS ARE TO BLAME: One of the things Kristaps Porzingis wanted to make perfectly clear after Wednesday’s heart-breaking loss is that the coaching staff is doing an exceptional job putting the Mavs in position to win games under these difficult COVID-19 circumstances. Especially the game against the Kings. With that, Porzingis said of Wednesday’s contest: “This one is on us – on the players. I could have played much better. Not our best performance, and that’s on us. We take full responsibility, and what we’ve got to do is take this loss, take this feeling — this feeling that sucks — and take it and use it as fuel for the next game.”

SECOND QUARTER WOES: Every game can be dissected in numerous ways. In this case, the Mavs will likely look back on the second quarter as a troubling sign. The Mavs were 11-of-21 from the field and 4-of-9 from three-point range in the first quarter, while the Kings were 9-of-23 from the floor and just 1-of-7 from downtown. But in the second quarter the Kings were 12-of-18 from the field and 3-of-6 from downtown, while the Mavs were 6-of-21 from the floor, only 1-of-6 from three-point land and got outscored, 35-13. The 22-point scoring differential was the Mavs’ worst in any quarter this season.

MITCHELL FLASHED CHAMPIONSHIP FORM: In the first half Wednesday, Kings rookie guard Davion Mitchell was flashing the championship form that helped Baylor capture last season’s NCAA title. Mitchell only played seven minutes in the first half off the bench, but had more points (12) at that juncture than any of the 19 players who got in the game. In the first half the ninth overall pick in the draft was 5-of-5 from the field and 2-of-2 from three-point range, including a bucket from downtown with just 0.9 seconds left in the second quarter that sent the Kings to the locker room holding a 55-43 lead.

Twitter: @DwainPrice


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