MAVS (40-29) AT KINGS (28-38)
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Place: HP Field House, Orlando
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: They’ve come very close to being 2-0 since the NBA restarted the 2019-20 season. But unfortunately, the Mavs weren’t able to close the deal on two very winnable games, despite some gigantic performances from their top two stars. . .Luka Doncic collected 40 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists, and Kristaps Porzingis added 30 points, eight rebounds and four blocks during Sunday’s game against Phoenix. But it wasn’t enough as the Mavs fell to the Suns, 117-115. . .Last Friday the Mavs dropped a tough 153-149 game in overtime to Houston despite 39 points and 16 rebounds from Porzingis, and the NBA-leading 15th triple-double of the season from Doncic, who finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. . .The Mavs led the Suns by 15 points and were ahead of the Rockets by 14 points, including by three points with 5.2 seconds left in regulation. . .With six games remaining in the seeding format of the regular season, the Mavs have already clinched their first playoff spot since 2016 and their 16th over the past 20 seasons. The Mavs are seventh in the Western Conference, and two-and-a-half games behind the sixth-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder. “It’s a very good accomplishment,” coach Rick Carlisle said of the postseason berth. “The team has performed much better than people expected overall, so there’s something to feel good about there. But we came (to Orlando) to try to move up and try to play well.”. .Seth Curry bounced back to score 16 points against the Suns after tallying just three points against the Rockets. But he is inactive today with soreness in his right leg. . .The Mavs are 2-1 against the Kings this season. The Kings edged the Mavs, 110-106, in Dallas on Dec. 8. The Mavs returned the favor by going to Sacramento and defeating the Kings, 127-123, on Jan. 15., behind 25 points, 15 rebounds and a career-high 17 assists from Doncic. At the time, Doncic was 20 years and 321 days old, and became the youngest player in NBA history with a 25-point, 15-rebound, 15-assist stat line. . .The Mavs also beat the Kings in Dallas, 130-111, on Feb. 12, in the last game before the All-Star break.
About the Kings: Sacramento is three games behind the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot out West. That includes being only two games behind in the loss column. However, it’s going to be awfully tough for the Kings to get to the eighth spot considering that Portland, San Antonio and New Orleans are sitting between them and the Grizzlies. . .The last time the Kings advanced to the playoffs was in 2006 when they dropped a first-round postseason series to the Spurs in six games. That was the last year of a terrific period in Kings’ history where Sacramento qualified for the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons. That includes a trio of knock-down, drag-out postseason series against the Mavs. The Kings beat the Mavs in five games in the 2002 conference semifinals, lost to the Mavs in seven games in the 2003 conference semifinals, and upended the Mavs in five games in the opening round of the 2004 playoffs. . .The Kings dropped the two games they’ve played in Orlando, falling 129-120 to the Spurs last Friday, and 132-116 to the Orlando Magic on Sunday. Point guard De’Aaron Fox contributed 39 points and six assists in the loss to the Spurs, and shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic added 24 points. In the loss to the Magic, center Harry Giles III came off the Kings’ bench to pour in a team-high 23 points and grab eight rebounds in just 20 minutes. A third-year veteran from Duke, Giles was 9-of-11 from the field. . .Fox leads the Kings with 20.7 ppg and 6.7 apg, Oklahoma University-ex Buddy Hield is averaging 19.5 ppg, former Mavs forward Harrison Barnes and Bogdanovic are each scoring at a 14.6 ppg clip, and Marvin Bagley III averages 14.2 ppg and 7.5 rpg. . .The Kings like to get up and down the court at a breakneck pace, but are just 23rd in the NBA in scoring at 109.3 ppg. They also are 17th in the league in points allowed at 111.5 ppg. . .In addition, Sacramento is 16th in the NBA in field goal shooting at 46 percent. They also rank 20th in opponent’s field goal shooting at 47 percent.