Short-handed Mavericks humbled at home by clinical Kings despite another solo stunner from Doncic
The Mavericks and Luka Doncic have found out that 24 hours can be a long time in the NBA.
Dallas came crashing back to earth after a memorable road game against Atlanta, with some poor shooting contributing to a five-point loss to Sacramento at home.
After posting 148 against the Hawks just one night ago, Dallas returned to their home floor and shot at just 43 per cent to go down 120-115 after trailing for most of the game.
All eyes were on Doncic after his historic 73 points, but even though the scoring accuracy was not as red hot he still managed a triple-double (28 points, 10 rebounds and 17 assists) after playing 46 minutes.
Australia’s Josh Green played 33 minutes and finished with 11 points, five assists and three rebounds.
Fellow Aussie in the Dallas line-up Dante Exum sat out the game with reported knee soreness, adding to an injury list already including Kyrie Irving and Dwight Powell.
Although, the Serbian had a forgettable airball shot on the opening possession. But it looked like the Mavericks picked up where they left off, going on an 8-0 run to start the game, including a three-pointer to Australia’s Josh Green.
Sacramento soon had the lead as the score see-sawed, Doncic missing three of his opening five from the field, under heavy defence from the Kings.
The visitors doing a good job in the paint, with the Mavs restricted to just 6 from 16 field goals midway through the quarter, as they were forced outside the three-point line where they were off target, hitting just 3-9.
The Aussie played just seven minutes in his first stint, as the Serbian superstar found his range, hitting 10 points as the Kings took a four-point lead into the first break.
Dallas’ shooting continued to slow them down in the second quarter as Sacramento pushed the lead to 12 in the second and were well in control. Doncic (14) and Tim Hardaway Jr (12) were the only players for Dallas to break double digits by the end of the second quarter.
Green also sent the crowd into a frenzy for mixed reasons late in the half; on the end of a contentious offensive foul, he soon made up for it, on the end of a Doncic full-court pass to finish with a dunk. But his side couldn’t break the 50-point mark at halftime, with Sacramento leading 63-49.
With the game heading for a blow-out, Grant Williams and Green delivered on a 14-1 run to pull the home side back into the contest.
But every time the Mavs cut the margin, it didn’t last long as the Kings got back on a roll, with the lead passing 22 points late in the third quarter.
From there it was just a matter of closing out the game, and Sacramento barely faltered, despite the Mavericks getting their shooting percentage above 40 for the first time since the opening quarter.
It added a bit of respectability to the final margin and created a thrilling finish for the fans as the game went to the wire with their team a chance of stealing the win, but falling just short.
Behind Doncic, Williams scored 27 points for the Mavs, while De’Aaron Fox was Sacramento’s best with 34 points.