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3 things to watch for as the Mavericks host the Kings

One team has to win in a game that could have big lottery implications.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Sacramento Kings Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight marks the third time the Mavericks and Kings have faced each other, with each team taking one on the road. The Dallas Mavericks (18-39) are coming off a hard fought battle against the Houston Rockets, while the Sacramento Kings (17-38) lost a close one Sunday night to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Kings and Mavs played each other just last week when the Mavs went on a 16-0 run in the fourth to take a lead and never surrendered it. Six Mavericks players scored in double figures, but Barnes led the way with 18.

Sacramento sits alone at the bottom of the league standings, but one game could catapult the Kings up the ranks, while the Mavs could slip to the bottom with a loss.

Here’s what to watch for as these two teams square off.

Dwight Powell’s insane stretch

Powell has been the subject of criticism since inking his contract a few summers back, but he’s certainly coming into his own as of late. In the past five games, Powell is averaging 16 points (on 67 percent shooting) and grabbing nearly nine rebounds in 29 minutes per game. He’s active around the rim, as evident by his 3.6 offensive rebounds per game, and he’s flourishing in the pick and roll. He even put up 18 points and 12 rebounds without his good buddy J.J. Barea, showing his game isn’t dependent on any one player. Who knows if Powell will keep this up, but his highlight-reel alley-oops and relentless effort have been fun to watch.

Will the Mavs continue to push it?

Dallas has been one of the slowest teams over the course of the season. The Mavs’ pace of 97.15 is the fourth slowest in the entire NBA, slightly below the Kings. However, over the past four games the Mavs have picked it up, averaging about 100.56 possessions per game, good for eighth most in the league. They are only 1-3 in that stretch, but have played the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets competitively while also beating the Los Angeles Lakers. Realistically, they’ve played faster out of necessity, but watch to see if they continue to push it with the young guys getting more burn.

The Mavs and Dennis have been blessed by the BasedGod

Good news, everyone. Lil B The BasedGod has showered blessings upon Dennis Smith Jr. and the Mavericks. After the rookie tweeted he was listening to some sweet Lil B tunes, the BasedGod in his omniscient ways responded while we were sleeping:

Lil B then went on to congratulate the Mavs staff and players because the BasedGod is confident in his omnipotent powers:

For those who are new to Lil B, this is a big deal. It took Kevin Durant joining an already established super team to break the curse hanging over him. And Lil B graciously lifted the curse bestowed on James Harden for stealing his “cooking” dance after Harden and the Rockets have continuously failed to win a championship. A blessing from Lil B is of the highest compliments.

Rest easy, Mavs fans. Good fortunes are on their way.


How to watch

The game tips at 7:30 CST and can be watched on FSSW or NBA League Pass.