The Kings, losers of three straight and five of their last six, will be without De’Aaron Fox (ankle) while former second overall pick Marvin Bagley could be making his return at any game.
While the Mavericks are looking for six straight, the team has been on a tear over a larger span. Dallas is 10-1 through the last 11 games and have notched win totals of 48, 42, 21 and 46.
Here’s what to watch for when the two teams tip off on Sunday:
Slowing Down Harrison Barnes
Barnes will make his second appearance to the American Airlines Center as a visitor since last year’s trade playing an important role for the short handed Kings. In Sacramento’s eight wins, Barnes has averaged nearly 19 points while shooting a grandiose 46 percent from three. But in the team’s 13 losses, the former Maverick is scoring 15 points and sees his three-point mark plummet to 31 percent. Dallas will have its hands full with Buddy Hield, so keeping Barnes in check will go a long way in determining the outcome of the game.
Jalen Brunson’s opportunity ahead
Brunson’s playing time has been up and down this season, but he’s been very impressive in the last two games. Against the Timberwolves, Brunson scored 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting, and against the Pelicans, he contributed 14 points connecting on all six of his attempts. He’s played well enough to earn more minutes, and that rings even more true after Delon Wright left Saturday’s game with a leg injury. The Mavericks’ bench has been one of the best in the NBA, ranking in the top four in points per game while leading the league with a 6.9 plus/minus. If Wright is out for any extended amount of time, Brunson will have larger playmaking responsibilities to shoulder.
Luka Doncic reaching for history
Doncic is incredible, and I could stop here and my editors would be fine with this because that’s a cold, hard fact. But each and every game Doncic is cementing himself in the pantheon of the league’s current greats. However, tonight the second year superstar has the chance to surpass the one, true GOAT, His Airness, the savior of the Looney Tunes by registering another 20 point, five rebound and five assist stat line. If Doncic can reach that feat, he will stand above Michael Jordan with the longest active 20/5/5 streak since the ABA/NBA merger:
Clarification from @MavsPR: 18 ties the longest 20-5-5 streak since ABA/NBA merger. Oscar Robertson had four longer streaks, topped by 29 games.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 7, 2019
His consistent domination is must watch TV.
How to watch
The game tips off at 6 p.m. and can be watched on Fox Sports Southwest or NBA League Pass.