The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Sacramento Kings for third time out in two weeks, in the same embarrassing fashion. Dallas shot 17% from three on 35 attempts and was completely unable to stop any Kings player, even with De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes out and rookie Tyrese Haliburton leaving in the third quarter.
Sacramento went on run after run to keep the Mavericks at bay, and never trailed at any point the entire game. Here are a few stats that might help make sense of the Mavericks’ awful performance:
8-0: The Kings went up 8-0 within 90 seconds to start the game.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. In the two teams’ April 26th game, the Kings went up 20-3 to start the game. The Mavericks certainly don’t reserve their atrocious starts for Sacramento, but the lack of energy and focus is still upsetting nonetheless. For a team that essentially lives and dies with the way they play in the 1st (cue the 22-0 when leading after one stat), tonight’s start really set the Mavericks up for disaster.
Over the three Kings games, the Mavericks led for a COMBINED 42 seconds. It’s definitely safe to say something about this Kings team just completely throws the Mavericks off. Let us relax knowing the two teams won’t be playing again for at least six months.
3: Luka Doncic had three consecutive turnovers in the second quarter, with a technical foul in between.
In a key stretch starting at the 10:33 mark of the second quarter, Doncic committed an offensive foul that led to a technical out of frustration, a traveling call, and finally a bad pass. For the game, he had six of the Mavericks’ 16 turnovers. This isn’t to say that the loss is on him obviously, as he had 30 points on 50% shooting, but it goes to show how fragile the Mavericks are when Doncic is not playing at full capacity.
10%: JJ Redick has shot 1-10 over his last two games, including 1-8 from three.
The former Pelicans veteran was brought in for pretty much one thing, shooting the three. And for the most part of his time in Dallas, he has been productive in that goal, shooting 50% from distance on about three attempts a game. But in the last two games he played (including the Pistons game), his scoring output has plunged. In a game where no Maverick could establish rhythm from outside, Redick had an opportunity to give the Mavericks a lift, but was unable to do so.
4:15: The Mavericks went scoreless from 6:21 to 2:06 in the third quarter.
In this stretch, Dallas committed three fouls and two turnovers along with four missed three’s. Rooke Josh Green took two of those threes, missing both from the same spot, bringing his season three-point percentage to about 15%. In the meantime, the Kings were focused on proving why Marvin Bagley III was a deserving second overall pick in the 2018 draft. He made a floater off the glass, assisted a three, picked up three offensive rebounds, and hit two free throws. It feels safe to say that the center out of Duke can be very effective in the NBA, and the bigger question for him is his health.
19:38: The Kings won the final 19:38 with Delon Wright as point guard 41-34.
After Tyrese Halliburton went down with a knee injury, Delon Wright picked up lead point guard duties with Fox missing the game. In that time, we saw him do things he’d never done during his year with the Mavericks. In the final four minutes, Wright made four easy, uncontested layups, and waved goodbye to the Mavericks on his last make, reminding Mavericks fans of his potential when he came to Dallas.
The Mavericks visit the Miami Heat on Tuesday, and will need to find a way to win if they hope to stay out of the play-ins later this month.
Here’s the postgame podcast, Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you can’t see the embed below “More from Mavs Moneyball”, click here. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe by searching “Mavs Moneyball podcast” into your favorite podcast app.