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Kings vs Mavericks Preview: Dallas seeks to bounce back versus Sacramento

Responding to each loss defines playoff teams

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks (9-4) take a fast flight home for a quick turnaround game versus the Sacramento Kings (7-4) on Sunday evening. The game starts with a 6:30 pm tip-off at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks gave a valiant effort against one of the league’s top teams on Saturday - ultimately falling to the Milwaukee Bucks 132-125. With a 74-point showing from their superstar backcourt, the Mavs controlled much of the second half and were positioned to secure an early-season signature win. After seeing the Bucks edge in front, two huge three-pointers from Pat Connaughton were ultimately the difference makers.

After a shaky start, the Sacramento Kings are rounding into form. They are seeking their third win on this road trip and sixth overall. After playing a few games without star guard De’Aaron Fox, the former Kentucky Wildcat has averaged a sparkling 33 points since returning to the lineup.

Bouncing Back Strong

While the Mavericks would have loved to come away from their trip to Wisconsin with a win, losing that game in competitive fashion does nothing to take the shine off a fabulous start to the season. It can be reasoned that this game against the Kings is ultimately the more important contest in the scope of team mentality, league reputation, and playoff positioning.

Dallas is a perfect 3-0 after a loss so far this season. Two years ago, the Mavericks were a phenomenal 26-12 after a loss and dropped two games in a row only once after the calendar hit February. Last year, a much more pedestrian 22-21 reflected how often Dallas backed up a loss with one or more following it. Responding well versus Sacramento and pushing their mark this year to 4-0 will keep a good thing going.

Sharpshooter Alert

It is natural to think about the aforementioned Fox along with center Domantas Sabonis when the Kings come to town. However, it is the trio of Malik Monk, Keegan Murray, and Kevin Huerter that the Mavericks need to limit. All three players are averaging roughly 13 points per game but any one of them is capable of detonating for a 25+ point showing on any given night. Monk and Huerter are shooting 38 percent from deep and while Murray is down at 28 right now, he is a volume shooter from the outside who can get blistering hot. It is going to be up to the Dallas perimeter defenders to limit their open looks.

Holmes Revenge Game?

While Richaun Holmes has not had the impact some might have expected so far this season, this may be a game where Jason Kidd sneaks him onto the court as the first backup big to come into the game behind Derrick Lively II. Holmes was buried on the Kings’ bench for most of two seasons and his public comments after the trade that brought him to Dallas indicate he was not on board with the lack of playing time. With the main rotation players a bit weary after pouring it all onto the court in Milwaukee, perhaps Holmes gets a chance and provides a spark.

How to Watch

Bally Sports Southwest at 6:30 pm