The Dallas Mavericks (37-42) will host the Sacramento Kings (48-31) Wednesday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, with the Mavericks play-in chances on the line. With rumors surrounding sitting their star players, Luka Doncic confirmed on Tuesday after practice that he plans to play against the Kings on Wednesday and told reporters “when there’s still a chance, I’m going to play.” The Mavericks currently list Dončić (left thigh injury recovery) and Kyrie Irving (right foot injury recovery) as probable for Wednesday’s home game.
The Kings have already clinched the playoffs and ended their 16-season playoff drought, the longest active drought in the NBA and any U.S. major professional sports league team. Sacramento has listed Matthew Dellavedova out for the game due to an injury to his right index finger; fracture.
Here are three things to watch for:
Crazy like a Fox
The first-time All-Star De’Aaron Fox has been stellar for Sacramento this season. When the Kings were down as much as five points in the four quarter during the Feb. 11 matchup against the Mavericks, De’Aaron, put on a show. Fox scored 27 of his game-high 36 points in the fourth and overtime period to lead the Kings to the victory over the Mavericks. Fox is averaging 37 points and shooting 57 percent in his last three games against Dallas.
Protect home court
The Mavericks have gone nearly a month without winning a home game at the American Airlines Center. Dallas last had a home victory against the short-handed Utah Jazz team on March 7. Since the new year, Dallas has only won seven home games.
No rest for the weary
Sacramento is playing Dallas on the second night of a back-to-back. This season the Kings are ranked seventh overall in the NBA on no rest at (8-6). The Mavericks can’t afford to assume their opponent will come out sluggish. Dallas, who played a Charlotte Hornets team on the second night of a back-to-back on March 24, got their butts kicked from pillar to post so bad the home crowd booed the Mavericks out of the building.
How to watch
Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and can be watched on Bally Sports Southwest.