The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Sacramento Kings Saturday night, losing 120-115. The first half of the game was a slog, with the Mavericks definitely looking like a team on the second night of a back-to-back. The Kings were able to slowly pull away toward halftime. They pushed the lead out to more than 20, but in typical Kings fashion, just couldn’t put the Mavericks away. Dallas got it down to a one-possession game late in the fourth, but the Kings were able to hold onto the lead and get the win, even if just barely.
De’Aaron Fox led all scorers with 34 points. Former Mavs forward Harrison Barnes had 20. Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 28 points. He also had 10 rebounds and 17 assists. Grant Williams exploded for 27 points.
Here are three stats to know from the game:
10: The number of blocks by the Kings
The Kings were active in contesting shots tonight. They were defensive menaces, harassing a obviously tired Mavericks team around the floor. Dallas had dead legs from a tough game and an overnight flight back from Atlanta, and without the usual lift, the Kings feasted. Keegan Murray led the way with three blocks. Sabonis was the only starter without a block.
17: The Mavericks’ percentage on shots in the paint outside the restricted area
The Kings forced the Mavericks into a lot of shots outside the restricted area, and Dallas couldn’t knock them down. They shot 3-of-17 in the paint outside the restricted area. Again, the tired legs came into play here. It’s tough to knock down contested shots in the lane in the first place. But when you’re on the second night of a back-to-back against a good team, it’s almost impossible. The Mavericks also shot 5-of-11 on midrange shots, which isn’t terrible, but still too many misses.
46: The number of minutes Doncic played
On the second night of a back-to-back, Doncic played 46 minutes. When combined with his 45 minutes last night against the Hawks, that’s 91 in about 24 hours. That’s way too many, even with his young age. The Mavericks wouldn’t have been able to keep the game remotely close without playing him that many minutes, but that’s submitting to short term thinking for one win.
Doncic should’ve played, that’s fine, but keep him on a rotation where he ends up with around 35 minutes. The Mavericks were shorthanded anyway, and if you lose, you lose. The important thing is keeping Doncic healthy for the whole season.