The Dallas Mavericks (4-2) avoid ‘Nightmare on Nowitzki Way’ as they bounce back and defeat Sacramento Kings on Halloween.
Luka Dončić led the way and scored 23 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds. He has 58 games in his career so far with 10+ assists. Tim Hardaway Jr added 16 points, and Frank Ntilikina provided a huge spark off the bench with 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block.
Kristaps Porziņģis missed the game due to a lower back injury. That makes his third straight absence. Jason Kidd stated before the game, “Hopefully he feels better today or tomorrow, so he can go on Tuesday. It’s day-to-day.”
The Mavericks had 5 deficits after the first quarter in each of the first 5 games, that trend has stopped as Dallas started out the first game on a 17-3 run. Jason Kidd stated before the game, “You want to give that group enough games to work through the process of starting slow. Once we get healthy, we will go through that process to see if we get off to better starts.”
Dwight Powell added much needed production in the paint as he scored 12 points and collected 8 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block. Dorian Finney-Smith brought the energy this afternoon as he scored 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block.
The high-water mark for the Mavericks first quarter has been 27 so far this season against the Rockets, Mavericks passed that with 31 while holding the Kings to 22 points at the end of the 1st quarter. Maxi Kleber left the game during the first quarter with a back strain. Maxi was not able to return for the remainder of the game.
Sacramento Kings bounced back and outscored Dallas Mavericks 25-22 in the second quarter to have a score of 53-47 at the half.
Guard penetration was a concern for the Mavericks and Richaun Holmes made his presence felt throughout the game with Kings scoring 60 points in the paint. The Mavericks made emphasis to lock in on the Kings perimeter players finishing the quarter strong defensively, leading 82-72 at the end of the 3rd quarter. That was the first +9 quarter point difference this season.
Dallas was unable to sustain the +9 point lead throughout the remainder of the game as the Kings eventually broke through and capitalized on timely shots getting back to writhing 3 point at 89-92 with 4:25 to go in the game after two offensive fouls committed on the Mavericks. Luka Dončić answered with a deep three from the logo and a Finney-Smith dunk from a steal on the next play.
The Mavericks didn’t look back and defeated Kings 105-99.
Sacramento averaged 111 points per game heading into this contest and Dallas was able to hold them to 99 points. I asked Jason Kidd to elaborate on his thoughts on how the team played defensively. Specifically, Barnes and Fox scoring a total of 29 points shooting 31%. Jason Kidd responded “We talked about it as a group, they are top 10 in offense. To hold a team that is top ten under 100 points, that means you are paying attention to detail on the defensive end and they executed the game plan. We payed attention to detail in trying to take away the three and we made it hard on those guys. Harrison Barnes is playing at a high level and we just tried to make it tough on them today.”
Sacramento Kings have been in six close contested games this season, winning three of them as they leave Dallas defeated. Mavericks were able to frustrate the opposing team’s best two players. Harrison Barnes had 15 points for the Kings on 5-16 shooting from the floor, Fox scored 14 points on 5-16 shooting. Richaun Holmes scored 22 and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Mavericks: Host Miami Heat on Tuesday.