The crowd reaction late, or lack thereof, said it all. The Sacramento Kings (17-31) laid down to the Dallas Mavericks (34-18), who were without Dirk Nowitzki (rest) and Rajon Rondo (face), by the final score of 101-78.
At one point, the game was competitive. The score was tied at 35 all with 5:16 in the second quarter in part to DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings’ defense. Cousins recorded 10 of Sacramento’s first 12 points, while the Kings held the Mavericks to 41.7 percent shooting through the first. But then Dallas finished the period on a 25-8 run and the home team mailed it in.
“I thought that we missed a lot of shots,” Tyrone Corbin told the media after the game. “And I thought, especially in that second quarter after we weathered the storm in the first quarter, I thought we let our lack of making shots on the offensive end affect our defense.”
For the night, Sacramento shot 36.7 percent from the floor and 3-for-21 from behind the arc. They dished 13 assists to 17 turnovers, and scored two second chance points against the second-worst club at allowing offensive rebounds in the league.
Meanwhile, Dallas connected on 42.7 percent of their field goals and made 12-of-34 from downtown. They handed out 25 assists to nine turnovers, and outscored or tied Sacramento in every quarter.
“Everybody knows teams go on runs,” Cousins reminded the media. “Everybody knows, just as quick as they get a run, you can too. Just keep playing. Keep playing hard.”
Cousins ended with a 23 points, 11 rebounds and six turnovers . Rudy Gay struggled immensely, notching 11 points on 2-of-13 shooting. No other Kings reached double-digit points. Darren Collison was 3-for-3 for six points and zero assists before leaving late in the second quarter with a abdominal injury.
Without Nowitzki and Rondo, the less-heralded Mavericks players picked up the slack. Tyson Chandler dominated the Kings once again with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Monta Ellis scored 21 points, and J.J. Barea dropped 15 points and five assists. Devin Harris and Richard Jefferson added 15 and 14 points respectively off the bench.
With the loss, the Kings fall to 6-18 under Corbin. They travel to face the Utah Jazz (17-32) on Saturday for the first game of a back-to-back.
Notes and Analysis
- Something has to give. The Sacramento Kings have now lost 10 of 11 and look listless on both ends of the floor. The decision to fire Michael Malone derailed a quality start to the season. But a decision to stick with the status quo the remainder of the season could set this franchise back years.
- DeMarcus Cousins led the way with 23 points and 11 rebounds, but played on just one end of the floor tonight. The Kings need a stronger effort out of Cousins, especially as a team defender, if they hope to end the skid. The big man got the crowd going with a block of Monta Ellis in the late third, but it was too little, too late.
- Darren Collison turned on the jets in the second quarter, but came up lame on a drive to the basket. The initial diagnosis is an abdominal strain with an MRI scheduled for tomorrow morning. Just when you thought the season couldn’t get worse…
- Rudy Gay stuffed the stat sheet, but did so in an extremely inefficient manner. Gay finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists. He also finished 2-for-13 from the floor and 0-of-4 from behind the arc.
- After a solid game on Tuesday night, Ben McLemore scored five points in 24 minutes against the Mavs this evening. The 21-year-old guard shot 2-of-9 from the field and hit just one of his seven 3-point attempts.
- Rookie Nik Stauskas had another completely forgettable game, finishing 1-of-10 from the field for three points. Ray McCallum joined him in the “rough game” category, missing eight of his 10 shot attempts in 16 minutes of action.
- Stat of the Night: The Kings hit just 3-of-21 3-point attempts on their way to a 36.7 percent shooting night.
Quote of the Game
DeMarcus Cousins on what he expects from his teammates
“Just pride. Just have some self respect. Act like you care. That’s what it’s coming down to.”