Rajon Rondo joked before the game and said he expected a standing ovation in his return to the American Airlines Center. The complete opposite happened but it didn’t matter because it did not faze him.
Rondo helped the Kings end a 22-game regular-season losing streak in Dallas by scoring 18 points and dishing out 12 dimes. With the 104-101 victory, the Kings stopped the four-game losing streak.
“We’ve lost four in a row, playing against another tough team in the West,” Rondo told the Associated Press. “They’ve been playing well at home as of late so it was a good win for my team.”
The Kings needed this victory at any cost because if they lost this game heading into San Antonio, they could’ve faced an (0-3) road trip just from a confidence standpoint. Then the typical lack of energy would’ve showed up in New Orleans and they probably would’ve lost that one too.
But this is the type of victory that can build confidence and help this team get over the hump. The biggest takeaway was another strong performance from Marco Belinelli. He finished with 16 points and was a plus 9 on the night. That’s the Belinelli Vlade Divac thought he was getting but he has only shown flashes and very few of them.
DeMarcus Cousins had another double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds. That’s just a typical night for the All-Star big man.
“This is a team that we should beat, that we’re playing for something much bigger and more than they are,” Chandler Parsons told the Associated Press. “This is the type of loss that kind of bites you in the butt that you wish you could have back in a couple of weeks.”
I thought this quote was funny because that’s exactly what the Kings thought when they lost to the 76ers and other under achieving teams this season.
With that said, I don’t agree with Parsons in the sense that the Kings already beat them once and gave away the second in double-overtime. So technically the Kings should have three victories against the Mavericks this season. And the Kings are only 4.5 games away from the final playoff spot.
Should fans expect a victory against the Spurs Saturday night? No, but this team is so unpredictable and their defense has looked a little bit better in the second half in Memphis and for many stretches of this game.