Kings vs. Mavericks Preview: Can Kings play the spoilers?

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks are in a tough battle with Memphis and Phoenix over the last two playoff spots in the West and are currently on the outside looking in. Can the Kings keep it that way and spoil Dallas' bid?

In the second night of a back to back, the Kings are looking to bounce back from an embarrassing loss last night as they face the Dallas Mavericks (5:30 pm on News10 and KHTK 1140). Dallas is currently on the outside looking in for playoff positioning, and likely have the Kings circled on their schedule as a game for them to get back on track after losing 3 of their last 5.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Ben McLemore vs. Monta Ellis

3 THINGS

1. Despite it being the second game of a back-to-back, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay should be well rested, as neither played major minutes against the Thunder in a blowout loss. Both players failed to find a rhythm when they were on the court, so the Kings will look to their stars to hopefully carry them to victory.

2. Speaking of Kings stars, Isaiah Thomas' status still remains up in the air. Sacramento has been forced to run some weird lineups and play Ray McCallum a lot in his absence, but at this point in the season, Thomas' health trumps any on court concerns. I'd rather see Thomas sit out the rest of the season than aggravate an injury that could have long term effects.

3. I know there were some Kings fans upset that Dirk Nowitzki was an All-Star over DeMarcus Cousins, but man is it incredible what that guy is still able to do even in these later years of his career. He's averaging 21.4 points on nearly 50% from the field, 40% from three and 90% at the line, to go with 6 rebounds and 2.6 assists a game. Dirk's a legend, and one of my all-time favorite non-Kings to watch play. I think those Kings-Mavericks series back in the day were some of the most entertaining with C-Webb, Peja & Bibby going back and forth with Dirk, Nash and Finley.

PRE-GAME HAIKU

Oh man Isaiah,
we need our Pizza Guy back,
with all the toppings.

PREDICTION

Kings 89, Mavericks 97 as Monta Ellis gives a shout out to Sactown Royalty for actively campaigning for the Kings to not sign him after a 40 point, 15 assist, 5 steal effort.

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