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Kings vs. Mavericks Preview: No more heartbreak please

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Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Two of Sacramento's toughest losses this year have come against the Dallas Mavericks.  Both were games that Sacramento should have won but lost in heartbreaking fashion.  Perhaps for once the ball will bounce the Kings' way. Today's action tips off at 7:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1. The Mavericks are without Rajon Rondo for a while now and that means Dallas will be relying more on J.J. Barea and Devin Harris.  While Rondo has a reputation as a fantastic, athletic defender, Barea and Harris are not nearly as tenacious defensively.  As such, Sacramento's guards (particularly Darren Collison) should be looking to attack early and often.

2. Sacramento has had a problem all year of allowing teams to go on huge runs that they can't recover from.  The Mavericks have been benefactors of this issue in both games the Kings have played.  Dallas has a lot of offensive firepower but even still, Sacramento has to do a better job of managing the game and that's on Tyrone Corbin.

3. Ben McLemore caught fire early in last game and then barely touched the ball the rest of the game.  Afterwards, DeMarcus Cousins made mention that the team needs to do a better job of running plays for Ben.  I completely agree.  Ben's too good and too important to this team's future to be ignored for large periods of time.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Monta Ellis vs. Ben McLemore

In Sacramento's two close losses to Dallas, Monta Ellis has been very good, particularly in the previous game when he took over the second half on his way to 28 points.  Ellis is a very tough matchup given his quickness an ability to hit shots from just about anywhere.  However he's most dangerous when he gets into the paint and it will be up to Ben to try to keep him shooting jumpers instead of getting to the rim.  While Ellis can hit those jumpers, that's something the Kings can live with.

PREGAME LIMERICK

Chandler won with a flop
to which he did not cop
Fans were mad,
but Cuban's glad
that he didn't criticize the refs nonstop.

PREDICTION

Kings 108, Mavericks 107 because basketball karma owes us one already.