Oh man, that would’ve been embarrassing.
The final scoreboard indicates that Sacramento won by five points, but they were once up by 26. I sound like a broken record but no lead is ever safe if Sacramento is winning!
Sacramento started the game on 1/6 shooting, but overcame those early game struggles to end the first quarter with a 29-16 lead on the road against a Dallas team whom they had lost to at home earlier this month. The Kings continued their strong start with a strong second, capped off by highlight plays like Vince Carter’s fastbreak dunk. I surely wouldn’t mind seeing him in the dunk contest one last time. The Kings would end the half with a score of 65-44.
The third quarter saw the Kings slightly cool off, but they ended up leading at the end of the quarter 88-71. It wasn’t a safe lead. The Kings completely cooled off in the fourth, as the Mavericks kept fighting with threes and runs of their own to bring it down to a five point game. However, time was the Mavericks enemy and the Kings survived with a 114-109 victory. The Kings allowed 38 fourth quarter points to Dallas.
On a positive note, the Kings swept Dallas in Dallas for the first time since 2003. More on that later.
Zach Randolph: Ol’ Reliable Zach Randolph was on fire from the beginning. He got the Kings going in the first after their slow start, including a three-point basket. His total peaked at 11 points after the end of the first. Later in the game when the Kings couldn’t buy a basket, Randolph was the one who came through and provided the tough baskets. Randolph almost scored the same amount of points as played minutes, scoring 22 and playing 25 minutes. (Completely irrelevant comparison but still worthy because he led the team in scoring in those minutes).
Bogdan Bogdanovic: Another game, another opportunity to drool at Bogdan Bogdanovic’s play. Bogdan would finish the game with 19 points, four assists and five rebounds on 8/17 shooting (including three three’s) in 33 minutes. One of my favorite sequences came in the second quarter, when Bogi hit a three, followed by a Kosta Koufos block which led to a Carter three (assisted by Bogi). Great game for the #RisingStar.
Justin Jackson: As rookie Justin Jackson keeps improving, so does the young man’s play time. Playing 30 valuable minutes, Jackson continues to get more confident as the days pass. He finished with 12 points, three assists and six rebounds on 5/9 shooting (including one three and one free throw). Keep him as a starter and he’ll keep showing out. Another thing I’ve noticed is that he’s actually not a bad defender either. Do you reckon he can become a three-and-d wing?
De’Aaron Fox didn’t shoot the ball well tonight (5/12), but still finished with 11 points and most importantly, seven assists. Fox added four rebounds to his stat sheet as well. His best play in my eyes was that big three towards the end of the fourth. The Kings needed that to go in more than ever.
Garrett Temple led the bench in scoring with 13 points in 19 minutes and fellow veteran Koufos almost had another double-double. Koufos scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 22 minutes. He was also a perfect 5/5 from the field.
Vince Carter was tied with Fox in assists. They each were tied with seven. Carter also added eight points and four rebounds in 26 minutes. He also gave us another big dunk to remember.
Sacramento shot 47/87 from the field, a solid 54%. They were 12/29 from three (41%) and 8/12 from the line.
Sacramento out-rebounded Dallas 38-37, out-assisted Dallas 30-29, out-stole them 6-4, but were tied on blocks (four each) and both teams had nine turnovers. Sacramento only had three to end the first half.
Every single starter on each team scored in double-digits. For the Mavericks, J.J. Barea had a 19 point, 13 assist double-double. He was the key player in that late Dallas comeback attempt. Dwight Powell added 18 off the bench and rookie Dennis Smith Jr. had 17 on another rough shooting night against Sacramento.
Willie Cauley-Stein actually had some “dog” moments in this game, especially in the first quarter. He was more aggressive on both sides of the ball (he did have two blocks) and even though hustle doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, Willie looked better than previous games.
You’ll keep seeing this because it’s true. Buddy Hield is getting that #SkalTreatment. He only played 17 minutes but still scored eight points. A majority of his minutes came in the fourth when the Kings still had a sizable lead. Hield was also the lowest scoring King at the end of the first half blowout. He had two points.
JaKaar Sampson was the only King who played that didn’t score, but he had another thunderous block.
Sacramento are snapping bad streaks. They swept Dallas in Dallas for the first time since 2003 and they also ended their losing streak in Miami earlier this year. Times are changing?
In their last game before the all-star break, the Kings travel to Houston to take on the Rockets at 4:30 PM PST.