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Kings 123 - Mavericks 127: Luka Doncic Dominates

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De’Aaron Fox once again played well, but the Kings couldn’t stop the league’s best young player.

Kimani Okearah

Despite missing their second-best player in Kristaps Porzingis, the Dallas Mavericks cruised to a relatively painless victory in Sacramento on Wednesday evening (no matter what the final box score may read) as they led the game for the entire second half. Luka Doncic dominated the team who snubbed him, scoring 25 points, grabbing 15 rebounds, and dishing out 17 assists, while five other Mavricks scored at least 14 points. The Kings were led by De’Aaron Fox’s 27 points, 7 boards, and 12 dimes, and Harrison Barnes put in 25 points and 8 rebounds of his own, but Sacramento’s lack of defense was once again their downfall.

Game Breakdown

The first quarter featured a couple of mini-runs by each team. Dallas leaped out to an early 9-4 lead, which the Kings countered with an 8-0 stretch of their own, but the Mavericks were having none of it and immediately responded with a 7-0 run. Both squads were led by their future All-Stars, as Luka Doncic scored or assisted on 14 of the Mavericks’ first 18 points, and ended the period with a stat-line of 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists, while De’Aaron Fox scored or assisted on 11 of Sacramento’s first 16 points and finished the first with 4 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. Buddy Hield also enjoyed a strong start, scoring 10 points on nine shots, while Maxi Kleber flummoxed Kings defenders with 8 points on 3/3 shooting from the field. Perhaps most notable of all, Sacramento recorded 12 fast breaks in the first 12 minutes, just beating out their nightly average of 11.8 per game.

De’Aaron Fox, Luka Doncic, and Marvin Bagley III may have been the main ticket attractions heading into the game, but the the second quarter was owned and operated by the most talented Curry on the planet, Seth. The former Kings reserve torched Yogi Ferrell in their minutes opposite one another, scoring 13 points on 6/7 shooting from the field, helping push the Mavericks to a 71-67 lead as the teams headed into the locker room. Doncic and Fox both had their moments in the period, with De’Aaron taking more of a scoring role, including a couple of smooth-looking triples, while Luka continued to set up his teammates, ending the half well on his way to a triple-double with 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists.

The third quarter was as disastrous as the 2018 NBA Draft for the Kings, as they were outscored by 11 points in the period, including a buzzer-beating half-court heave by former King Justin Jackson. Luka Doncic worked his way to a trip-double with just over nine minutes remaining in the quarter and walked into the fourth with an absurd 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 15 assists in just 27 minutes of game time. Meanwhile, De’Aaron Fox did his best to keep his squad afloat by playing with a giraffe-induced level of rage after picking up a technical foul, scoring eight points and dishing out another three assists in the period, but the Kings found themselves facing a 15 point deficit heading into the final twelve minutes.

As has been their habit throughout the season, the Kings charged back from a double-digit gap after choosing to actually play defense for a few moments, but the result of the game result never really felt in doubt despite Sacramento winning the quarter 30-19. Luka Doncic ended the game with 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 17 assists, while De’Aaron Fox put up 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 12 assists of his own. The Kings will enjoy a couple of days off to watch some tape before heading to Utah to take on the 28-12 Jazz on Saturday evening.

Game Notes

  • The Kings have lost 12 of their last 15 games
  • Marvin Bagley scored 12 points on 9 shots while snagging 7 boards and committing 5 fouls in 30 minutes of play
  • Yogi Ferrell got the call over Justin James tonight, playing 14 minutes while James didn’t enter the game
  • After finding himself back in the rotation for the last three games, Dewayne Dedmon rode the bench with a DNP-CD