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Kings vs. Mavericks Preview: Let’s end 2021 with a victory

Ringing in the New Year with a rematch from Wednesday night.

Dallas Mavericks v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings will host their final contest of 2021 on Friday, when they’ll play the Dallas Mavericks for the second time in three days.

Wednesday night ended in thrilling fashion thanks to Chimezie Metu’s game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer, and Sacramento will look to build on the good from that victory while also tinkering with what led them to that end-of-game scenario in the first place.

This is one of Sacramento’s few opportunities in the regular season to play an opponent back-to-back, which means Alvin Gentry will be able to seize the moment and implement adjustments as close together as possible. In-game changes never seem to be on the docket for Gentry, so how he chooses to navigate tomorrow’s contest with a fully healthy roster will be indicative of what kind of coach Sacramento has chosen to steer them helm for the remainder of the season.

Dallas remains thin and will continue to miss their same respective players in Health and Safety Protocols. Sacramento will not see the likes of Luka Doncic, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and other franchise pillars in Golden 1 Center this season. In addition to the six players, freshly inked 10-day point guard Isaiah Thomas has entered the league’s protocols and will not be available to play in the contest.

Sacramento’s two-way big man Neemias Queta cleared the league’s protocols standards on Thursday afternoon, and is now available to the team. The Kings now have no players in Health and Safety Protocols, although they await a few members of the coaching staff and other personnel to return.

Tonight’s goal - stay out of foul trouble. Mav’s big Kristaps Porzingis was eager and able to get anywhere he wanted on Wednesday night, earning too many trips to the charity stripe that put Sactown in the bonus early. Defensive scope will be the biggest adjustment to look out for as the Kings try to end the year on a 3-game winning streak.

How to Watch/Listen: NBC Sports California, Sports 1140 KHTK

Opposing Perspective: Mavs Moneyball

Spread: Mavericks -1

Moneyline: Kings -105, Mavericks -115

SAC injuries/absences: N/A

DAL injuries/absences: Luka Doncic - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), Tim Hardaway Jr. - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), Trey Burke - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), Maxi Kleber - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), JaQuori McLaughlin - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), Boban Marjanovic - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), Brandon Knight - Out ( Health and Safety Protocols), Isaiah Thomas - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), Willie Cauley-Stein - Out (Personal)