The Sacramento Kings fell in disappointing fashion in their New Year’s Eve matchup with the Dallas Mavericks, losing 112-96. Another third quarter meltdown led to the demise of Sacramento, to the chagrin of the entire Kingdom.
Friday’s contest was that of extreme parody to the first half of Wednesday evening’s victory. Despite being the Mavericks being extremely undermanned and the Kings being at full strength, it was still a struggle to string together four frames of quality ball.
Sacramento opened up the contest with a 40-point first quarter, with offensive efforts from the budding backcourt of De’Aaron Fox with 10 points and Tyrese Haliburton with 12 points to make up for half of the Kings’ scoring in the first frame.
Where they struggled out the gate defensively in Wednesday’s contest, there was definitely a heavier emphasis on stops led by steals less fouling and fewer turnovers at large. However, as the second frame took off Sacramento lost their lead and sent the thinned Mavs to the line enough for a 10-2 run and a knotted up contest. The Kings were also unable to sustain a healthy 3-point clip, shooting just 1-7 in the second quarter leading to a 62-56 Mavericks lead heading into halftime.
The Kings opened up the third frame with a tenacious defensive effort and an 8-0 run led by Harrison Barnes and Haliburton beyond the arc, Sacramento were able to tie the contest at 67-67 and take control of the ballgame once more.
That was the last time Sacramento would see a balanced act in the contest, as Dallas outscored the home team 32-20 after a scoring drought for nearly seven minutes. The issue of losing the third quarter continues to plague the Kings as it sent them down the ladder down near 20 points with, once again, another winnable game drifting further into the loss column.
The Kings will play their first contest of 2022 on Sunday as they host the Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon.