The Kings picked up one of their more surprising wins of the season last week when they defeated the Dallas Mavericks on the road despite missing Richaun Holmes, withstanding a late flurry from Luka Doncic in the process.
Now, Sacramento is again without one of its best players, this time De’Aaron Fox. But the Mavericks appear to be similarly banged up, with an entire starting lineup worth of players questionable for tonight.
Fox was the engine that delivered the win the last time around with 30 points and 12 assists. the Kings complemented that by exerting their physicality early and often, whether that was Hassan Whiteside on the interior, Terence Davis on the perimeter, or Harrison Barnes everywhere in between. Whether that physicality will be enough to sustain Sacramento without Fox’s corresponding burst of speed is another question.
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California
When: Monday, April 26 at 7 p.m. PT
How to watch/listen: NBA TV, NBC Sports California, KHTK Sports 1140 AM
Opposing perspective: Mavs Moneyball
Projected Starting Lineups
Kings (24-36): Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Moe Harkless, Hassan Whiteside
Mavericks (33-26): Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell
Kings: Marvin Bagley III (hand), Robert Woodard II (low back soreness) — OUT
Mavericks: Luka Doncic (left elbow), Dorian Finney-Smith (left lower leg), Maxi Kleber (low back), Kristaps Porzingis (left ankle), JJ Redick (right heel), Josh Richardson (right hamstring) — QUESTIONABLE; Tyrell Terry (personal reasons) — OUT
Tyrese Haliburton proved up to the challenge of leading the offense last night in Golden State. He had 24 points and eight assists while recording only one turnover, and scored 15 points in the fourth quarter while not a single other King made a field goal. And yet! Haliburton wasn’t given the ball on the final possession. The tank rolls on.
The Kings have gotten up against playoff-level opponents moreso than against bottom-feeders in recent weeks, and there’s an opportunity to play spoiler here against a Dallas squad that is trying to stay out of the play-in and also move up to the fifth seed in order to avoid the Clippers in the first round. Sacramento could make the Mavericks’ path increasingly difficult with a win tonight.
Then again, it’s unclear which version of the Kings will show up on any given night. If they’re as frisky as they were against the Warriors, they’ll have a chance.