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Kings vs Mavericks preview: Two in a row in Texas?

Some matinée hoops in Texas.

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

The Kings are back at it again in Texas on Saturday and will see one of the hottest teams in the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks.

Sacramento is holding on by a thread to play-in chances, now four games behind the 10-seeded New Orleans Pelicans. With only 17 games left in Sacramento’s season, each contest is crucial if they are serious about a run to the play-in.

Sacramento held on against San Antonio after the Spurs rallied from 19 points down to take a late lead. The Kings punched back down the stretch s thanks to a bunch of points at the charity stripe and came out victorious.

Against a much better Mavericks team, that quarter-to-quarter inconsistency won’t be enough to win this one.

It’s not getting much national buzz, but the recent play of De’Aaron Fox has been all-star caliber. Since the Tyrese Haliburton for Domantas Sabonis trade, Fox has been playing much freer and seems to have more comfort operating as the team’s primary ball-handler. Fox has scored at least 20 points in his last 11 games.

That will have to continue for the Kings to have any chance against a talented Dallas squad.

The Kings split a home back to back with the Mavericks at the end of 2021, with one of those wins being due to Chimezie Metu’s memorable buzzer-beating three on Dec. 29.

Dallas has been one of the hottest teams in the NBA over the last month-plus, especially since trading Kristaps Porzingis for Spencer Dinwiddie and Dāvis Bertāns at the trade deadline. Dinwiddie, in particular, has been balling for Dallas, averaging 14.5 points per game and shooting 45.5% from three in his six games with the Mavericks.

The Mavericks have a sizeable injury report, including superstar Luka Doncic (Questionable). However Doncic’s injury situation shakes out will undoubtedly play a significant role in the story of this game.

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

Opposing Perspective: Mavs Moneyball

SAC injuries/absences: Terence Davis - Out (Wrist), Richaun Holmes - Questionable (Back)

DAL injuries/absences: Luka Doncic - Questionable (Toe), Tim Hardaway Jr. - Out (Foot), Trey Burke - Questionable (Shoulder), Theo Pinson - Out (Finger), Sterling Brown - Questionable (Illness), Maxi Kleber - Out (Ankle)