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Kings choke another lead, lose heartbreaker to Mavericks

De’Aaron Fox’s 44 points weren’t enough Saturday

Sacramento Kings v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

For the second game in a row, the Sacramento Kings coughed up a sizeable lead in Texas.

Unlike Thursday’s win over the San Antonio Spurs, the Kings couldn’t figure out how to win this one.

Despite playing without Luka Dončić and several other key contributors, the Mavericks had no real issues coming back on Sacramento. Led by Spencer Dinwiddie, who scored 36 points, and Jalen Brunson, who scored 23 points, the Mavericks overcame a 19 point Kings lead and won 114-113.

Dorian Finney-Smith hit a three with 3.8 seconds left and gave Dallas a 114-111 lead. The Kings had a chance to tie, but Harrison Barnes missed a three at the buzzer, giving the Mavs the close-fought victory.

In the first half, the Kings were seemingly in control, with De’Aaron Fox playing one of the best games ever, tying his career-high with 44 points. Fox was getting to the basket at will and was as dominant as we’ve seen him all season.

Fox’s play recently hasn’t gotten many press clippings, but he is really starting to find his gear down the stretch of this season. After Saturday’s performance, the fifth-year guard has scored 20 plus points in 12 straight games.

Domantas Sabonis was decent for the Kings, filling up the stat sheet with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. Down the stretch, though, he struggled a bit, with a few bad turnovers and some missed free throws that could have decided the game. During the Dallas comeback, he was also getting hunted on switches by Spencer Dinwiddie and other Mavs’ guards.

No one else on the Kings really made a significant impact on the offensive end, which was part of the reason they couldn’t pull this one out.

While the close loss stings, watching Fox ball out and getting a boost in draft odds is probably the best-case scenario for how the rest of this season can play out.

Oh, and the Kings made some history tonight with their 42nd loss, setting the NBA record for most consecutive losing seasons at 16 in a row.