SACRAMENTO KINGS

Kings look to secure tiebreaker, pull even with Mavericks in West

Mar 29, 2024, 8:33 AM | Updated: 9:05 am

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 26: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings is guarded by Luka Donci...

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

With just ten games remaining in the NBA’s 2023-24 regular season, pressure is beginning to mount for teams in postseason races.

The Sacramento Kings entered Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks in a strong spot, sitting in the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference standings while also holding a 2-0 season series lead over the Mavs.

At this point in the season, a lot can change after one game.

Instead of bolstering its position in the standings, Sacramento (42-30) suffered a 36-point loss to the Mavericks on its home floor, a defeat that allowed Dallas to leapfrog the Kings in the standings.

The Mavericks (43-29) have won five-straight games coming into Friday night’s rematch with Sacramento at Golden 1 Center, and another win over the ‘Beam Team’ would put two games between themselves and the eighth-seed Kings with nine games remaining.

Another playoff-type atmosphere is expected in Sacramento as these two teams continue to battle it out for a postseason spot.

A Kings win would hand them any tie-breaker scenario over Dallas and pull them back into a tie for the sixth and final playoff spot in the West.

Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks Game Info

When: 7:00 PM PST

Where: Golden 1 Center  – Sacramento, CA

TV: NBC Sports California, NBA TV

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Coverage starts at 5:30 PM on Game Night

Line: Kings -1.5, O/U 229.5

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Mavericks coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

Defend The 3

Coming into Tuesday night’s action at Golden 1 Center, Dallas had struggled to convert from beyond the arc.

The Mavericks were shooting 30 percent from three-point range over their past six contests, and it appeared as if a matchup against a surging Kings defense wouldn’t help their chances of breaking through from deep.

So much for that notion.

Dallas caught fire from three during a 132-96 win, drilling 22 (one short of a season-high) of their 39 attempts to give themselves a new season-high in three-point field goal percentage for a single game (56%).

In games that the Mavericks have shot over 40 percent from three this season, they hold a 20-7 record (.740), meaning that it would be wise for Sacramento to adjust its perimeter defense.

Good things happen when the Kings defend the three, as Sacramento holds a 24-6 (.800) record when holding an opponent’s three-point shooting to 35 percent or lower.

Ignite Fox & Monk

De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk have been a dynamic duo since their days at Kentucky, but the Kings will need more from the former Wildcat twosome on Friday.

Fox, who struggled early, scored just 18 points (6/18 FG) during the loss in the All-NBA guard’s 15th game with under 20 points scored in a game this season. Sacramento relies on Monk’s scoring punch off the bench when Fox struggles, but that relief wouldn’t come for the Kings, either.

Monk’s cold spell continued against Dallas, as the Sixth Man of the Year candidate scored 10 points on five of 13 (38%) shooting from the field while extending his streak without a made three-point field goal to a season-long-tying three games.

Over his past three games, Monk holds averages of 7.0 points and 4.0 assists on 25 percent shooting from the field while missing all nine of his attempts from deep.

Good things happen when Monk is dialed in, as the Kings hold a record of 18-7 when Monk scores 20+ points.

If Sacramento can ignite one of Fox or Monk, it will bode well for an offense that shot just 38 percent from the field on Tuesday–and if by some chance both find a rhythm on offense, the Kings will be in an even better spot as they hope to climb the standings.

Target Luka

Luka Doncic torched the Kings with 26 first-half points on Tuesday, but the Kings should look to beat the All-Star off-the-dribble more in Friday’s rematch.

Doncic, who is playing through an Achilles injury, is a liability on the defensive end, yet Sacramento didn’t attack him much during the blowout loss.

Over 12:48 of game time on the defensive end, Doncic surrendered 11 points, ten defensive rebounds, and allowed Kings players to shoot 50 percent on ten field goal attempts, including five points to Keegan Murray.

Look for the Kings to target Doncic on switches, especially when the speedy Fox and shifty Monk are on the floor.

Notes

  • A Sacramento win would give them a 3-1 season series win over Dallas. The Kings haven’t won a season series vs. the Mavericks since 2020-21.
  • With a Kings win, they would also control all tie-breaker scenarios over Dallas. If the Mavs win, a tiebreaker between the two teams would come down to Western Conference records (SAC: 27-18, DAL: 27-19).

Kings vs. Mavericks Injury Report

Sacramento

  • Sasha Vezenkov – QUESTIONABLE (right ankle sprain)
  • Kevin Huerter – OUT (left shoulder dislocation, labral tear)
  • Trey Lyles – OUT (left knee MCL sprain)
  • Jordan Ford – OUT (G-League)
  • Mason Jones – OUT (G-League)

Dallas

Upcoming Schedule

  • Friday, March 29th – Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks – 7:00 PM PST
  • Sunday, March 31st – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 6:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, April 2nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Clippers – 7:00 PM PST
  • Thursday, April 4th – Sacramento Kings @ New York Knicks – 4:30 PM PST
  • Friday, April 5th – Sacramento Kings @ Boston Celtics – 4:30 PM PST

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