Preview: Kings set for important back-to-back test against Mavericks

Feb 10, 2023, 8:55 AM

| Updated: 12:04 pm
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks shoots the ball against De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento K...

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

After a two-week-long, seven-game road trip, the Sacramento Kings have finally returned home.

The Kings (31-23) posted a 4-3 record on the lengthy trip, as they enter play on Friday night in the third spot in the Western Conference–a conference that got a significant face-lift during the recent NBA trade deadline.

One of the teams that made a hard-hitting move during the deadline will be at Golden 1 Center for two-straight nights this weekend, as Kyrie Irving and the Dallas Mavericks (30-26) will look to trim Sacramento’s slim two-game lead above them in the standings.

Irving, the newest Maverick, could play his first game alongside superstar Luka Dončić on Friday night as the latter is nearing a return from a three-game absence due to a heel injury.

These next two games will be a notable test for the Kings, who stood pat during the recent deadline instead of making changes to its roster–a roster that has performed well to this point in the season, at that.

Can Sacramento create some space in the standings between themselves and the new-look Mavs? Friday and Saturday night’s games are shaping up to be must-see basketball, and Sactown Sports 1140 will have your coverage every step of the way.

Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks Game Info

When: 7:00 PM PST

Where: Golden 1 Center – Sacramento, CA

TV: NBC Sports California

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Pregame coverage starts at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night

Line: Kings -4.0, O/U: 233.5

Tickets: Click here

Defend The Perimeter

Although Dallas recently traded away several key contributors in their blockbuster trade that brought Irving into the fold, they still possess one of the best shooting rosters in the NBA.

Entering play on Friday, the Mavericks rank third in the league in made three-point field goals (14.7 per game) and 13th in three-point field goal percentage (36%). If Dončić makes his return, Sacramento will be forced to contain both Irving and Dončić–players that are capable of massive scoring outputs–while motoring perimeter threats such as Christian Wood, Reggie Bullock, and Tim Hardaway Jr.

Irving and Dončić have yet to play a game together, meaning that there could be some learning pains associated with the duo’s performance on Friday, but the Kings can’t bank on that possibility. Even if it’s just Irving that is active against Sacramento, the All-Star starter is shooting 44 percent from deep on nine attempts per game over his past nine appearances.

Seeing that the Kings’ defense just got torched by Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green for 41 points on Wednesday, a similar mistake on Friday could be lethal–especially if both Irving and Dončić are in uniform.

Sacramento allowed Houston to shoot 43 percent from deep during their recent two-game set at the Toyota Center. The Kings might not be able to get away with a win if they allow the Mavericks to get hot, as Dallas holds a 14-5 record this season when shooting 40 percent or better from three-point range.

Malik Is Back–Now Get Red Velvet Going

As impressive of a season that Kevin Huerter has had thus far, the guard is in the midst of another shooting slump.

The seven-game trip wasn’t kind to Huerter, as the 24-year old averaged 9.7 points per game on 40 percent shooting from the field and 21 percent from beyond the arc. Slumps aren’t foreign for shooters in the NBA, and Huerter has said before that the best way to break out of a shooting slump is to “shoot through it.”

The Kings are 9-5 this season when Huerter knocks down four or more triples. If the Kings can unlock their starting two-guard, good things will follow.

Malik Monk just went through a similar rough stretch, and just days after the guard told the media that he felt confident his shots would begin to fall, they did. Monk was a force during the seven-game trip, as the first-year King posted averages of 17.0 points and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 55 percent from the field and a red-hot 48 percent from deep.

While Monk found success over the past two weeks, Huerter went cold, and the teeter-totter trend of the two guards trading hot-streaks continued.

If the duo could get their offenses going in unison, an already dangerous Sacramento offense would be even more potent.

Recent History

  • The Mavericks took three of four games against the Kings last season
  • Sacramento holds a 4-6 record vs. Dallas since the start of the 2019-20 season
  • Luka Dončić holds a 4-7 record against the Kings during his NBA career

Injury Report


  • KZ Okpala & Neemias Queta are on assignment with G-League affiliate Stockton.


  • Luka Dončić – QUESTIONABLE (right heel contusion)

During pregame shoot-around, Dončić said that he felt some soreness in his heel after scrimmaging on Friday. It’s likely that the All-Star will sit out until Saturday night.

  • Davis Bertans – OUT (left calf strain)
  • Maxi Kleber – OUT (right hamstring tear)

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

Friday, February 10th – Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks – 7:00 PM PST

Saturday, February 11th – Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks – 7:00 PM PST

Tuesday, February 14th – Sacramento Kings @ Phoenix Suns – 6:00 PM PST

Friday, February 17th — Sunday, February 19th — NBA All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Thursday, February 23rd – Sacramento Kings @ Portland Trail Blazers – 7:00 PM PST


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