Kings, Mavericks gear up for two-game set in Sacramento

NBA Basketball

The Sacramento Kings will attempt to double up on Dallas, starting when they host the Mavericks in the opener of a three-day, two-game home set Wednesday night.

The Kings will open the series on the second night of a back-to-back, having outlasted the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder 117-111 on Tuesday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

They will also tangle with the Mavericks on Friday night.

Dallas, which has opened a five-game trip with a loss at Utah and a win at Portland, will see a new-look Kings starting lineup that featured Marvin Bagley III against the Thunder.

Bagley, who had started just one game previously this season, responded to a promotion from interim coach Alvin Gentry with nine points and 10 rebounds as part of one of the Kings’ best team efforts of the season against the Thunder.

It came in the wake of one of their worst, a 127-102 home shellacking at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies, a drubbing Gentry labeled “ridiculous.”

“Everybody on this team, I feel like, has the will to win and want to win,” Bagley insisted in the wake of the defeat. “But we just have to figure out how to do it all together. We’ll be fine, man.”

Being fine against the Thunder meant getting 24 points and 10 assists from Tyrese Haliburton, 21 points from Buddy Hield, 17 points from Harrison Barnes, 12 points from De’Aaron Fox, 11 points from Terence Davis, and a combined 18 points and 20 rebounds from big men Richaun Holmes and Damian Jones.

Bagley, Holmes and Jones figure to have their hands full Wednesday with Mavericks 7-footer Kristaps Porzingis, who scorched the Trail Blazers for 34 points to complement nine rebounds and five assists in Monday’s 132-117 win.

With Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. in the league’s health and safety protocols, Porzingis got unexpected help in Portland from Josh Green, whose career-highs in points (nine) and especially assists (10) were so impressive, coach Jason Kidd was gushing about his club’s unselfishness after the win.

“Even in the losses, you can see this team is different, right?” Kidd said of a pass-first mentality he personified as a player. “The ball moves. We’re competing. We’re playing for one another. It’s not my-turn, your-turn.”

The Mavericks, who also will be without Doncic and Hardaway in the opener of the Sacramento sequence, had 38 assists on 48 hoops against the Trail Blazers. Jalen Brunson joined with Green to be the chief ball distributors with nine to go with 14 points.

The win was just Dallas’ second in its last six games. The Kings, even after Tuesday’s win, have dropped seven of 10.

The clubs will be meeting for the second time this season, with the Mavericks having ridden Doncic’s 23 points and 10 assists to a 105-99 home win on Halloween.

Neither Porzingis nor Bagley played in that one. Holmes paced the Kings with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

Sacramento won its only home game against Dallas last year as part of a 3-0 season-series sweep, prevailing 113-106 in April behind Holmes’ 24 points.

–Field Level Media

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