Jan 31, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) shoots during the second half against the Sacramento Kings at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
DALLAS MAVERICKS vs SACRAMENTO KINGS Recap- March 29
The Dallas Mavericks nearly blew their sixth game of the season after holding at least a 16-point lead before going on a 16-4 run in the fourth quarter and defeating the Sacramento Kings 103-100 on March 29 at American Airlines Center.
Dirk Nowitzki led six players with 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Samuel Dalembert added 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting, six boards, three blocks and two steals.
Dallas was up 28-23 early in the second quarter before going on a 22-10 run to lead by 17 points, 50-33, but the Kings countered with a 28-12 run to cut their deficit to one with 5:30 left in the third.
The Mavericks would go back up six before the Kings cut it to 72-70 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Again, the Mavs went up five, 75-70 with 11:18 remaining, but the Kings outscored the Mavs 17-7 in the next six minutes to lead 87-82 before Dallas went on its scoring spree to hang on for the victory and go to 4-3 on its home stand.
Dallas will have a chance to finish its franchise-record eight-game home stand at 5-3 when it hosts the Golden State Warriors on April 1.
Rudy Gay paced the Kings with 30 points while DeMarcus Cousins added 17 points, seven boards and five dimes. Reggie Evans grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds in 29 minutes. Sacramento was without starting point guard Isaiah Thomas and Carl Landry. Rookie Ray McCallum started in Thomas’ place and recorded 16 points and eight assists.
The Mavericks moved to 44-30 on the season, but remains in the 9th spot out West. The Memphis Grizzlies have a win percentage of 0.002 points better than Dallas for 8th and the Mavs are a half game back of the Phoenix Suns for 7th. They’re also two games back of the Warriors for 6th with their April Fool’s Day match up looming.
Sammy D To The Rescue: Dalembert continues to excel in the past month for the Dallas Mavericks. Dalembert is averaging seven points, eight rebounds and 1.5 blocks a game and shooting 52.2 percent from the field in the month of March while shooting 60 percent in his past 10 games. In his past six games, Dalembert is averaging nine points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks. In that span, Dalembert has grabbed 10 or more boards four times and has scored in double digits three times. He recorded 12 points, 15 boards and seven blocks in Dallas’ 107-104 overtime loss to the Nets on March 23.
West Update: For where the Mavericks are in the standings, there’s a chance Dallas could be a half game back of the Warriors for 6th come Wednesday morning. It starts tomorrow when the Grizzlies go to Portland to play the 5th-seeded Blazers. In California, the Lakers will host the Suns while the Warriors host the New York Knicks. If Memphis falls, Dallas will be 8th. If Memphis wins and the Suns lose, Dallas will also be 8th with the Grizzlies being 7th. If both teams fall tomorrow, Dallas jumps to 7th. Dallas already has the season series with Memphis and if the Suns lose to the Lakers, both teams will have identical overall and conference records. With each team winning once in the season series, the next tiebreaker will be division record and since the Mavs have the better record, they would be 7th if the playoffs started on Monday.
Milestone Watch: With all the hoopla surrounding this home stand, people tend to forget that Nowitzki is chasing some important company in all-time scoring. Of course, Nowitzki doesn’t care about individual milestones, but here’s an update where Dirk stands. Nowitzki needs just 77 points to pass Dominique Wilkins for 11th all time, which comes out to 9.5 points per game in the last eight. He also needs 119 points to pass another hall-of-famer in Oscar Robertson for 10th, coming out to 14.8 points per game. Not as important as career scoring, but Dirk also needs to hit five 3-pointers in the final eight games to pass former teammate Michael Finley for 23rd in career 3-pointers made.
Good vs Bad: Dallas continues to have its struggles as of late against “non-quality” teams, which to us refer to teams who have a worse record than the Mavs. In the month of March, Dallas faced seven such teams and lost three of them (Nuggets, T’Wolves, Nets). The Mavs also had trouble with the Nuggets in their last match up before winning by double digits and defeated the Celtics and Jazz by seven points or less. The other seven games this month have been against playoff teams, and the Mavericks have won four of them (OKC twice, Blazers, Pacers). Dallas also had a double-digit lead in the fourth against the Clippers before losing by six. Against the 16 teams that are currently in the playoff picture, the Mavs are 17-22 this season while 24-8 in all other games. In their final eight, the Mavericks face five playoff teams, three at home. In their other three games, they’ll face the Jazz, Kings and Lakers.