Dallas Mavericks Look to End Five Game Skid in Sacramento

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 31: Dirk Nowitzki
PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 31: Dirk Nowitzki /

Rookie generals Dennis Smith Jr. and De’Aaron Fox go toe-to-toe as the Dallas Mavericks and Kings face off in Sacramento.

As trade rumors linger and the All-Star break approaches, teams are grasping for every ounce of energy within them to win games before the much needed break.

Tonight, the Mavericks and Sacramento Kings battle it out for last place in the Western Conference. Not much of an enticing battle when it’s for last place.

The Mavs currently sit at the bottom of the West with a 16-36 record while the Kings are 16-35. Coming off an embarrassing showing against the Suns on Wednesday, Dallas will look to avoid back-to-back losses against their fellow Western Conference lottery counterparts. For the Kings, they’re coming off a hard fought loss against the defending champions last night.

Though no trades have been made by Dallas, they continue to utilize their two-way contracts as Johnathan Motley was called up following the loss to the Suns. Kyle Collinsworth’s second 10-day contract ended this week as he was sent back down to the Texas Legends.

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In the first matchup of the season, the Kings beat the Mavs 93-88 in the second game of the season. Dennis Smith Jr. missed that game which makes this the first time he’ll face off against fellow rookie guard De’Aaron Fox. Both guards have played well as of late as DSJ is averaging 15.9 points and 5.8 assists over the last two weeks. Fox is charting 15.7 points and 4 assists per game over that same span, which will make for an exciting matchup.

One factor for Dallas to ensure a win is stopping Zach Randolph. The old bully on the block is still getting it done for Sacramento, scoring 14.6 points and grabbing 7 rebounds per game. Z-Bo has always been a problem for the Mavericks, averaging 18.4 points and 9.5 boards over 51 career games against Dallas. Along with Randolph, keeping Willie Cauley-Stein off the boards will be key for Dallas.

If Randolph and the Kings are rolling tonight, Harrison Barnes must counteract that. Barnes scored 24 points in the first meeting of the season but that wasn’t enough. Look for Barnes to continue being aggressive tonight in order to get the W.

Next: Should the Dallas Mavericks Pursue a Trade for Aaron Gordon?

Late tip-off tonight in Sacramento as the ball will go up around 9:00pm. Go Mavs!