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Dallas Mavericks Lose Game; Win Race to the Bottom Against Kings

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 13: Wesley Matthews #23 of the Dallas Mavericks handles the ball against the Sacramento Kings on February 13, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 13: Wesley Matthews #23 of the Dallas Mavericks handles the ball against the Sacramento Kings on February 13, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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The Mavericks, toppled by the Kings 114-109 in the final game before the All Star Weekend, will enter the break with the best odds in the 2018 NBA Draft (tied with Phoenix/Atlanta).

The Kings came out swinging. Led by Zach Randolph, Sacramento dominated the paint with 40 points in the paint the first two quarters, building up a 21 point first half lead.

Z-Bo ended with a game-high 22 points (18 in the first half), 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Sharpshooting Bogdan Bogdanovic also aided the Kings cause with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 34 minutes of play.

Despite falling behind by as much as 26, the Mavericks made things interesting in typical fashion. A timely 17-3 fourth quarter run closed the deficit to single digits late in the fourth. However, the Kings were able to hang on with the clock on their side and a key three-pointer by rookie De’Aaron Fox.

Each of the Dallas starters ended in double figures, paced by J.J. Barea’s 19. However, the Mavericks did not find much help off the bench outside of Dwight Powell (18 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists), who continued his impressive play in the month of February. Over the last six games, the Dallas forward is averaging 16.0 points and 8.8 rebounds with eye-popping efficiency (66.7 FG%/ 87.0FT%).

Dennis Smith Jr.
DENVER, CO – JANUARY 16 : Dennis Smith Jr. #1 of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket during the game against the Denver Nuggets on January 16, 2018 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Looking Ahead

The Mavs enter the 2017-18 All Star Break in unfamiliar territory. With Tuesday’s loss, Dallas swapped positions with Sacramento to become owners of the worst record in the NBA at 18-40 (tied with Atlanta and Phoenix).

Although fans may lament the lack of success in securing wins thus far, the Mavericks have been a fun and competitive squad — evidenced by the sheer amount of close games there has been.

The second half of the season may see Coach Carlisle fully embrace the youth movement to develop and evaluate the talent on the squad, including recently acquired Doug McDermott, Kyle Collinsworth, Johnathan Motley and (should he return) Nerlens Noel.

For now, Mavericks fans still have a lot to look forward to. Perhaps a generational talent will find his way to Dallas in the upcoming draft…and more imminently, Dennis Smith Jr.’s 48-inch vertical on full display in the dunk contest.

Next: Dallas Mavericks Man Cave Gift Guide

The Mavericks will have a full nine days of rest before heading to the City of Angels and facing the Lakers on Feb 23. Tip off is at 8:30 CT.

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