The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Sacramento Kings 111-99 on Sunday night. It felt like watching a replay of the same move. The Kings swept the season series with the May 2 victory. Each time they got out to a hot start, shot 50-plus percent from the field, and took advantage of the Mavericks’ poor shooting from 3-point range. No matter what Luka Doncic did, he cannot win without help.
Sunday’s loss was the most disappointing. Yes, Dallas was on the second night of a back-to-back, but the Kings were without De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes. Rookie Tyrese Haliburton was running the point before he was injured in the third quarter and did not return. It did not matter because the Kings shot the lights out and held Dallas to 42.5 percent shooting from the field on Sunday night.
One night after everyone stepped up around Luka Doncic, the 22-year-old did not get much help on May 2. The Mavericks were without Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. The lack of scoring forced coach Rick Carlisle to go deep into his bench looking for a spark. Four Mavs scored in double figures with Doncic leading the way with 30. Here is a closer look at Luka’s performance and what the loss means going forward.
Luka Doncic nets 30 as Dallas Mavericks fall to Sacramento Kings
A night after setting a new career-high with 20 assists, Luka decided to put his unbelievable passing on display again in the first quarter. See this impossible find below.
Doncic could not find his outside shot on the second night of a back-to-back, so he got inside for plenty of finishes. See his beautiful floater here.
Luka finished with 30 points, six rebounds, six assists, and two steals in 36 minutes on Sunday night. He was 11 of 22 from the field. Doncic had six turnovers, but the Mavericks outscored the Kings by four points during his time on the floor. It was a disappointing defeat for Dallas on May 2. Luka had his 25th 30-point game of the season and continues to put up unbelievable numbers every night.
Doncic was ejected in closing seconds as frustration grew with the no calls. The Kings dominated late to sweep the season series from Dallas. Losing three times to a lottery-bound team could be what forces the Mavericks into the play-in tournament.
The loss coupled with the Trail Blazers win puts them tied in the standings. Los Angeles could make it a three-way tie with a loss to the Raptors on Sunday night. If the Lakers win, the Mavericks will be back in seventh and in a position to take part in the play-in tournament. Expect plenty of shuffling over the next two weeks with the standings bunched. Fans can listen to the specifics about the play-in here.
The games do not stop from the Dallas Mavericks. They face the Heat in Miami on Tuesday. Dallas has eight games over the next two weeks to close the regular season. There is plenty on the line over the stretch including avoiding the play-in tournament. Fans will not want to miss a second of the action, so please stay tuned.