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Mavericks lose heartbreaker to Kings on Chimezie Metu game-winner

Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis
Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks had eight players out as they faced the Sacramento Kings in the California capital on Dec. 29. Luka Doncic and six others were in the health and safety protocols, including Boban Marjanovic and Brandon Knight, who added just hours before tipoff.

The fresh absences opened the door for the Mavs to sign Isaiah Thomas, and the veteran was in the rotation just hours later. Fans in Sacramento gave the two-time All-Star a massive ovation when he first checked into the game, and Thomas had six points and four assists in 13 minutes in his Mavericks debut.

Dallas dropped a heartbreaker at the Golden 1 Center on Wednesday night. They battled back from a 13-point second quarter to take the lead early in the fourth, and the Mavericks held the advantage for the majority of the period before Chimezie Metu drilled the game-winning 3-pointer as time expired. A look at why Dwight Powell made the correct play, and what Mavs fans should take away from the game.

Dallas Mavericks lose heartbreaker to the Kings on Chimezie Metu game-winner

On the final play, Sacramento got the ball into De’Aaron Fox, who beat Frank Ntilikina off the dribble. It left Dwight Powell with a decision. He could either crash to defend Fox at the rim or stay on Metu in the corner. Powell sprinted into the paint and forced Fox to kick the ball to the 6’9 big man for the game-winning 3-pointer.

DP made the correct play. Chimezie Metu made three 3-pointers on Wednesday night, but he was 33 of 124 for his career coming into the game. This season, Metu was shooting 24.1 percent on 83 3-point attempts before going three of five against Dallas. Powell played the percentages, and it burnt the Mavericks on Dec. 29.

The two teams play again on New Year’s Eve. The Mavericks need to eliminate that 13-point second quarter if they plan on winning the rematch.

Kristaps Porzingis and Jalen Brunson played well, but Dallas did not get enough from their supporting cast. The Mavs need the bench to step up on Friday night to turn things around.

The Dallas Mavericks should be healthier into two days as well. Reggie Bullock cleared protocols but did not play on Wednesday night, and other Mavs, including superstar Luka Doncic, are getting closer to making their returns. That alone could be enough to get Dallas back in the win column to close out the 2021 calendar year. Stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for updates on it all.

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