CK Press Box Report: Kings 110, Mavs 97

by James Ham & Jonathan Santiago

The Sacramento Kings turned on the jets against the Dallas Mavericks, winning 110-97 at Power Balance Pavilion Friday evening.

“I just thought that the guys followed our game plan,” said Kings head coach Keith Smart following the victory.  “That it was a must that they stayed close to detail as possible, and the coaches put in to play this morning and the guys followed it to a ‘T.'”

The Mavs only lead came at the beginning of the game, when they led 2-0 in the first quarter.  With the score tied 4-4, the Kings turned loose on an 11-2 run and never looked back.

Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans led the Kings in scoring with 17 points each.  DeMarcus Cousins returned after missing Wednesday night’s game due to food poisoning and finished with 15 points, five assists, five turnovers and four rebounds.

Jason Terry led the Mavs with 23 points off the bench, while Dirk Nowitzki, last year’s Finals MVP, scored just 13 points on 13 shot attempts.

Friday’s victory ends a 10-game losing streak to Dallas.  The Kings’ last win over the Mavs was a 102-95 victory on January 11, 2009.


Notes and Analysis

  • DeMarcus Cousins looked beat.  Still suffering the effects of Wednesday morning’s food poisoning ordeal, the Kings big man struggled to move up and down the floor.  It didn’t stop him from contributing 15 points, four rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks.  Maybe he should play sick more often.
  • Donté Greene started in place of Jason Thompson tonight for the Kings.  Greene was in the game purely for match-up reasons against Dirk Nowitzki, the 2006-07 MVP, and the gamble paid off.  Nowitzki finished with just 13 points and nine rebounds, while in 20 minutes, Greene had an efficient 11 points on 4-for-6 shooting.
  • After struggling early in the season from the free throw line, the Kings have continued to improve of late.  Tonight they hit all 13 of their freebies.  While they would have preferred more attempts, the Mavs gave very little resistance.
  • Jimmer Fredette took seven three pointers for the Kings.  He hit only two, but the rookie is showing a lot more confidence and his teammates are definitely looking for him more.
  • The Kings turned the ball over just three times in the first half.  Fortunately, the Mavs gave little resistance after intermission when the Kings became careless, giving the ball up 11 times.
  • Isaiah Thomas caught fire in the third quarter, hitting 3-for-4 from behind the arc and finishing the frame with nine points.  On the night, he had a productive 14 points and five assists in 24 minutes of action.
  • Chuck Hayes continues to do the little things for the Kings.  The veteran big man scored four points, grabbed five rebounds, handed out four assists and helped shut down Nowitzki.  This was also his first game playing without the cumbersome brace on his left shoulder he’s worn because of early season injury issues.
  • The Mavs started the game flat, shooting 33.3 percent from the field in the first quarter.  The Kings, meanwhile, shot 52.2 percent in the first period.
  • Stat of the Night: Seven Kings scored in double figures, with no single player getting more than 17.  This is a major sign of growth for this team as we are seeing a significant reduction in “hero mode.”


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