You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.
- It figures that the game I pick to recap is a blowout. Disclaimer before we go any further: I am a huge Isaiah Thomas fan. I will try to temper this as we talk about what went wrong with the Mavericks in Sacramento. It wasn’t pretty, people. Not even a little bit.
- A rough start really doomed Dallas. The team had five of their 17 turnovers in the first quarter, including four of them in the first four minutes of the game. Sacramento took advantage, scoring nine points off of those turnovers in the opening session. The Kings jumped out to a lead quickly, leaving the Mavs to play catch up all night.
- After finding himself on the bench at the end of the Suns game on Thursday night, Jason Terry (game-high 23 points, 10-for-18 fgs) was looking to get himself going early against the Kings, and was one of the bright spots for the Mavs offensively in the first half. He kept the Mavs in it by coming up with a bucket to temper the crowd every time the Kings seemed to be on the verge of really blowing things open.
- While Dirk Nowitzki started off 2-for-2 from the floor, the team didn’t make it a point to get the ball to him in the first quarter and things went downhill from there as Dirk wasn’t ever able to get going. He shot 1-for-5 in the second quarter, 2-for-4 in the third and then 0-2 in the fourth. He finished with 13 points on 5-for-13 shooting in 29 minutes of action.
- The Mavericks just looked sluggish tonight. Perhaps they were tired from last night’s loss to the Suns, but their defense wasn’t doing them any favours against the Kings. A five-point swing for the Kings: Jason Thompson gets his own offensive rebound, finds Chuck Hayes open under the hoop for an easy two. Next possession:Francisco Garcia steals the ball from Nowitzki (Mavs turnover #6) and finds John Salmons for a three.
- Despite the rough night for Nowitzki, he has a fan in Bill Walton. After Nowitzki hits a jumper (his only field goal in the second quarter), Walton wonders aloud why it is that when people talk about great shooters, they always bring up Ray Allen, but not Nowitzki.
- Walton applauding the Kings’ decision to keep running against a Mavs team that is just a step too slow: “[Running] minimizes your errors and misses.”
- At the 6:05 mark of the second quarter, Shawn Marion (14 points, eight rebounds) pulled off a skyhook that made me wish I had a DVR so I could rewind my television. For evidence:
- The Mavericks had 54 points in the paint. Averaging 37.8 on the season, those 54 points in the paint would have been a positive if, you know, they could have hit a jumper or 10.
- Isaiah Thomas was huge for the Kings in the third quarter. He nailed three of his four attempts from beyond the arc and helped the Kings shoot 61 percent in the quarter, connecting on 11 of their 18 field goal attempts. In comparison, the Mavs shot 13-for-26, but found themselves behind by 16 points entering the final quarter.
- At the 4:31 mark of the third quarter, my notes simply read: Isaiah three again. Mavs just falling apart.
- The 6:02 mark of the fourth is when Rick Carlisle decided to pull his starters, Brian Cardinal, Sean Williams, Yi Jianlian, Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones closed the game out. (Sidenote: Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Ian Mahinmi did not play in the fourth).
- This meant we were treated to a Yi/Whiteside match up. It also meant DeMarcus Cousins was able to elude Cardinal with a spin move and reward himself with a dunk. Rapper Drake was in attendance and he appreciated it.
- The Mavs reserves pieced together a 10-2 run to close the game. I’d like to thank them for their efforts in shortening this recap for me. In conclusion, the Mavs didn’t have it in this one. They looked tired and flat. They have their third game of a back-to-back-to-back tomorrow night against the Warriors, so here’s hoping that they all sleep well and shake it off tomorrow.
Holly MacKenzie is a lead writer for Bleacher Report’s CourtVision blog. You can follow Holly on Twitter: @stackmack.