Setting the Table: Sacramento Kings (Game 21)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on December 10, 2012 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (10-10) are looking for a three game winning streak for the second time this season as they take on the Sacramento Kings (7-12) at the American Airlines Center on Monday night. Despite their record, the Kings are currently on their own three game winning as they’ve defeated Toronto, Orlando and Portland. The last game against Portland was on the road and that game the Kings’ first road victory of the season. The Mavericks are looking to get back above .500 and build some momentum as they head back out on the road for the remainder of the week.

Here are notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Kings.

Series Notes:

The Mavericks took the 2011-12 season series with the Kings, 2-1. Dallas has now won 27 of the last 33 regular-season meetings with Sacramento. The Mavericks have won 16 consecutive games at home against the Kings. It’s the Mavericks’ longest active home winning streak against any team. The Kings have not won in Dallas since 2/27/03, when they recorded a 126-124 victory in overtime. A matchup in January saw Dallas handle Sacramento in convincing fashion. The Mavericks held the Kings to just 60 points on 22-of-86 (.256) shooting in the game at Dallas on 1/14/12 (defeated Sacramento 99-60), setting new franchise opponent lows for points (was 65 at Minnesota 2/27/07), field goals made (was 23 at Indiana, 23-67, 12/6/05) and field goal percentage (was 29.6, 24-81, at Minnesota 2/27/07). The Mavericks held the Kings to just 23 points in the first half of the game on 1/14/12 (Dallas led 52-23 at the break), marking an all-time low for points in a half by a Dallas opponent. The previous franchise opponent low for points in a half was 24 by Vancouver (at Dallas 3/13/99, in the first half).

The Kings snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Mavericks with a 110-97 win at Sacramento on 3/9/12. It marked their first regular-season win over the Mavericks since 1/11/09 (defeated Dallas 120-95). Dallas recorded a 110-100 victory in the rubber match last season on 4/10/12. Vince Carter averaged 7.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 blocks and 24.0 minutes in three games (1 start). Roddy Beaubois averaged 8.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 20.7 minutes in three games against the Kings in 2011-12. Eight players scored in double figures for Dallas in the game against Sacramento on 2/6/11, marking first time the Mavericks had eight players in double digits since 4/6/93.

It’s a Small World:

Kings head coach Keith Smart coached in Golden State from 2003-11 (seven seasons as an assistant with Golden State from 2003-10 and one year as the head coach of the Warriors in 2010-11), where he coached Mavericks guard Derek Fisher for two seasons (2004-06) and Mavericks forward Brandan Wright for three-and-a-half seasons (2007-11). Mavericks guard Dahntay Jones signed with Sacramento as a free agent in December 2007 and averaged 3.2 points, 1.4 rebounds and 8.4 minutes per game in 25 games before being waived by the Kings in February 2008. Kings player development coach Fat Lever played four seasons for the Mavericks from 1990-94 and averaged 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals in 116 games. Kings assistant coach Alex English also played one season for the Mavericks in 1990-91 and averaged 9.7 points in 79 games.

Three Keys:

1. Trigger bad efficiency into great offense. Sacramento is well below average in terms of offense. They’re 21st in the league as they average 94.4 points/game. The Mavericks need to stifle the Kings and try to get out and run against them. Dallas is averaging 17.3 fast break points per game this season, which ranks first in the NBA. The Mavericks have outscored their opponent on the fast break in 13 of their first 20 games. Dallas scored a season-high 35 fast break points vs. Detroit on 12/1/12. O.J. Mayo ranks second in the league in terms of fast break points as he’s scored 99 fast break points. Darren Collison is 15th in the league with 74 fast break points.

2. Continue to use the depth. With Sacramento being an inferior team, it would be good for Dallas to take care of business early and rely more on the bench. To this point in the season, the bench for Dallas has definitely held their own in the scoring department. The Mavericks have outscored their opponent’s bench in 16 of their first 20 games. Dallas’ bench is averaging 41.5 points per game this season, which ranks sixth in the NBA (Washington leads the league with 47.4 bench points per game). The Mavericks have scored a season-high 58 bench-points on two occasions (vs. Charlotte 11/3/12 and vs. L.A. Lakers 11/24/12). Dallas ranked third in the NBA in bench scoring in 2011-12 (41.0 points per game) and led the league in bench scoring in 2010-11 (40.4 points per game).

3. Get a lead and protect it. Again, the Kings should be a game the Mavericks can handle. Build a lead and keep the foot on the pedal. The Mavericks are 9-1 (.900) this season when leading going into the fourth quarter, including 6-0 at home. Dallas’ only loss when leading after three quarters came at Charlotte on 11/10/12 (led 73-68 after the third quarter but lost 101-97). The Mavericks are also 9-1 (.900) this season when they build at least a 10-point lead. The only time Dallas has lost a game when leading by 10-plus points this season was at Charlotte on 11/10/12 (led by 15 but lost 101-97).

Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.