DeMarcus Cousins missed a baseline jumper as time expired and the Dallas Mavericks escaped Sunday with a 93-91 win over the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena.
The Kings (27-50) had rallied to get to within a point of the Mavericks (47-31) on a pair of fr5ee throws by Rudy Gay with 8.5 seconds left. Gay then fouled Dirk Nowitzki with 7.7 seconds to go and the big German hit one of his two foul shots before Cousins had his chance to tie but shot the ball short.
The Kings led 48-45 at halftime, but the Mavericks rallied to take a 68-65 lead into the fourth quarter. Sacramento played its sixth straight game without point guard Isaiah Thomas, who continues to be bothered by a bruised quad.
Dallas held onto seventh place in the Western Conference playoff race, winning its third straight on its current four-game road trip. The Mavs have won five in a row overall on the road.
For Sacramento, it was its second straight loss.
The Kings didn’t get a lot of offensive balance. Gay had 32 points and tied a career high with eight assists and Cousins finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds and three steals. But while Gay and Cousins combined to shoot 24-for-41, the rest of the Kings were just 12-for-35. Ray McCallum did have nine assists and three steals.
Monta Ellis led the Mavericks with 23 points, eight of them in the fourth quarter. Vince Carter added 16 points, Nowitzki scored 15 and Jose Calderon tossed in 14. Samuel Dalembert grabbed 11 rebounds and Devin Harris posted seven assists.
Dallas was 36-for-89 (40.4 percent) overall, 13-for-31 (41.9 percent) from 3-point range and 8-for-14 (57.1 percent) from the free throw line. Sacramento was 36-for-76 (47.4 percent), 5-for-18 (27.8 percent) and 14-for-20 (70 percent).
Neither team held a double-digit lead in a closely contested matchup that featured nine ties and 20 lead changes.
The Kings will remain at home Tuesday when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7 p.m.