Sacramento Kings Falter Down Stretch, Lose 20th Straight At Dallas


Mar 29, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay (8) drives to the basket past Dallas Mavericks forward Brandan Wright (34) during the second half at the American Airlines Center. Gay leads his team with 30 points. The Mavericks defeated the Kings 103-100. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings had gone up by five points on DeMarcus Cousins’ turnaround hook with 5:22 to go and when Jason Thompson got a steal and pushed the ball up court, rookie Ray McCallum was poised to deliver a potential dagger.

But McCallum’s 3-pointer was off the mark and the Dallas Mavericks answered with a 12-2 run to take the lead and held off the Kings in the final minute for a 103-100 victory Saturday night at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

The Kings trailed 102-95 with 32.7 seconds left, but got a basket from Cousins and a 3-pointer from Ben McLemore after Dallas’ Samuel Dalembert missed a free throw to get to within three.

Monta Ellis then missed two in a row at the line with 6.8 seconds left and Travis Outlaw got off a 26-footer at the buzzer that was well long of the target.

It was the Mavericks 20th straight win over Sacramento in the regular season. The Kings haven’t won a regular-season game in Dallas since Feb. 27, 2003, although Sacramento did win a playoff game there in 2004 when they beat the Mavericks in a five-game first-round series.

McCallum, meanwhile, became the first player in the NBA to go all 48 minutes in a game as the Kings were without starting point guard Isaiah Thomas for the third straight game.

It was a tough night for the Kings, who battled back from a 54-42 halftime deficit to get to within two of the Mavericks by the end of the third period, then led for a significant portion of the fourth before it got away from them.

Rudy Gay led the Kings with 30 points, his best scoring game since scoring 32 against the Lakers on Feb. 28. After averaging 20.8 points per game in his first 34 games with Sacramento, Gay has been in a bit of a tailspin in March. He came in averaging 18 points a game on just 44.7 percent shooting (23.1 percent from long-range) in 14 games this month.

Cousins finished with 17 points, McCallum had 16 points and eight assists, Thompson came off the bench for 11 points and three steals and McLemore scored 10 points. Reggie Evans ripped down a season-high 18 rebounds.

Dirk Nowitzki led a balanced Mavericks attach with 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Ellis finished with 17 points, Dalembert had 15 points and three blocked shots, Shawn Marion scored 14 points, Jose Calderon went for 11 points and seven assists and Vince Carter tossed in 10 points.

Sacramento was 42-for-81 (51.9 percent) overall—the Kings’ best shooting game since hitting 52.1 percent in a win over the Celtics on Feb. 22, 3-for-10 (30 percent) from 3-point range and 13-for-19 (68.4 percent) from the free-throw line. Dallas was 34-for-70 (48.6 percent), 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) and 28-for-35 (80 percent).

Sacramento dominated inside, outrebounding Dallas 47-35, outscoring them in the paint 60-38 and getting 23 second-chance points to just four for the Mavericks, but Dallas got 25 points off 20 Kings turnovers while surrendering 13 points on 13 turnovers of their own.

The Kings conclude their three-game trip Monday in New Orleans, when they take on the Pelicans at 5 p.m. Pacific.