Kings seek to end home woes in game vs. Mavericks
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A quick first-quarter start might bolster the Sacramento Kings' chances for more than it ultimately did on Friday night. So, too, would another individual burst similar to what guard Buddy Hield produced for them.
However it happens, the Kings would welcome any kind of different result on the home floor. A 119-104 loss to the Golden State Warriors was their fourth straight at the Golden 1 Center. Sacramento hasn't tasted a home victory since Jan. 6.
They'll get another chance to end the skid immediately, welcoming the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. It marks the first of two times this season they'll play back-to-back contests on the home floor.
Against Golden State, the Kings (16-35) bolted to a 20-7 lead in the first six minutes. The Kings have generally struggled early in periods this season, and the Warriors needed little time erasing the deficit. But a similar start may figure to result in a different ending against Dallas.
The Mavericks (16-36), have lost 22 of 26 times this season when trailing after the opening quarter. They've dropped five straight heading into Sacramento and haven't led after the first 12 minutes in either of them.
They were down 36-17 after the first quarter in their 102-88 loss at Phoenix on Wednesday.
"Bad first quarter put us in a huge hole," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle told reporters.
The Kings trailed Dallas after the opening period in a 93-89 road victory on Oct. 20, the teams' second game of the season. That marked one of 26 times Dallas has either led or been tied following the first quarter; they are 12-14 in such contests.
Buddy Hield scored 13 points in that victory, and he managed 16 in Sacramento's loss to Golden State. In the latter effort, Hield scored nine straight fourth-quarter points, drawing the Kings within 89-88 in the final quarter.
The Kings' second-year guard made 7 of 14 shots against the Warriors, but the Kings shot just 44 percent from the field. They've been held below 50 percent shooting in seven consecutive contests.
The Mavericks can relate. They've canned just 32 of 88 shots from the field (36 percent) against Phoenix, and they've been held below 40-percent shooting in four consecutive contests. Guard Wesley Matthews was 2-for-17 against Phoenix and missed all nine of his 3-pointers. Forward Harrison Barnes went 5-for-17.
Future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki also is struggling. The 39-year-old, who is in his 20th season, scored 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting against the Suns, but he's averaging only 12 points a contest, his lowest output since his rookie year. Overall, he's shooting at a 45 percent clip from the field but is shooting only 10 times a game.
Nowitzki will become the sixth player in NBA history to play 50,000 minutes in the regular season if he plays 32 minutes against Sacramento. He's averaging 25 minutes per contest and has played in all 52 games for Dallas.
Each team has six games remaining before the All-Star break.
Updated February 3, 2018