It was only a matter of time before the Sacramento Kings, riding a three-game winning streak, came crashing back to earth. And that time was evidently the second quarter of Monday night’s game in Dallas. After a hot shooting first quarter that had the Kings right in the game, the wheels completely fell off in the second period. Total carelessness with the ball and horrendous shooting sunk the Kings, and what was once a tight ballgame became a 28-point runaway very quickly. A late push by the Kings wasn’t enough, as the Mavericks cruised to a 119-96 win.
WHERE TO POINT FINGERS – In games like this, there is always plenty of blame to be handed out. First of all, the second unit brought nothing to the table. The seven reserves who took the floor in Dallas shot 8-of-31 (25.8%) from the field. When starter Francisco Garcia exited the game in the first quarter, the Kings trailed 27-26. When he returned with 4:05 left in the second quarter, the Kings were down 56-31, a 29-5 run. But with that said, this again goes against Keith Smart’s rotations. He let this game get way out of control by playing a sputtering lineup featuring five reserves for an extended period. If they aren’t getting it done, you have to pull the cord…and quickly.
CISCO EN FUEGO – Tyreke Evans sat out again, but the play of Francisco Garcia (31 MIN, 25 PTS, 9-16 FG, 7-12 3FG, 1 REB, 1 AST, 3 BLK) more than made up for the loss. Cisco has been playing really good ball as a starter, and agains the Mavs, Garcia netted a career-high seven three-pointers. Cisco has struggled mightily with his shot over the past few seasons, so it’s always a plus when he finds the range. His contributions as a solid defender and helpful ball-handler are known, but unless he’s hitting his shots, his effectiveness is minimal. Kings have to ride his hot hand until the well runs dry.
LET IT RAIN THREES – The Kings style of offense Monday mirrored that of a college team. Outside shooters lined the perimeter and if it felt like leather, they let it fly. Surprisingly, Sacramento is making a good percentage of their long-range attempts as of late; the Kings connected on 12-of-27 from beyond the arc against Dallas. John Salmons (30 MIN, 5 PTS, 2-4 FG, 1-2 3FG, 7 AST, 3 REB, 1 STL) and Aaron Brooks (28 MIN, 9 PTS, 3-8 FG, 2-4 3FG, 5 REB, 5 AST, 3 TO) joined the hot shooting Garcia to make the team dangerous from the outside. Unfortunately, little else went right.
OTHER OBSERVATIONS – The Kings frontline could be classified as immature. Jason Thompson drew yet another technical, this one for slapping the ball into the stands. And DeMarcus Cousins drew the ire of several Mavericks. OJ Mayo and Elton Brand shared their thoughts on the Kings center with some less-than-flattering remarks after the game … Salmons again was a catalyst for good team ball movement. He’s tabled his pound-the-rock mentality lately for the better of the team … Sacramento turned the ball over 19 times. Dallas coughed it up just eight times.