Kings crumble, blow early lead as Mavericks roll


Nov 11, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler (6) reacts after scoring during the game against the Sacramento Kings at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

For one quarter, it appeared the Sacramento Kings would finally get a win in Dallas. Not since the days of Keon Clark have the Kings beaten the Mavericks in Texas, a streak lasting 20 games. But Tuesday night, Sacramento, with its revamped outlook, stormed out of the gates. A better first quarter couldn’t have been scripted — the Kings attacked offensively and stymied Dallas defensively. An impressive 22-point lead was the reward.

Then it all came crumbling down, as if the Kings remembered that winning in Dallas wasn’t supposed to happen.

The Mavericks woke up in the second quarter, and from that point on it was a completely different ball game. Much like the Thunder did Sunday, Dallas turned up the defensive heat and completely took the Kings out of their game. Combined with a bevy of whistles and the absence of Darren Collison (left shoulder), Sacramento started imploding.

The Kings clung to a nine-point halftime lead that would soon disappear in the third quarter. Led by Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas, who struggled for much of the first half, started nailing their outside shots. The tide had turned.

Offensively, the Kings were atrocious in the second half. The Mavericks bottled up DeMarcus Cousins (30 MIN, 16 PTS, 7-13 FG, 11 REB, 5 AST, 5 PF, 5 TO) with Tyson Chandler, and DMC’s supporting cast became a sloppy mess. Rudy Gay (39 MIN, 26 PTS, 7-14 FG, 11-13 FT, 8 REB, 8 AST, 2 STL, 7 TO) produced a nice stat line, but he was a loose cannon, showing little interest in retaining the ball. Ramon Sessions (36 MIN, 18 PTS, 6-9 FG, 3 REB, 0 AST, 1 TO), while finding some success with his shot, still struggled initiating offense. Most others fell in line, finding no room to operate against a suffocating defense. The Mavericks deserve much credit for taking away everything the Kings wanted to do.

The end result was a 106-98 victory for Dallas. After a dream first quarter, the Kings were outscored 92-66 over the final three periods. A total of 20 turnovers and 32 fouls further contributed to the Kings misery. A 1-2 road trip makes its final stop in Memphis on Thursday.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS — Ben McLemore (39 MIN, 17 PTS, 6-12 FG, 4-8 3FG, 4 REB) was really the key to the Kings early success. The emerging two-guard was on point from long range, burying four first-half triples. He was silent in the second half, but this team takes a completely different look when they have that perimeter threat at shooting guard … Ray McCallum (3 PTS, 1-5 FG, 1 AST, 1 TO) moved up the ladder with Collison out but played a quiet 12 minutes that included four fouls … The inordinant number of whistles was never more apparent than in the pivotal second quarter, when Jason Thompson, Carl Landry and Derrick Williams all had to be benched with foul trouble. The Kings were forced to play Ryan Hollins, who picked up three fouls of his own in just six minutes.