FINALMavericks 102, Kings 100
A few things didn't workout in the fourth quarter for the Kings.
*They couldn't stop Jose Barea, who scored 15 of his 20 points in the fourth.
*DeMarcus Cousins was ejected for two technical fouls (more on that later).
*Tyreke Evans couldn't produce the basket or pass late that could have won the game.
Let's start with Barea.
The Kings have struggled defending the perimeter of the season. Barea exploited that in the fourth. The Kings used Pooh Jeter and Evans on Barea, but he still managed to score on drives and made a big three pointer over Cousins late.
Barea was good in the pick-and-roll against the Kings defense and even grabbed a key offensive rebound late.
Barea wasn't the only guard that was good for Dallas (37-15). Jason Terry had 22 points and Jason Kings hit four threes in scoring 14 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists.
The Mavericks won their 10th in a row by doing what good teams do and find a way to win when their star might be off. Dirk Nowitzki only had 10 points and missed 10 of his 14 shots.
Then there was Cousins and the technical fouls.
By the letter of the rule as explained to the media and players before the season, his first technical was the correct call. It came with 7:16 left in the game when he ran way to protest the ball being given to the Mavericks out-of-bounds instead of the Kings.
The call was reversed the call but the technical foul stood. It's part of the respect the game emphasis that says even if the call is wrong, the player is not to upstage the officials.
The second technical looked like a really bad call. It looked like all Cousins did was get hit in the face while fighting for position under the basket with Tyson Chandler. Problem is that first technical meant Cousins was done for the night. That played a big part in the end of the game, in my opinion.
With no Cousins to run a play for late, the Kings went to Evans, who drove into Chandler and missed an off-balance shot in the lane. The Kings wanted a foul call, but they didn't get it.
Evans said after the game there wasn't much contact on his wrist and that he probably should have pulled up for a short jumper.
When Evans drove the Mavericks were waiting on him with Chandler and Nowitzki - two seven footers - protecting the basket.
If Cousins is around, perhaps the Kings can get a better shot by going through Cousins who was dominating (19 points, 15 rebounds) and is also a great passer.
Evans nearly had a triple double (16 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists) but shot 6-of-19.
*One final note. The Kings got a big lift from their bench against one of the best benches in the NBA.
Samuel Dalembert scored a season-high 20 points. Luther Head also added 12 points along with being charged with chasing Terry most of the night.
THIRD QUARTERMavericks 74, Kings 73
The Kings answered the Mavericks' strong second quarter by coming out strong after halftime.
Much like he did against Utah, DeMarcus Cousins set the pace for the Kings out of halftime.
Cousins dominated the third quarter with 12 points and six rebounds. He's up to 16 points and 11 rebounds
Evans is got back into a rhythm without scoring in the quarter. He had four assists, two rebounds and is approaching his first triple double of the season.
Evans has eight points, eight rebounds and nine assists.
Jason Terry leads the Mavs with 14 points.
HALFTIMEMavericks 56, Kings 47
Jason Terry has reprised his role of nemesis.
He has 12 points off the bench to lead Dallas which leads largely because of the play of their bench.
The Mavericks have 29 points from their bench.
*Dallas closed the quarter on an 11-2 run. Brian Cardinal made a tree at the buzzer.
*The Kings' bench hasn't been bad. Sacramento has 23 bench points led by Samuel Dalembert's eight. Luther Head has seven. Head is playing tonight so that he can defend Terry.
Head did a decent job on Terry in his 8:50 on the floor. Terry played 16:47 of the first half.
*Tyreke Evans' impersonation of Jason Kidd wasn't as strong in the second quarter. Evans didn't score or record an assist in the quarter. He did grab a rebound to give him eight points, six rebounds and five assists.
Kings 28, Mavericks 20
Tyreke Evans is doing a good impersonation of Jason Kidd. He has eight points, five rebounds and five assists already.
Evans isn't settling for jumpers and has been able to finish in the lane. And he's found teammates well to start the game.
*The Kings have encountered some good fortune in how the Mavs have been scoring. Their leading scorers are Brendan Haywood (seven points) and Tyson Chandler (six points). Dirk Nowitzki hasn't scored.
Safe to say the Kings have a chance of winning if Chandler and Haywood are the leading scorers.
It also helps that Dallas is shooting 31.8 percent (7-of-22).
The Kings are shooting 59.1 percent (13-of-22).
Odds are the Mavericks won't shoot that bad all night at the Kings will eventually cool off. But I've been wrong about the Kings' shooting before.