Mavs Lose To Kings

By Art Garcia, The Sports Xchange

DALLAS — There wasn’t much to nitpick Wednesday night for the Sacramento Kings.
“We played the right way from start to finish,” DeMarcus Cousins said. “We messed up here and there, but I think this was our most consistent game this season.”
Cousins flirted with a triple-double to lead the Kings to a 120-89 pasting of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center.
The Kings (8-13) snapped a three-game losing streak and completed a 2-3 road trip with their largest margin of victory (31) this season. Sacramento has also won four of its last five meetings against Dallas.
The first of three matchups this season was iced before the fourth quarter, as the Kings turned a close game at halftime into a rout. Sacramento was up just 56-52 at the break before racing out to as much as a 23-point lead by starting the third with a 25-6 run.
“It’s been a long road trip,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “It was good to see some shots go in and at different points of the game we played pretty well. We found what we have been working on. We have been working on our defense and our defense helped turn into offense a little bit.”
Cousins recorded his 11th double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds, to go along with seven assists. Rudy Gay scored 19 on 8-of-14 shooting in 31 minutes.
Darren Collison added 19 points. Garrett Temple scored 17 and Omri Casspi had 10 points off the bench.
The Kings shot a season-high 56.0 percent (47-84).
The injury-riddled Mavericks (4-17) have dropped the last two on a four-game homestand that ends Friday against Indiana. Dallas opened the season with a 130-121 overtime loss at the Pacers.
Rick Carlisle has questioned his team’s effort recently. After scoring just 12 in the third quarter as the game got out of hand, the Mavs coach was at a loss.
“That was a very, very, very disappointing performance,” he said. “It starts with me. I’ve got to do a better job getting these guys ready to play, getting them ready to compete.
“The second half was inexcusable. The way we played — just the way we performed all around — everything from how we competed, decision making. Shot making comes and goes, but the competitive spirit has got to be there. We’re going to do better.”
Deron Williams led the Mavs with 20 points and six assists. Wesley Matthews scored 16, all coming in the first half.
Mavericks leading scorer Harrison Barnes missed 11 of 16 shots, scored 11 and had six turnovers. The team turned the ball over a season-high 23 times.
“I mean it’s difficult right now,” Barnes said. “With an effort like tonight where we didn’t compete at the level that we just needed to, to be competitive.
“It was a disservice to us as teammates, it was a disservice to the coaching staff that put in the work and it was a disservice to the fans that came here tonight.”
Dallas was without starters Dirk Nowitzki and Andrew Bogut, and key reserves J.J. Barea and Seth Curry.
The Kings return home to face New York on Friday. The Knicks beat Sacramento 106-98 on Sunday.
“Nobody wants to fly that long with a loss under their belt,” Gay said. “It’s a good way to go home. It’s a good way to end this trip and hopefully we can gain some momentum from this and start a little streak.”

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