Tuesday night’s matchup at the American Airlines Center features two teams battling for the top spot… of the bottom of the standings. The Mavs come into Tuesday with a 18-39 record, just percentage points ahead of the Kings at 17-38 at the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
Dallas opted to rest three of its best players Sunday night against the Houston Rockets. Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews and J.J. Barea all didn’t make the trip down I-45 with the team as the short-handed Mavericks battled hard, but ultimately fell short 104-97. Yogi Ferrell led the Mavs in scoring with 20 points.
Sacramento has lost two in a row following their home defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-106 on Sunday night. The Kings were active at the trade deadline. They dealt George Hill and acquired players like Iman Shumpert and Joe Johnson in the massive three-team deal that sent Hill and Rodney Hood to the Cleveland Cavaliers on an incredibly busy Thursday afternoon trade deadline. Johnson was ultimately bought out by the Kings and is expected to sign with the Houston Rockets early this week.
The Mavericks defeated the Kings in Sacramento just ten days ago, 106-99. Harrison Barnes led Dallas with 18 points and the Mavs bench ultimately helped take over the game down the stretch to seal the win for Dallas. The two teams have now split their two meetings so far this season with the Kings handing the Mavs an ugly loss at home way back on October 20th.
Now and for the next few seasons, it will be a comparison of point guards when these two teams meet. De’Aaron Fox was the 5th overall selection is last year’s draft while the Mavs took Dennis Smith, Jr. at number nine. To this point in the season, the two compare like this:
Smith: 14.8 PPG, 5 APG, 39% FG%
Fox: 11.3 PPG, 4.3 APG, 41% FG%
Tip-off is set for 7:30 tonight at the American Airlines Center. This will be the last game for Dallas until Friday, February 23rd when they take on the Lakers in Los Angeles.
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