DALLAS The combination of the second quarter and the second unit was the Kings' undoing Monday night.
With 9:59 left in the second quarter, the Kings had five subs on the floor: Jimmer Fredette, Marcus Thornton, Travis Outlaw, Thomas Robinson and Chuck Hayes.
That group didn't score over the next 3 1/2 minutes while the Dallas Mavericks ran off six points as part of a 12-0 run to start the second quarter and go ahead 48-29.
From there, the Mavericks coasted to a 119-96 win, shooting 55.2 percent and ending the Kings' season-best three-game winning streak.
For the second consecutive game, Sacramento's second unit struggled.
But the Kings still won at Portland on Saturday because the starters had built a lead in the first quarter.
This time, going to the bench only dug a deeper hole for the Kings, who lost in Dallas for the 17th straight time.
Kings coach Keith Smart credited the defense of Dallas guard Dahntay Jones for disrupting the second unit. Jones crowded Thornton, the Kings' best scorer off the bench.
"Not having anyplace to go as far as a low-post game, that kind of took you out of what you could do in the second quarter," Smart said. "So you had to try and get guys back in the game and try and re-establish themselves, but by that time, we couldn't recover from what happened earlier in the second quarter."
The Kings (7-13) committed seven turnovers, six by backups, in the second quarter. They finished with 20 turnovers that led to 32 points for the Mavericks (11-10), the most the Kings have allowed off turnovers this season.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said Jones' defense in the second quarter was the "key to the game."
"It's very tough," Thornton said. "Teams scout us like we scout them, but I've got to find ways to get good quality shots and make them."
Smart said he would adjust his lineups to prevent the second-quarter slumps.
"It's not a big deal," Smart said. "Just making sure I have a couple of go-to guys with the second unit to where I know for sure they'll be able to do something."
With Tyreke Evans still nursing a sore left knee, Francisco Garcia started for the third consecutive game and made a career-high seven three-pointers in scoring 25 points.
Evans has missed five of the last six games.
He said his knee feels "much better," but he and Smart agreed it would be best if he went through a full practice today before trying to test it in a game.
Cousins also scored 25 points but again found himself getting attention for the wrong reasons.
After a timeout was called in the third quarter, Carlisle yelled at Cousins as the center walked away. What was Carlisle saying?
"Not really sure," Cousins said.
Carlisle told reporters, "I really like him as a player, and I was expressing that to him."
Cousins also drew a double technical with Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo in the second quarter, when Cousins caught Mayo with a blow below the belt.
"It wasn't intentional," Cousins said. "There was a lot of trash talk."
Asked about Cousins, Mayo told reporters: "That guy has mental issues, man. He's a talented player. He has the chance to be the franchise player, but I don't think he wants it."
Cousins didn't seem bothered by Mayo.
"Just trash talk," Cousins said. "Nothing too big. It's a part of the game."