Kings Blog

Dreadful fourth quarter and poor 3-point defense send Kings to second straight loss

Sacramento Kings guard Garrett Temple (17) drives to the basket against the Dallas Mavericks at the Golden 1 Center on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018.
Sacramento Kings guard Garrett Temple (17) drives to the basket against the Dallas Mavericks at the Golden 1 Center on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Harrison Barnes scored a game-high 18 points as all five Dallas starters put up double figures in a 106-99 win over the Kings on Saturday night at Golden 1 Center.

The Mavericks seized control with a 16-0 run to start the fourth quarter.

The Kings shot 52.4 percent, but that wasn’t enough to overcome balanced attack of the Mavericks (17-36). Dwight Powell had 17 points and nine rebounds and Dirk Nowitzki added 15 points.

De’Aaron Fox and Garrett Temple each had 15 points for the Kings.

The Kings (16-36) lost both games in their back-to-back set at home.

The loss ended the Mavericks’ five-game losing streak and dropped the Kings into last place in the Western Conference behind Dallas.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

No charity

Whether it’s a lack of aggression or a lack of respect, it seems pretty remarkable the Kings entered the fourth quarter having shot only two free throws.

The Kings entered Saturday last in the NBA in free throw attempts, averaging 17.5. A low number of trips to the line isn’t surprising, but two is startling at such a late stage in the game.

The Kings didn’t attempt their third free throw until there was 2:45 left to play. Their six attempts and five makes were both season lows.

Problems come in 3s

The Kings shot well, but containing the 3-pointer on defense has been their undoing too many times this season.

Sacramento made only seven 3-pointers while Dallas connected on 13 from beyond the arc.

The problem surfaced early, when Barnes’ first three shots of the game were 3s.

Lost in the lobs

Powell did his damage from close range, as he thrived catching lobs for dunks against the Kings. It’s a big reason he shot 7 of 9 from the field.

The Kings lost Powell too many times. That kind of miscommunication has been an issue this season.

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

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