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Kings’ Rondo will miss game in return to Dallas

Kings guard Rajon Rondo (9), the NBA's assist leader, will miss Tuesday's game with the Dallas Mavericks because of a sore lower back.
Kings guard Rajon Rondo (9), the NBA's assist leader, will miss Tuesday's game with the Dallas Mavericks because of a sore lower back. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Kings point guard Rajon Rondo will not play in Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, his first in Dallas since his falling-out with the Mavericks during last season’s playoffs.

The Mavericks (19-15) host the Kings (14-20) at 5:30 p.m. at American Airlines Center.

Rondo, who leads the NBA in assists with 11.6 per game, is listed with lower back spasms, according to the Kings’ injury report. Rondo had 13 points, nine rebounds and 19 assists in the Kings’ 116-104 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night.

12.0 Rajon Rondo’s scoring average

The Mavericks acquired Rondo on Dec. 18, 2014, from the Boston Celtics, hoping he would become their point guard of the future. But during a Feb. 24 home game against the Toronto Raptors, Rondo cursed at coach Rick Carlisle while walking to the bench during a timeout, and Carlisle cursed back. They reportedly got into a heated argument in the locker room after the game, and the team suspended Rondo for one game for “conduct detrimental to the team.”

The relationship between Rondo and the Mavericks reportedly continued to unravel throughout the second half of the season.

During the Mavericks’ first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets, Rondo and the team parted after Game 2. The Mavericks said Rondo suffered a back injury.

Rondo became a free agent after last season and signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Kings.

Rondo, who also is averaging 12.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in 33 games this season, scored 21 points when the Kings defeated the Mavericks 112-98 in Sacramento on Nov. 30.

11.6 Rajon Rondo’s league-leading assist average

The Kings also will be without rookie center-forward Willie Cauley-Stein, who cut his right middle finger on the backboard in Oklahoma City after blocking a shot Monday; Omri Casspi (upper back soreness), Eric Moreland (metatarsal fracture) and Duje Dukan (right tibia contusion). Guard Ben McLemore is listed as questionable (50 percent chance of playing) with middle back spasms.

For the Mavericks, Deron Williams is listed as questionable with left hamstring tightness, and Devin Harris is probable with back spasms.

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