(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks have won three of their last five and
will try to head into the All-Star break on a high note when they host the
Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
The Mavs lost the last time out, a 105-101 setback at home to the Atlanta
"We've just got to learn from these things and get better," Mavericks coach
Rick Carlisle said. "We have gotten better, but we haven't broken the
threshold that's gonna make us a team that can really become a dangerous team.
I think we're a dangerous team, I think we can beat anybody on any given
night, but the consistency has got to be better."
The Hawks broke out to a 10-0 lead to start the game and Dallas committed six
turnovers in the first quarter.
"The game was lost in the first three minutes," acknowledged Carlisle. "We
were down 10-nothing. We weren't ready to play. If you want it simple, that's
simple. And it's on me. I didn't have our guys ready to play, so I'm taking
all the responsibility for this. You've got a team of guys that just goes out
there kind of walking around at the beginning of the game. That's on the
Dirk Nowitzki led the way with 24 points against the Hawks. O.J. Mayo had 19
and Darren Collison, Vince Carter, Brandan Wright and Shawn Marion also
reached double digits.
The Mavericks are five games out of the eighth playoff spot in the Western
Conference, currently held by the Houston Rockets. They play three of four at
home after the All-Star break.
The Kings saw their two-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night in
Memphis. The Grizzlies won, 108-101, but the game was tight and Sacramento is
showing signs of improvement.
"These young men deserved to win this basketball game," head coach Keith Smart
said. "I thought these guys did everything they could to put us in a position
to win it."
DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 23 points and seven rebounds. Tyreke Evans
had 20 points and seven boards as well, but went 0-4 from the foul line. Jason
Thompson, Marcus Thornton, Isaiah Thomas and Aaron Brooks all scored in double
The Kings have had no problem scoring the basketball in the last three games.
They are averaging 112.7 ppg during that span, but defensively, Sacramento is
giving up 109.3 ppg.
Sacramento will host the San Antonio Spurs the first game after the break,
then swing through the south for five straight on the road.
The Mavericks are 21-3 over the Kings in their last 24 and Sacramento hasn't
won a regular-season game in Dallas since Feb. 27, 2003.
The Sports Network