March 28, 2018, 12:25 am
A lack of luster in the fourth quarter led to an ugly 103-97 loss for the Kings on Tuesday night.
Although Kings fans who are hoping for losses had to be happy, Kings players more than likely left the floor upset with their performance and lack of fight for much of the fourth.
The rest of the game for the Kings wasn’t much better, however, the Mavs also had their own issues. Their struggles from the field early on and free throw line, where they went 17-of-25 on the night, were almost enough to let the Kings hang around, especially in the first half.
While bigs Kosta Koufos (7-of-10) and Skal Labissiere (8-of-15) had big night’s, the Kings guards had a much tougher go. Frank Mason and De’Aaron Fox finished the night a combined 3-of-23.
In the first half the Kings weren’t able to get much of anything going. The offense was modtly snagnant and the spacing on the floor was minimal.
Kosta Koufos led the way with 15 points, but the rest of the lineup went just a combined 10-of-37. Koufos was able to dominate inside the key with 13 of the Kings’ 22 points in the paint coming from the veteran.
The rest of the Kings, however, had a tough time getting to the rim. The Kings’ guards especially struggled as the Mavericks made it a point of emphasis to keep them from getting to the interior of the lane.
De’Aaron Fox went 1-of-6 from the floor and Frank Mason went a tough 0-of-8 as the two rookies were able to only accumulate six points in the half.
Dennis Smith, on the other hand, had his way with the Kings when he was on the floor as he dropped 15 points in the first half for Dallas.
Other Kings obviously found it hard to score as well, but rookie Justin Jackson made it a noticeable effort to contribute as he added five points on 2-of-4 shooting and had five boards in the first half.
Fox missed a good look in the paint to begin the second half, possibly pointing to a lack of mental focus tonight.
The Kings as a unit were unable to keep up with their opponents as Dallas stretched the lead to 15. But the young Kings would remain resilient and they’d cut the lead down to four at 74-70 after Buddy Hield knocked down a bucket.
Willie Cauley-Stein led the way in the third period with seven points, and Skal Labissiere ended the period with six points of his own, as the Kings ended the third on a 13-3 run.
In the fourth, a lack of defense from the Kings allowed the Mavericks to stretch the lead to 18. Sacramento, though, wouldn’t go out without a fight as they stormed back and used a 15-2 run to make it a five point game.
The Kings made it interesting before falling to Dallas at the end. In addition to their ugly performance for much of the fourth, the Kings were also out-shot from the 3-point line 14-to-6.