TV: League Pass
- This is the last game before the All-Star break for both Sacramento (19-34) and Dallas (22-29). The Kings have lost five straight on the road, including a 108-101 decision last night in Memphis. The Mavericks have played well against opponents playing the second night of back-to-backs. In injury news, Sacramento guard Marcus Thornton is inactive with a bruised right hand suffered against the Grizzlies and Dallas center Chris Kaman has missed the last seven games due to a concussion.
- The Mavericks have won the last 17 meetings at home, their longest-ever home winning streak against any opponent and the second-longest active streak in the NBA behind San Antonio’s 28-game run against Golden State. Dallas’ average margin of victory during the streak has been 14.8 points, including a 119-96 win at the American Airlines Center on Dec. 10.
- Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has been the center of attention in the first two meetings. He is averaging 27.0 points and 7.5 rebounds against Dallas this season, but also made waves by delivering a below-the-belt shot to O.J. Mayo in the Dec. 10 tilt and earning a flagrant foul and an ejection for striking Vince Carter in the face during Sacramento’s 117-112 overtime loss at home on Jan. 10.
- Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points in Monday’s loss to Atlanta, his second-highest effort of the season, and coach Rick Carlisle believes he will continue to progress in the season’s second half. “I still think he’s going to get better and feel better as the season goes on, but I think the [All-Star] break is coming at a good time,” he said.
– Dave Ivey