How it happened: Plain and simple, this was a pathetic performance by the Dallas Mavericks.
Crunch-time execution, which has strangely been the defending champions’ Achilles heel recently, had nothing to do with it. The Mavs’ key players were riding pine for the last six minutes, having been run off the floor by the lottery-bound Kings at Power Balance Pavilion.
A Sacramento squad that the Mavs held to a franchise-record-low 60 points in the teams’ last meeting had seven players score in double figures.
Sacramento point guard Isaiah Thomas, the last player selected in this year’s draft, was the most efficient King. He had 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting and five assists with only one turnover in 24 minutes. Thomas was 4-of-6 from 3-point range, including three 3s in the third quarter while Sacramento turned the game into a rout.
A night after being benched in crunch time, Mavs' sixth man Jason Terry led all scorers with 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting, which could be considered a bright spot in one of the Mavs’ worst outings since the season’s first couple of games.
What it means: The Mavs’ miserable tailspin continues. They’ve lost seven of their last nine games to fall to seventh in the Western Conference standings. Dirk Nowitzki called the loss in New Orleans a week ago “the low of the lows,” but the Mavs managed to sink even lower by not even being competitive against the Kings in Sacramento.
Bold play of the game: Thomas recovered a loose ball on the left wing after a deflection, stared at Jason Kidd as the shot clock was ticking down and launched a 3-pointer with 5:26 remaining in the third quarter. That pushed the Kings’ lead back to double digits and started an 8-0 Sacramento run, which included another Thomas 3.
Stat of the night: The Mavs, who had the league’s best road record the last two seasons, have lost six in a row away from the American Airlines Center. That is the Mavs’ longest road losing streak since Nov. 1999.