W2W4: Preserving one streak can lead to another

DALLAS -- The return of the Sacramento Kings to the scene where they put up a Mavericks opponent-low 60 points earlier this season brings up yet another streak that the Mavs will try to preserve tonight.

The Kings busted a 10-game overall losing streak to the Mavs with their 110-97 blowout win at Sacramento on March 9. Now they'll try to end a 15-game losing streak in Dallas that dates back to Feb. 27, 2003.

The Mavs have seen some notable streaks go down the tubes during this strange 66-game season that hits No. 58 tonight:

*A 14-game overall win streak and eight in a row at the AAC against Miami

*An 11-game win streak at Dallas against New Jersey

*A 10-game overall win streak against Phoenix

*A 10-game home win streak against the Clippers

*A seven-game home win streak against Indiana

The only streak that really matters, however, is the one that stands at 11 and the Mavs are desperate to take to it 12 -- and that's consecutive postseasons.

"If we don't play well, we're out,'' Jason Kidd said after Tuesday morning's shootaround. "It's easier said than done. But the big thing is it's for us to go and get. Hopefully we're up to the challenge.''

Records: Kings (19-38); Mavs (31-26)

Where: American Airlines Center

TV: KTXA/Ch. 21

Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: Kidd makes his return from a third injury this season. He missed the last four games with a strained right groin. With or without their floor general, the Mavs have not been an efficient offensive team this season. Kidd has put up career lows across the board -- 5.9 points, 5.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 34.6 field goal percentage and 33.5 3-point percentage. Does his return spark an offensive surge against a Kings team that has five road wins? The Mavs certainly need a jolt.

Key matchup: DeMarcus Cousins vs. Brendan Haywood

The Kings' young, 6-foot-10, 270-pounder has seven double-doubles in his last 11 games. He can be a scoring a machine and it will be up to big-bodied Haywood to play well enough to stay on the floor more than 11 minutes he played against Marc Gasol at Memphis on Saturday. Cousins has averaged 22.5 points and 15.2 rebounds in the last 11 games, although the Rockets found a way to hold him to nine points and eight rebounds Sunday.

Injuries: Kings -- G Francisco Garcia (concussion) is questionable; F Marcus Thornton (bruised left calf) is questionable; G John Salmons (sore right hip) is questionable. Mavs -- G Jason Kidd (strained right groin) will play.

Up next: Mavs at Golden State Warriors, 9:30 p.m. Thursday