DALLAS — The Mavericks needed a 10-0 run late in the fourth quarter to avoid total disaster and escape Saturday night with a 103-100 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Dallas needed Kings forward Travis Outlaw’s desperation 3-point attempt from the right wing as time expired to bounce off the backboard to finally celebrate. Or in this case, exhale.
Starting the night in ninth place and desperately needing a victory over the struggling Kings team, Dallas blew a 17-point lead late in the second quarter and itself trailing 89-84 with 4:05 to go. But that’s when the momentum completely shifted again as Dallas capitalized on the Kings’ incompetent execution down the stretch.
Sacramento committed three of its 20 turnovers between the three-minute mark and the 1:20-mark of the final quarter. That’s when the Mavs seized control with a couple of free throws by forward Shawn Marion followed by Marion draining a corner 3-pointer. Forward Dirk Nowitzki made four consecutive free throws and center Sam Dalembert threw down an alley-oop dunk as the Dallas run soared to 14-2.
The Kings trailed 52-35 with 1:43 to go in the first half. They managed to get it to 54-42 at halftime and surely talked about the fact that Dallas this season had blown six leads of 16 points or more.
Slowly Sacramento, which shot 73.3 percent in the third quarter, crept all the way back. The Kings tied at 77-77 with nine minutes to go in the game. It was the first tie since 2-2. They took their first lead, 81-80, when forward Rudy Gay, who led all players with 30 points on 11-for-19 shooting, put back his own miss. Sacramento extended the lead to 87-82 and had a chance to go up by eight, but rookie guard Ray McCallum, who had a big night with 16 points in playing every second of the 48 minutes, missed the 3-point shot.
Mavs guard Jose Calderon, who was having an awful night shooting, then buried a 3-pointer and the tide turned from there with Dallas converting off the Kings’ mistakes in crunch time.
Dallas had six players in double-figures scoring and 28 assists on 34 made baskets. The Mavs were led by forward Dirk Nowitzki’s 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Monta Ellis had 17 points and Shawn Marion added 14. Center Sam Dalembert played a huge role with 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks.
The Kings got 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists from center DeMarcus Cousins, who was got into foul trouble in the third quarter. Forward Jason Thompson had 11 points off the bench and rookie Ben McLemore had 10 points.
NOTES: Kings G Isaiah Thomas missed his third consecutive game with a right quad contusion. Rookie G Ray McCallum made his third start in Thomas’ place. … Kings F Derrick Williams was active after missing Friday’s game at Oklahoma City with an illness. … Dallas played the seventh game of its franchise-long eight-game win streak. It entered having beaten Sacramento the last 19 times the teams have played at the American Airlines Center. It is their longest ever home winning streak against one opponent. … Mavs G Vince Carter, who has made more 3-pointers off the bench this season than any player, entered the game needing 10 3-pointers to become the seventh player in NBA history with at least 1,800 3-pointers. … Mavs F Shawn Marion entered the game needing two steals to pass Magic Johnson (1,724) for 17th place on the NBA’s career list. … Kings F Rudy Gay holds a player option at $19.3 million for next season. He can opt out this summer and become a free agent. Since joining the Kings in a Dec. 9 trade, he entered Saturday averaging 20.0 ppg on 48.4 percent shooting from the field.
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