National Basketball Association
Sacramento at Dallas
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 16, 2018
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
The presence of future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki could not help the Dallas Mavericks solve their problems on the road Thursday, but home court has been much more welcoming. The Mavericks will try to run their home winning streak to 12 straight when Nowitzki makes his 2018-19 home debut against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.
Nowitzki, 40, set an NBA record by appearing in a game with the same team for the 21st consecutive season on Thursday and managed two points in six minutes off the bench as Dallas suffered a 99-89 loss at the Phoenix Suns. "I'm OK," Nowitzki told reporters after the game. "Obviously, the wind wasn't great. There was a stretch where I went back-and-forth a couple of times, then I fell over like a tree at some point because I was so tired. But it was good to be out there, and I'm sure my wind is going to get better as we go." Nowitzki could find himself chasing around players half his age against the Kings, who average 115.6 points with a roster featuring 12 players 25 or younger - including players on two-way contracts. Sacramento couldn't quite find its way around the defending champions on Friday and suffered a 130-125 home loss to Golden State but picked up wins in five of its previous six games and hits the road for a two-game trip two games above .500.
7 p.m. ET, NBCS California (Sacramento), FS Southwest (Dallas)ABOUT THE KINGS (15-13):
Nowitzki won't have to worry about chasing around 19-year-old Sacramento power forward Marvin Bagley III after the rookie suffered a bone bruise in his left knee on Friday expected to keep him out at least 10 days. The Mavericks will likely have to deal with red-hot forward Nemanja Bjelica, who followed up 25 points in a win over Minnesota on Friday with 18 points against the Warriors, knocking down four 3-pointers in each contest. The Kings buried a franchise-record 19 3-pointers against the Timberwolves and hit 15 against Golden State, with Buddy Held (5-of-13) joining Bjelica (4-of-5) as the most productive of the bunch from beyond the arc on Friday.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (15-12):
Dallas fell to 2-10 on the road with Thursday's loss, during which it shot 39.7 percent from the floor, committed 23 turnovers and went 5-of-33 from beyond the arc. "We just had a rough night offensively," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. "We turned it over too much and their offensive rebounding hurt us. ... In the NBA today, it doesn't matter what records are or anything else. If you go bad in a couple of key categories - statistical categories - you're going to have trouble winning on the road." Immune to the statistical downturn was center DeAndre Jordan, who scored 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting and grabbed 15 rebounds for his 17th double-double.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Mavericks PG J.J. Barea (ankle) sat out Thursday and is day-to-day.
2. Kings SG Iman Shumpert (hip) left Friday's game and is questionable for Sunday.
3. The road team took each of the four meetings last season, with Sacramento taking each of the meetings in Dallas by five points.PREDICTION:
Mavericks 109, Kings 107
Stats and Records