DALLAS (TICKER) —Owners of the best record in the Western Conference, the Dallas Mavericks try to defeat the only conference foe they have lost to twice this season, when they host the Sacramento Kings in a meeting of division leaders.
Dallas, which lost in five games to Sacramento in the Western Conference semifinals last year, is 4 1/2 games ahead of Sacramento and is opening a three-game homestand.
The Kings became the fourth team to win at the American Airlines Center on February 4, when backup center Keon Clark had a follow dunk with 16 seconds left to lift Sacramento to a 110-109 victory. Clark played power forward the majority of his 25 minutes that game as Webber was out with a sprained ankle.
The 6-11 Clark had 17 points and eight rebounds, while Mike Bibby scored 27 points and Stojakovic added 24 and a season-high 14 rebounds as the Kings shot 52 percent (44-of-85) from the field.
Dallas had won six straight contests following a three-game losing streak before losing at Orlando on Tuesday, 98-93. Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points, Nick Van Exel 18 and Michael Finley 17 for the Mavericks, who attempted only 10 free throws to Orlando’s 26.
Dallas has won its last three home games since losing to Sacramento.
Sacramento, which is 2 1/2 games in front of Portland for the lead in Pacific Division, capped a 6-1 homestand with an 81-75 triumph over Eastern Conference power Detroit on Tuesday.
Webber, playing in his second straight game since missing 10 with the ankle injury, contributed 19 points and 13 rebounds and, despite shooting just 9-of-24, made three hook shots down the stretch.
Bobby Jackson and Peja Stojakovic added 14 points apiece for the Kings, who have won four games in a row but have dropped four of their last six on the road to fall to 16-13 away from Arco Arena on the season.