A subpar game from Dirk Nowitzki(notes) didn’t stop the Dallas Mavericks from continuing their home dominance over the Sacramento Kings last season. Now, the All-Star is carrying more than his share of the scoring load.
With Nowitzki helping them overcome injuries, the Mavericks look to extend an 11-game home winning streak against the Kings on Friday night.
Though Nowitzki was held to 12 points, Dallas beat Sacramento 116-95 at the American Airlines Center on Feb. 21, the teams’ last meeting. The Mavericks (9-3) have averaged 116.2 points and shot 43.9 percent from 3-point range during their home winning streak versus the Kings (5-5).
Josh Howard(notes) had 20 points for Dallas in the last contest, but he was one of three starters out with injuries for Wednesday night’s game against San Antonio. The Mavericks, though, got 41 points from Nowitzki and won 99-94 in overtime for their fourth straight victory.
Howard has missed eight straight games as he recovers from offseason left ankle surgery, Shawn Marion(notes) sat out with a sprained left ankle sustained in a 115-113 OT win at Milwaukee on Monday night and Dallas has been without Erick Dampier(notes) the last three games due to an unknown illness.
Howard isn’t ready to come back, Dampier has been undergoing tests to determine the nature of his illness and Marion’s status is uncertain.
The Mavs will be just fine if Nowitzki continues his clutch play. He had 11 points after regulation against San Antonio and made a winning, buzzer-beating jumper in OT against the Bucks.
The Mavs did get some good news on the injury front, with Tim Thomas(notes) making his debut after sitting out the first 11 games while recovering from offseason knee surgery. Thomas, signed in July, had two points in 14 minutes.
Sacramento has injury issues of its own. The Kings are without Kevin Martin(notes), who will miss at least another six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a hairline fracture in his left wrist Nov. 9. Andres Nocioni(notes) missed a 101-87 loss to Chicago, his former team, Tuesday night due to a hip pointer.
Evans had 20 points against the Bulls, becoming the first Sacramento rookie since Lionel Simmons in 1991 to reach 20 in five straight games. The 6-foot-6 guard is averaging 23.0 points during that span.
Evans, though, committed four of the Kings’ 21 turnovers against Chicago. Sacramento averaged 20.6 turnovers in its last three games.
Udrih averaged 14.5 points and 6.2 assists in four games against the Mavericks last season, but the Kings lost three of those contests.