Dallas tries to post its second double-digit winning streak of the season Wednesday night when it opens a three-game trip against a Kings team continuing a brutal stretch at Arco Arena.
The Mavericks (36-15) barely extended their win streak—and Cleveland’s record skid to 25 games—with a 99-96 victory Monday night. Dallas survived a missed 3-pointer by Anthony Parker(notes) and botched play in the final seconds to overcome being held under 100 points for the first time in eight games.
“We knew this game was gonna be tough,” Jason Terry(notes) said after scoring 11 of his team-best 23 points in the fourth quarter. “A team fighting for their lives, don’t want to make history and had lost as many as they lost … That’s a good ballclub.”
Dallas, one-half game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers for second in the Western Conference, will try to win 10 straight for the second time this season. The Mavericks’ 12-game run from Nov. 20-Dec. 11 included a 105-103 victory at Sacramento on Dec. 4.
The Mavericks needed a 15-4 run in the final five-plus minutes of that matchup to win their seventh straight versus the Kings and third in a row at Arco Arena. Terry had eight of his 23 points in the final period, while Dirk Nowitzki(notes) added 25 on 11 of 15 from the field.
Nowitzki, who will make his 10th consecutive All-Star game appearance next week, should be available for this matchup after suffering a wrist injury in the first half on Monday.
“I took some X-rays, they were negative,” Nowitzki told the Mavericks’ official website after scoring 12 points. “So, it will be better from day to day.”
Kings coach Paul Westphal probably wouldn’t mind if Nowitzki took the night off. Westphal’s team enters this game with a 1-3 record on a six-game homestand that has included matchups with New Orleans, Boston, San Antonio and Utah, and concludes Saturday against Northwest Division-leading Oklahoma City.
Despite facing some of the league’s best clubs, the Kings (12-36) have been competitive during this stretch, defeating the Hornets and losing their last three by an average of 7.0 points.
Sacramento squandered a 10-point fourth-quarter lead and committed 20 turnovers overall in a 107-104 loss Monday against the Jazz.
“I thought the turnovers killed us,” Westphal said. “… That’s a good team and you can’t just give them those possessions like we did.”
While the Mavericks try to win their fifth straight on the road, newcomer Peja Stojakovic(notes) will be making a homecoming of sorts on Wednesday. The veteran sharpshooter, who had eight points and five rebounds Monday in his Mavericks debut, played for Sacramento from 1998-2006 and is the franchise’s all-time leader with 1,070 3-pointers and sixth in points (9,498).
Stojakovic is one 3-pointer from moving past Dale Ellis for fourth in league history with 1,720.
The Mavericks have won 23 of 28 against Sacramento.