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NBA: Kings look to play spoiler against Mavericks again

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As the Dallas Mavericks cling to one of the top six spots in the Western Conference, they’ll host the Sacramento Kings — a team they’ve lost to twice since April 18 — on Sunday night.

The Mavericks (36-27) won their third in a row and slid into the fifth playoff spot in the West ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night with a 125-124 win over the Washington Wizards. Dallas also moved a full game ahead of the seventh-place Portland Trail Blazers, who currently would hold the top spot in the play-in round.

Luka Doncic snapped a streak of 21 games without a triple-double — his longest since it took him 44 games to record one during his rookie season. Doncic totaled 31 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 20 assists against Washington. His final dime went to Dorian Finney-Smith, whose 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left secured the win. Finney-Smith scored 22 points and shot 6-for-9 from 3-point range.

Doncic had only one turnover.

“I think I’m more impressed by having one turnover,” Doncic said. “That never happens.”

Kristaps Porzingis (sore right knee) and JJ Redick (right heel) were out against the Wizards. Porzingis is expected to miss Sunday night’s game against Sacramento as well, coach Rick Carlisle said.

“Things are moving in a good direction,” Carlisle said. “He really is diligent about his work, his rehab work.”

The Kings (26-37) are the only team to beat Dallas over its past eight games.

Sacramento followed one of its worst losses in franchise history — 154-105 to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday — with a surprising road upset of the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, despite the Lakers having LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the court together for the first time since Feb. 14.

In the 110-106 win against the Lakers, Tyrese Halliburton finished with 23 points and 10 assists, becoming the first Kings rookie since Ray McCallum on March 31, 2014, to finish with 20 points and 10 assists in a game.

Haliburton said the loss to the Jazz got his attention.

“It’s one thing to lose,” Haliburton said. “It’s another thing to be disrespected, you know, to not play with any pride. It definitely was a wake-up call.”

Kings leading scorer De’Aaron Fox (25.2 points per game) remains in the NBA’s health and safety protocols and is expected to miss his fifth consecutive game.

Fox had 30 points and 12 assists when the Kings beat the Mavericks 121-107 in Dallas on April 18. He was out last Monday when Sacramento followed up with a 113-106 win at home, however.

Marvin Bagley III returned on Friday after missing 23 games with a fractured fourth metacarpal in his left hand. Bagley finished with 11 points, four rebounds and two steals in 21 minutes.

“I’m just grateful to be back out there with the team,” Bagley said. “I’m feeling pretty good. I just thank God that I was able to heal up and be back here.”

Harrison Barnes has missed the Kings’ past two games with left adductor tightness and is listed as doubtful, as is Chimezie Metu after he left Friday’s game with lower back soreness. Robert Woodard II is out with lower back soreness.

–Field Level Media

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