A playoff appearance is almost impossible, but the Sacramento Kings have decided to play spoiler late in the season. After handing the Los Angeles Lakers a stunning loss on Friday, the Kings went into Dallas and pushed the Mavericks around for a 111-99 win.
The outcome became secondary for the Kings as star rookie Tyrese Haliburton went down in the third quarter with a knee injury and did not return to the game. Coach Luke Walton confirmed to reporters after the game that Haliburton will undergo an MRI on Monday.
With Haliburton sidelined, the Kings received tremendous performances across the board, including a breakout performance by Marvin Bagley and some valuable minutes from Justin James, Terence Davis, Delon Wright and Damian Jones off the bench.
Luka Doncic put up his typical big numbers for Dallas, finishing with 30 points, six rebounds and six assists before being ejected late. Dwight Powell was impactful in the post and Jalen Brunson added 17 points off the Mavs bench.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings were the aggressors against the Mavs, coming away with a second straight win to move to 27-37 on the season.
Midway through the third quarter, you could hear an entire franchise and all of it’s fans hold their collective breath. Haliburton was dribbling the ball up the court and appeared to catch his right toe on a Mavs defender. This knocked him off balance and unfortunately forced him to take an awkward step on his left leg.
Haliburton had to be helped off the floor and went directly to the locker room with help from the Kings’ medical. He was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game with a left knee injury, the extent of which is unknown at this time.
Before the injury, Haliburton was having another strong effort for Sacramento, posting 11 points and five assists in 23 minutes of action.
There is a reason that Bagley was taken with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He has springs in his legs and a tremendous skill set. He gave the league a reminder of that on Sunday in Dallas.
Injuries have hampered the former Duke star throughout his first three seasons in the NBA, but he still has plenty of time to make a name for himself in the league. Bagley was active and a mismatch nightmare for the Mavs.
In his first start since returning from a 23-game absence, Bagley finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and three assists. He shot an efficient 10-for-16 from the field and gave Walton 34 solid minutes with the Kings struggling with injuries, fouls and overall depth.
Hield had an abysmal showing against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, missing all five of his 3-point attempts at Staples Center, finishing with two points in the Kings' win. He was back to his old self on Sunday in Dallas.
The veteran shooting guard was active and aggressive. He moved all over the court and his 3-point shot was pure.
Hield finished with 27 points on 6-for-10 shooting from behind the arc and he chipped in six rebounds and three assists.