DALLAS -- No one is going to lay down and hand the Sacramento Kings a victory down the stretch. They learned that the hard way Tuesday night at American Airlines Arena.

Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks played with pride and energy in front of their home crowd. The rookie dropped in a huge 28-point, 12-assist, 12-rebound triple-double, but it wasn’t enough.

Playing their third game in four nights, the Kings showed heart and somehow found a win to pull one out, taking the Mavs down on their home floor by a final of 125-121.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings moved back to the .500 mark on the season at 37-37:

The Finisher

De’Aaron Fox shook off the tired legs and went to work in the fourth quarter. With the game on the line, the Kings’ starting point guard scored 10 of his 23 in the final five minutes.

He wanted the ball in his hands and went into attack mode. He set up his teammates as well, dishing out a team-high eight assists while adding five rebounds in the win.

If this is a preview of next season, the Kings are going to be very difficult to deal with.

Dunken-Stein

Willie Cauley-Stein had a quiet start to the game, but in the third quarter, he went to work. Sacramento’s starting center ran the floor and his teammates found him with lobs throughout the stanza.

The 7-footer hit Dallas for 10 points in the third, all on alley-oops or dunks in the post. He went 7-for-8 from the field on the evening to finish with 16 points and seven rebounds.

 

When he is active, Cauley-Stein can be a difference maker.

Thanks for the tribute ...

Dallas ran a tribute video for Harrison Barnes in the first quarter and he said thank you by going off on his former team.

Barnes tied for the Kings’ scoring lead in the first half with eight and then went to work after the break.

The veteran forward finished the night with 18 points on 3-of-5 shooting from long range. He added three rebounds and played solid defense on Doncic for much of the evening.