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Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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Mavericks Lose to Sacramento Kings on Last-Second Shot

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Dallas Mavericks center 6 holds onto the ball between Sacramento Kings defenders. | Image from Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports

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On Wednesday night, the Dallas Mavericks lost a 95-94 heartbreaker to the Sacramento Kings. Kings (15-21) center Chimezie Metu hit a three-point shot as time expired to steal the victory from the Mavericks (16-18).

After trailing the majority of the second half, Dallas clawed back to take a 94-92 lead after two Kristaps Porzingis free throws with just over 30 seconds left in the game. However, with 3.8 seconds left, the Kings’ De’Aaron Fox drove to the rim, drawing several Mavericks defenders before passing it back out to a wide-open Metu for the last-second game-winning shot.


The King’s home arena erupted with celebration as Kings players mobbed Metu, and Maverick players stood in disbelief. Metu, a reserve center, has made 26.6% of his three-point attempts his entire career.

The loss gives Dallas their second heartbreaking last-second loss in two weeks. The Mavericks lost to the Los Angeles Lakers on a buzzer-beating three-pointer on December 15. Overall, Dallas has lost nine in a row and ten of its last eleven games where the score has been within five points in the last five minutes of the game. The Mavericks started the season 5-0 in those games but have since fallen apart in clutch moments.

“I mean, I don’t know,” Dallas guard Jalen Brunson said. “This whole couple weeks has been a whirlwind, so we’ve got to get through it somehow.”

Dallas continues to deal with COVID-related player absences. Before the game, reserve center Boban Marjanovic entered the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Guard Brandon Knight, who had just been signed as a replacement for other Mavericks players in protocols, has now joined them, entering protocols just before the game. Marjanovic and Knight’s additions made the total number of Dallas players in the league’s protocols grow to seven.

In response, the Mavericks signed veteran guard Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day contract just hours before the tip-off in Sacramento. Thomas finished with six points and four assists in 13 minutes as he became the 24th different player to appear on the court for Dallas this season. That breaks the Mavericks’ tie with the Atlanta Hawks for most players who have appeared for the team (previously 23).

The Mavericks’ offense struggled for much of the game, making only 9-of-24 (37.5%) three-point attempts after making four of their first six. Dallas completely melted in the second quarter. The Kings dominated, outscoring the Mavericks 35-13 in the period to take a 55-43 lead into halftime.

Dallas responded with a solid third quarter where they outscored the Kings by nine. In the fourth, the Mavericks were ahead by as many as five points with under six minutes left in the game but could not hold on to win.

“What we’ve got to do is take this loss, take this feeling, this feeling that sucks,” Porzingis said. “Take it and use it as fuel for the next game.”

Porzingis finished with 24 points, while Brunson led the team in scoring with 25 points. Dallas will get a chance to immediately avenge the loss in their next game as they will rematch against the Kings in Sacramento again on New Year’s Eve.

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