Luka Doncic Struggles, Marvin Bagley Shines in Kings Win over Mavericks
It took a lot of patience, waiting until March 21st, but finally Sacramento Kings fans got their chance to see Dallas Mavericks super-rookie Luka Doncic in person. Robbed of the Marvin Bagley battle with Doncic at Dallas in December due to injury, fans were anxious to see the 2nd and 3rd overall picks do battle for the first time. Thursday night Bagley and the Kings got the best of Doncic and the Mavericks, defeating them 116-100.
Tonight’s win had an extra level of relief behind it, coming after the Kings blew a 28 point lead in their loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.
“Good chance to get back out and get the bad taste out of our mouth from the other night,” said Kings head coach Dave Joerger.
Bagley once again made a major impact off of the Sacramento bench, scoring 22 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. He was one of five Kings who finished in double-figures scoring. Bagley also had himself a night from long range, hitting on three of four three pointers.
“I’ve had confidence in it from the jump,” said Bagley when asked about the development of his jump shot, “I feel like I had it. It was just a matter of time before I would show it”.
“He has the confidence of his teammates and certainly myself. We have upped his usage and minutes each month. I think he is ultra-talented. He picks up things really easy. He trips and falls into a double-double it feels like,” said Joerger.
Buddy Hield poured in 29 points, hitting seven three pointers after not hitting one on Tuesday. Kings big Willie Cauley-Stein had an excellent night as well, grabbing a career high 18 rebounds. De’Aaron Fox was in attack mode, getting to the rim and distributing for his teammates. He just missed a double-double, finishing with 15 points and nine assists.
“He is so darn athletic. He doesn’t quit on plays, especially when he feels like he made a mistake,” said Joerger when asked about Fox’s aggressiveness.
Doncic got off to a good start for the Mavericks, but disappeared in the second half, scoring just two points in the final two quarters. He managed to finish with a 13 point, 10 rebound double-double, but shot a woeful 21% from the field. Former King Justin Jackson, who was traded just before this year’s deadline, led the Mavericks in scoring with 19 points.
The Kings, now 2-0 against the Mavericks this season, have one more meeting in Dallas on March 26th, where they will look to complete the sweep. Now 35-36 on the year, Sacramento wraps up their four game home stand on Saturday against the Phoenix Suns.