Kings-Mavericks Preview

Still seeking their first victory of 2016, a visit from the Sacramento Kings historically has got the Dallas Mavericks in the win column.

Rajon Rondo will have a say in the matter this time.

The Mavericks try to extend their home win streak over the Kings to 22 games Tuesday night, but Rondo is looking to make his return to Dallas more memorable than his stint last season.

Dallas (19-15) pushed its winning streak to four by shooting 51.2 percent from the floor - 14 of 27 from beyond the arc - in Wednesday's 114-91 win over a Golden State team playing without Stephen Curry.

The Mavericks, however, followed with a 106-82 loss at Miami on New Year's Day before falling 105-98 to New Orleans a night later. They shot 39.8 percent in those two, missing 39 of 56 attempts from long range.

"I don't know," guard Wesley Matthews said when asked about the team's struggle for consistency. "This is annoying, though. We didn't play well in Miami, and we didn't play well in too many stretches (Saturday)."

Dallas last dropped three games in a row Nov. 22-25.

The Mavs, however, have won 21 straight home games over Sacramento dating to February 2003 for the franchise's longest home winning streak over a single opponent. It's the second-longest active home winning streak by one team against another, trailing only San Antonio's 32-game run against Golden State.

Dallas, though, lost 112-98 at Sacramento on Nov. 30 after taking 21 of the previous 23 overall matchups.

Rondo had 21 points, his first against the Mavericks after leaving them via free agency over the summer. The guard was acquired by Dallas in a trade with Boston and had a tumultuous 46-game stint that included clashes with coach Rick Carlisle. The four-time All-Star averaged 9.3 points and 6.5 assists.

Rondo's production has returned with the Kings (14-20), leading the NBA with 11.6 assists per game while adding 12.0 points. He came one rebound shy of a triple-double Monday, dishing out 19 assists and scoring 13 points in a 116-104 win at Oklahoma City.

"He's played extremely well. It's no surprise. He's a prideful guy," Carlisle said.

DeMarcus Cousins had 33 points and a season-high 19 rebounds while Sacramento capitalized on Kevin Durant's absence due to a sprained toe. That was one point better than Cousins' total in a 142-119 romp of Phoenix two days earlier.

Cousins has been a problem for the Mavs, averaging 28.7 points and 12.0 rebounds over the last three meetings - all at home - after scoring 31 on Nov. 30. Things haven't gone as well at Dallas, where he's averaging 18.3 points in seven visits.

Dirk Nowitzki went 5 for 15 from the field while finishing with 13 points Nov. 30, but he's averaging 25.3 points on 56.1 percent shooting over the last three home games against the Kings.

The forward had 24 points Saturday after averaging 12.0 and making 29.5 percent from the field - 3 of 13 from behind the arc - over the previous three games.

Deron Williams' status is unknown after a left hamstring injury forced him to sit out the fourth quarter Saturday. He had 11 points in his second game off the bench after the same injury forced him to miss the previous four.

"He's doing better," Carlisle said. "We won't know until tomorrow whether we're going to play him or consider playing him. He's making progress."


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