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‘No Nerves’: Luka-Less Mavs Rally Past Kings Behind Dinwiddie, Finney-Smith

Mavericks were without superstar Luka Doncic against Sacramento, but Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith came up big in comeback win

The red-hot Dallas Mavericks learned early Saturday that superstar Luka Doncic was out for matinee affair with the struggling Sacramento Kings at American Airlines Center.

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Doncic's absence was felt throughout the game, but an dramatic corner 3-pointer from Dorian Finney-Smith with just three seconds left lifted the the Mavericks (39-25) past the Kings 114-113.

Spencer Dinwiddie also stepped up big in his first game as a starter for the Mavs, finishing with 36 points and seven assists while shooting 11-22 from the field and 12-13 from the free-throw line. Dinwiddie has only played in seven games for Dallas, but he's already become a fan favorite and shown he can be counted on in crucial situations.

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“No nerves. I’ve been playing basketball in this league for a long time,” said Dinwiddie after helping ignite yet another comeback win. “I definitely want to be a continued service to my team and help us win games.

“I do what I do, and I don’t do what I’m not supposed to do. That goes 1-through-15. Everybody here [with the Mavs] follows that type of mentality because we understand that to not just win basketball games in the regular season, but in the playoffs, you need that.”

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Jalen Brunson pitched in with 23 points and dished out six assists, with the biggest being on Finney-Smith's game-winner. Brunson shot 8-15 from the field and converted 2-3 from deep. Finney-Smith finished with 23 points, Josh Green scored 12 and Reggie Bullock had 11 points.

De'Aaron Fox gave the Mavs all they could handle with 44 points on 18-31 from the field. Domantas Sabonis was also solid for Sacramento, finishing with 15 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. The Kings dropped to 24-42.

The Mavs were down 65-51 at halftime, but began to chip away in the third quarter. Dallas finished the game with an 11-3 run over the final three minutes to avoid the upset.

On Monday, the Mavs take on the Utah Jazz for the second time in a little more than a week. Sitting just 1.5 games back of Utah in the Western Conference, Dallas needs a win to keep the Jazz from winning the regular season series. The Mavs have to win the final two games with Utah to forge a 2-2 tie, with the teams meeting again March 27.