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Preview: Kings (28-54) at Mavericks (49-33)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: February 13, 2013 8:30 PM EDT
  

Turning in more lackluster performances resembling their latest one might result in the Dallas Mavericks growing their beards into the offseason.

Facing the visiting Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night could get them closer to busting out their razors.

Dallas seeks an 18th straight regular-season home win and third overall this season versus Sacramento, which has lost five straight on the road.

Vince Carter, O.J. Mayo and Dirk Nowitzki are just a few of the Mavericks (22-29) who have vowed not to shave until the team reaches the .500 mark, which seems a long way off considering their effort in Monday's 105-101 home loss to Atlanta.

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Dallas will head into the All-Star break needing to make up plenty of ground to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.

"It just makes it tougher in the second half," Carter said. "We have to keep going, we have to win the next one. It's important for us to look at the next game and not look too far ahead."

Carter's beard, though, is in need of a trim that it might not see for quite awhile. Nowitzki scored a team-high 24 points and Mayo added 19 on Monday, and each is sporting plenty of facial hair.

Carter said they all believe the Mavericks can reach their goal.

"Guys are confident. That's why we came together on the whole beard thing," Carter said. "It's because we still believe, and that's kind of bringing each other together and holding each other accountable. We still have an opportunity in the second part of the season."

Coach Rick Carlisle wants to see improvement before then.

"We have one opportunity here before the break (to improve), so it's an important game," Carlisle said. "It's all about us playing better to trend upward as a team. We're all going to have to work hard and dig in. I still believe we can do it."

Dallas seemingly has a good chance to get back on track by knocking off a Kings team it has beaten 13 of the last 14 times. Mayo scored 19 points in a 119-96 home win over Sacramento on Dec. 10, then netted 24 while Carter added 23 as the Mavericks came from 17 down in a 117-112 overtime road victory Jan. 10.

December's blowout in Dallas was hardly a rarity when the Kings are in town. The Mavs have outscored Sacramento by an average of 14.8 points in their lengthy home regular-season series winning streak.

The Kings (19-34), though, had won two straight prior to Tuesday's 108-101 loss at Memphis, and Carlisle believes his team is in for a touch matchup.

"They're coming off two games where they beat Utah and Houston - two playoff teams above us," Carlisle said, "They're playing well, so we're going to have to do better."

DeMarcus Cousins scored 23 points Tuesday and is averaging 26.3 in his last three versus the Mavericks. Sacramento, though, dropped to 5-22 on the road this season and is averaging just 86.8 points and shooting 41.3 percent during its five-game road skid.

"When you get a chance on the road to close the gap and get the game in your favor, you've got to take that," coach Keith Smart said. "I thought these guys deserved to win the game based off how they performed."

Smart said the Kings need to improve their transition defense, though, as they allowed 28 fast-break points Tuesday. They've given up an average of 109.2 points with opponents shooting 52.0 percent over their last five.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SAC  +475   +10   212 
 DAL  -650   -10   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SAC  +450   +10   212 
 DAL  -600   -10   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SAC  67%   20%   62% 
 DAL  33%   80%   38% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA HEAD TO HEAD
 Jan 10, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 DAL 117 Cover: 7.5 
 SAC 112 Over: 229 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Dec 10, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 SAC 96 Over: 215 
 DAL 119 Cover: 16.5 
 Tools:   Recaps

 NBA PREVIEWS
 Wednesday, Feb 13
 
    Hawks at Magic
7:05 PM EDT
    Spurs at Cavaliers
7:05 PM EDT
    Bobcats at Pacers
7:05 PM EDT
    Bulls at Celtics
7:35 PM EDT
    Nuggets at Nets
7:35 PM EDT
    Raptors at Knicks
7:35 PM EDT
    Wizards at Pistons
7:35 PM EDT
    Trail Blazers at Pelicans
8:05 PM EDT
    76ers at Bucks
8:05 PM EDT
    Jazz at Timberwolves
8:05 PM EDT
    Kings at Mavericks
8:35 PM EDT
    Rockets at Clippers
10:35 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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