Mavericks 99, Kings 60

The Dallas Mavericks were able to rest their regulars in the

fourth quarter thanks to a record defensive effort.

Jason Terry scored 21 points, Vince Carter added 16 and the

Mavericks stretched their winning streak to five games with a 99-60

rout of the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

The Kings went 22 for 86 from the field (25.6 percent) against a

Mavericks team that allowed the fewest points in franchise

history.

Dallas’ previous low was 65 points against Minnesota on Feb. 27,

2007.

”(The Kings) had some struggles. Their shot-making wasn’t

great, but I thought we had something to do with that,” Mavericks

coach Rick Carlisle said. ”We’re placing emphasis on energy,

defense and rebounding. The guys are responding.”

Dirk Nowitzki contributed 14 points in a little over 20 minutes

for the reigning NBA champs (8-5), who’ve won six in a row at home

after a 0-2 start.

Both teams were playing their fourth game in five nights, but

the Mavericks were fresher after resting their starters throughout

the fourth quarter of Friday night’s 102-76 victory over

Milwaukee.

Marcus Thornton scored 14 points for the Kings (4-9), who’ve

dropped four of five, including Friday night’s 103-89 defeat at

Houston. Sacramento was making the fourth stop of a five-city road

trip and struggled from the opening tip.

”When you come into the league, what you want to do is make

shots,” Kings coach Keith Smart said. ”When you’re not making

those, you get down. When you get a collection of players doing

that, the team gets down.”

The Mavericks were again able to sit their key players in the

final quarter in anticipation of a four-game road trip over six

days that begins Monday night against the Los Angeles Lakers.

”We’re on an uptick right now and we’ve got to keep it going

because the schedule is getting tougher this week,” Carlisle

said.

Dallas put the game away early, finishing the first quarter with

a 15-1 run keyed by Terry’s eight points for a 27-11 lead.

The Mavericks came out with energy on the defensive end,

limiting the Kings to 4-for-25 first-quarter shooting.

Improved defense helped Dallas’ championship run last season,

and increased attention to the defensive end has contributed

heavily to the current streak.

”It’s all dictated on our defense,” Terry said. ”We want to

play great defense and get stops.”

Dallas went on an 11-2 spurt early in the second quarter capped

by Nowitzki’s 14-foot bank shot with 7:39 left until halftime to

push the advantage to 38-15.

The Mavericks were in command at intermission, 52-23.

The 23-point half was the lowest in Kings franchise history. The

previous low was 25 points against the Boston Celtics on Feb. 26,

1957, when the Kings were based in Rochester, N.Y., and known as

the Royals.

Dallas also set a defensive record, allowing the fewest points

in any half in franchise history, surpassing a 24-point half by

Vancouver on March 13, 1999.

The first-half defensive dominance meant the Mavericks had

allowed 54 points during a span of four quarters.

Sacramento’s offense was a little more efficient in the third

quarter, narrowing the deficit to as few as 21 points.

But Dallas carried a 72-45 lead into the fourth quarter and went

with subs the rest of the way.

Tyreke Evans, who entered the night as the Kings’ top scorer

with an average of 18.8 points, finished with three points on

1-for-8 shooting.

NOTES: Dallas G Jason Kidd (lower back) returned after sitting

out four consecutive games. Kidd converted a layup on his first

shot attempt, his first two-point field goal of the season. His

first 12 baskets were 3-pointers. Kidd also had six steals, one

short of his career high. … Thornton started after missing three

games with a bruised left thigh. … Owner Mark Cuban said the

Mavericks will receive their championship rings prior to the Jan.

25 home game against Minnesota. That will allow former Dallas and

current Minnesota G J.J. Barea to participate. … Sacramento C/F

Chuck Hayes missed his fifth straight game with a dislocated left

shoulder.