SACRAMENTO -- The circus comes to Golden 1 Center Thursday evening when star rookie Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks roll into town. The Kings could use a good distraction after a disappointing loss last time out.
Tuesday's game was a head scratcher for Sacramento. The Kings started the third quarter on a 20-0 run and took a 25 point lead into the fourth quarter. In a stunner, Brooklyn ran over the Kings in the fourth quarter, outscoring the home team 45-18 in the fourth to come away with a stunning 123-121 victory.
The Mavericks are playing on the second night of a back-to-back after losing Wednesday night in Portland. They've lost two straight and 14 of their last 16 as they head down the home stretch of the season.
Kings Pregame Live on NBC Sports California begins at 6:30 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 7:00 p.m. All coverage can be seen on the MyTeams by NBC Sports app.
The Kings finish off their homestand on Saturday against the Phoenix Suns and then head back out on the road. They'll start a five-game trip starting Sunday in LA against the Lakers, followed by stops in Dallas, New Orleans, Houston, and San Antonio.
Kings by 9
PG De'Aaron Fox
SG Buddy Hield
SF Harrison Barnes
PF Nemanja Bjelcia
C Willie Cauley-Stein
PG Luka Doncic
SG Jalen Brunson
SF Tim Hardaway Jr.
PF Dirk Nowitzki
C Dwight Powell
No injuries to report.
PF Maxi Kleber (wrist) questionable, PG J.J. Barea (Achilles) out, PF Kristaps Porzingis (knee) out.
Dave Joerger is likely to stick to his standard starting lineup down the stretch, although his rookie tandem of Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles are earning more minutes every game out.
Bagley is coming off another breakout performance where he scored 28 points on 12-of-15 shooting to go with seven rebounds. He played 29 minutes off the Kings' bench as he continues to work through a minutes restriction.
Fox is finishing the season strong and Joerger continues to feed him more minutes. The 21-year-old point guard is averaging 19.5 points and 7.4 assists in 33.5 minutes per game since the All-Star break.
Rick Carlisle's group is struggling down the stretch after shaking up their roster at the deadline. The veteran coach has relied heavily on Doncic throughout the season as his primary ball handler and the 20-year-old has held up surprisingly well. Selected with the 3rd overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Kings will get a long look at the player they passed on in June.
Former King, Justin Jackson, makes his return to Sacramento after being sent to Dallas at the trade deadline as part of the Barnes trade. The second-year guard is coming off his best game in a Mavs uniform, posting 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting in the team's loss to the Blazers on Wednesday.
It's unknown if Dirk Nowitzki will play on the second night of a back-to-back, but it might be the last time he comes through Sacramento as a player. The 40-year-old future Hall of Famer can still knock down a shot, but running the floor against a team like the Kings won't be easy.