Chimezie Metu Buzzer-Beater Powers Kings Past Kristaps Porzingis, Mavericks

Doric SamDecember 30, 2021

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 29: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings drives to the basket during the game against the Dallas Mavericks on December 29, 2021 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings were victorious for the second time in as many nights, defeating the Dallas Mavericks 95-94 at home on Wednesday at Golden 1 Center. Chimezie Metu hit the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Kings the victory.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

KINGS WIN AT THE BUZZER. <a href="https://t.co/5t4yN3HoMd">pic.twitter.com/5t4yN3HoMd</a>

De'Aaron Fox had a team-high 16 points and was one of six players to score in double figures as Sacramento improved to 15-21.

Dallas fell to 16-18 after its third loss in its last four games. Jalen Brunson had 25 points and Kristaps Porzingis added 24 to lead the Mavericks.

The Mavericks were playing without star point guard Luka Doncic, who is one of seven players on the team in the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Notable Stats

G De'Aaron Fox, SAC: 16 points

G Tyrese Haliburton, SAC: 12 points, 10 assists

G Jalen Brunson, DAL: 25 points

F Kristaps Porzingis, DAL: 24 points

Kings Win Despite Losing Focus in Second Half

Sacramento had Dallas on the ropes for most of Wednesday's contest. The Kings used aggressive defense and efficient offense to put pressure on a short-handed Mavericks team.

After falling behind by 10 points in the second quarter, Sacramento used a 30-8 run to take a 12-point lead into halftime. It was a balanced effort by the Kings led by rookie Davion Mitchell, who scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half.


After this buzzer beater to end the 1st half, Davion Mitchell (12 PTS) is a perfect 5-for-5 from the field on <a href="https://twitter.com/NBATV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBATV</a>! <a href="https://t.co/yy1ROktu6R">pic.twitter.com/yy1ROktu6R</a>

Sacramento eventually built a 13-point lead in the second half, but defensive lapses and a lack of execution on offense allowed Dallas to claw its way back into the game. The Kings turned the ball over six times in the third quarter alone and finished with 14 giveaways in the game.

Sacramento didn't go down easily as Fox and Tyrese Haliburton made some key plays to keep the game close. Fox also had the assist on Metu's game-winner.


Tyrese Haliburton throws the lob to Richaun Holmes on <a href="https://twitter.com/NBATV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBATV</a>!<a href="https://twitter.com/dallasmavs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dallasmavs</a>: 81<a href="https://twitter.com/SacramentoKings?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SacramentoKings</a>: 79<br><br>4th Quarter 6:53 remaining <a href="https://t.co/tvRBGj2ckA">pic.twitter.com/tvRBGj2ckA</a>

Sacramento Kings @SacramentoKings

Make that nine double-doubles on the year for <a href="https://twitter.com/TyHaliburton22?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TyHaliburton22</a> πŸ™Œ <a href="https://t.co/hL2QVbzWKZ">pic.twitter.com/hL2QVbzWKZ</a>

Sacramento Kings @SacramentoKings

.<a href="https://twitter.com/swipathefox?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@swipathefox</a> doing all the little things 😀 <a href="https://t.co/T38cDx1PLe">pic.twitter.com/T38cDx1PLe</a>

Wednesday's result is something the Kings should be able to build on going forward. Sacramento has dealt with a lot of turmoil this season with the firing of its head coach and disgruntled players. But a gritty victory like this should galvanize the team and provide some confidence going forward.

Mavericks Struggling to Win Without Doncic

Even without Doncic, it was a surprise that Dallas struggled to put away a middling Sacramento team. The Mavericks fell behind by as many as 13 points in the third quarter.

Brunson and Porzingis eventually woke up and powered Dallas' comeback. Brunson had 11 points in the third quarter and Porzingis had 13 in the fourth.


Jalen Brunson knocks down the three πŸ‘<br><br>Mavs on a 7-0 run <a href="https://t.co/tOEC1wmMbw">pic.twitter.com/tOEC1wmMbw</a>


Porzingis from way back πŸ’§ <a href="https://t.co/yGDpGWpXMV">pic.twitter.com/yGDpGWpXMV</a>

But the rest of the Mavericks struggled throughout the night. Dorian Finney-Smith was the only other player to score in double figures at 11 points. Dallas got to the free-throw line just 13 times, making nine of them.

The Mavericks are now 4-5 in this recent stretch without Doncic. Porzingis was expected to step up in his absence. While he has been mostly solid as the team's primary option, he shot an inefficient 8-of-19 on Wednesday ,and that's not going to cut it.

Wednesday's result will leave a bad taste in Dallas' mouth. The Mavericks have to hope to return to full health sooner than later to stay alive in a competitive Western Conference.

What's Next?

The Kings and Mavericks will face each other again in Sacramento on Friday.