Bjelica Scores 30; Kings Withstand Rally, Beat Mavs

Tim Hardaway Jr. was Dallas' leading scorer with 29 points

Nemanja Bjelica #88 of the Sacramento Kings shoots the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 8, 2019 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Sacramento's Nemanja Bjelica matched his career best with 30 points and Dallas' Luka Doncic missed a game-tying attempt in the final seconds as the Kings withstood a furious rally and beat the Mavericks 110-106 on Sunday night.

Richaun Holmes rebounded Doncic's attempt to tie the game with eight seconds left. Doncic had taken Sacramento's Cory Joseph down the lane for the turnaround shot that bounded off the front of the rim. After the rebound, the Kings called a timeout. Bogdan Bogdanovic in-bounded to Bjelica for a layup that sealed the win.

Doncic missed a futile 3-point attempt from midcourt at the buzzer.

Buddy Hield scored 26 points, including five 3-pointers, for Sacramento. Former Maverick Harrison Barnes scored 12, Richaun Holmes added 12 and Bogdan Bogdanovic and Trevor Ariza 10 each.

Doncic finished with 27 points, including 17 in the second half after Sacramento had sprinted to a 66-46 lead. The Mavericks' high scorer was Tim Hardaway Jr. with 29 points. He kept the Mavs in the game by making a career-high nine of 12 3-pointers. For Dallas, Dorian Finney-Smith and Kristaps Porzingis each had 13 points.

Sacramento didn't trail in the game and led by as many as 24 points.

Dallas trailed 106-90 with 6:34 remaining. A 10-0 run capped by a 3-pointer by Doncic pulled the Mavericks within six points. The Kings' lead dwindled to two points on a fadeaway by Porzingis with 34 seconds left.

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Barnes missed a shot in the lane. Finney-Smith grabbed the rebound with 14 seconds left. After a timeout, Doncic got the ball, and tried and field to drive against Joseph.

Bjelica (12 points) and Hield (11) came out hot in the first quarter, each making a pair of 3-pointers. The Kings led by as many as 10 points and finished the quarter with a 36-27 lead on 63% shooting (15 for 24). Hardaway kept Dallas in contention, scoring 14 points that including 4 for 5 from 3-point range.

Hield finished the half with 18 points, Bjelica had 16 and Holmes 12, which included eight points and three offensive rebounds in the second quarter.

Kings: PG Cory Joseph started despite experiencing pain in his lower back after playing 38 minutes on Friday night. ... F Marvin Bagley III remained out because of a fractured right thumb. He has not played since the Oct. 23 season opener. ... Kings not named Hield or Bjelica were 1 for 11 (9%) on 3-pointers in the first half.

Mavericks: G Delon Wright was out after leaving Saturday's game with a strained groin muscle. "I feel like we dodged a bullet in terms of it being a serious thing," coach Rick Carlisle said. "(The next game) Thursday hasn't been ruled out. It's going to be a day-to-day thing." ... F/G Ryan Broekhoff was activated for the first time in eight games but did not play.

Kings: Complete a four-game trip at Houston.

Mavericks: Play the designated "home" team Detroit Pistons in Mexico City on Thursday. Their only other regular-season games outside the U.S. or Canada were both at Mexico City, most recently in 2016-17 against Phoenix.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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