Entering Tuesday, the Mavericks were in seventh place in the Western Conference and the chance to defend their NBA championship was up in the air. The season is far from over, but Tuesday's 110-100 win over the Sacramento Kings was a game the Mavs could not afford to lose.
Of the Mavs' final nine games, only three are at home, and Dallas is just 11-16 on the road, so the Mavs need to win the home games. Tuesday's win against Sacramento leaves two home games on the schedule.
Six Mavericks scored at least nine points, led by 15 from Dirk Nowitzki and Rodrique Beaubois. Shawn Marion scored 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end. After missing the last four games due to a groin injury, Jason Kidd scored seven points, grabbed six rebounds and had seven assists in 22 minutes, although he only played eight minutes in the second half.
The Mavs led by seven at halftime, but couldn't pull away in the second half. The Kings got as close as five points in the fourth quarter, but Delonte West scored seven points in the final six minutes for the Mavs. DeMarcus Cousins finished with 25 points and 18 rebounds for the Kings.