Chimezie Metu hits three-pointer at buzzer, Kings beat Mavs 95-94

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Chimezie Met made a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Sacramento Kings a 95-94 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night in the opener of a two-game set between the teams.

Dallas led 94-92 with 33.2 seconds remaining after Jalen Brunson’s short jumper and two free throws from Kristaps Porzingis. After Harrison Barnes missed a layup for Sacramento, and the Mavericks were called for a 24-second violation, Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox drove down the lane and passed to Metu in the right corner. The crowd at Golden 1 Center erupted after Metu’s shot dropped through the net.

Fox had 16 points and five assists. Barnes and Davion Mitchell scored 14 apiece, and Tyrese Haliburton added 12 points and 10 assists.

Brunson scored 25 points for Dallas. Porzingis had 24 points and seven rebounds. The Mavericks have lost 14 of 21 to the Kings.

The teams will meet again Friday in Sacramento.

Marvin Bagley III, the No. 2 overall pick in 2018 making his second consecutive start this season, had eight straight points in the second quarter. Davion Mitchell — fresh out of the health and safety protocols — made a 3-pointer to put the Kings up 55-43.

Dallas trailed by 13 early in the third. then went on a 20-6 run.

WELCOME BACK OLD FRIEND

Isaiah Thomas might have been wearing a Mavericks jersey but the crowd at Golden 1 Center did its best to make him feel at home. Thomas, who signed a 10-day contract with Dallas on Wednesday under the COVID-related hardship allowance, spent his first three NBA seasons in Sacramento after being the final pick of the 2011 draft and was greeted with a rousing ovation when he entered the game in the first quarter.

Fans didn’t jeer Thomas when the 32-year-old shot an airball on his first shot of the night, and applauded when he connected on an 18-footer. The two-time All-Star, who played four games with the Lakers this month, had six points and four assists in 13 minutes.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Brandon Knight, who was signed to a 10-day hardship contract on Dec. 23, and Boban Majanovic were entered into the NBA health and safety protocol. The two joined a crowded list that includes Trey Burke, Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber and JaQuori McLaughlin.

Kings: Before the game, Mitchell, Alex Len and Louis King were cleared to return from the health and safety protocol. Neemias Queta is the lone Kings player in the protocol.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Michael Wagaman, The Associated Press

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