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Luka Doncic spent the first couple of games of Kyrie Irving's tenure with the Dallas Mavericks on the sideline, but Dallas' new dynamic duo finally got an opportunity to play together against the Kings in Sacramento on Saturday night. Unfortunately for Dallas, the duo's debut wasn't enough to prevent the beam from being lit in Sac Town. 

In a game that needed an extra five minutes to determine a victor, the Kings outlasted the Mavericks and pulled out a 133-128 win, thanks largely to freshly minted All-Star guard De'Aaron Fox, who poured in a season high 36 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter and another 14 in overtime. Fox has been one of the league's top players in the clutch this season, and that skill set was once again on full display. 

Fox also received some major help from Domantas Sabonis (22 points, 14 rebounds) and Terence Davis (22 points off of the bench). The third-place Kings improve to 32-24, and lead the Mavs (31-27) by two games. 

Dallas was not able to get closer to Sacramento in the standings, but it did get to see and feel the optimism that comes with Doncic and Irving being on the floor together. The pair combined for 55 points -- Doncic had 28, and Irving dropped 27 -- and both players shot over 50 percent from the field. They also combined for 12 assists between them (seven for Irving and five for Doncic). 

The early returns are promising, and Doncic and Irving will only continue to grow as a duo as they gain more on-court experience together. There appeared to be a lot of "your turn, my turn" going on between the two on the offensive end over the course of the contest, but that's to be expected from two ball-dominant guys in their first outing together. 

As they get more comfortable with each other, that cohesion will manifest in how they play off of each other and how they're able to leverage the attention that they draw. Irving's prior experience with playing off of ball-dominant stars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant should help him here. 

Irving is pretty clearly the most talented player that Doncic has ever played with to this point in his NBA career, and he's understandably excited about the pair's potential. 

"Amazing, man," Doncic said of what it was like to play alongside Irving for the first time. "It was only our first game together. I think it's so fun to play with this guy. He's an amazing basketball player. I think it's going to be really fun. Today, first time, it was really fun ... I think the whole team thinks that." 

Irving's addition will be especially beneficial for Dallas down the stretch of games, when Doncic is accustomed to commanding all of the defense's attention. Now, he has another high-level scorer alongside him, which means those defenses will have to split their focus, which could in turn open things up for Doncic. 

"It's a learning process, but I think that could be really lethal for us," Doncic said of playing with Irving in crunch time. "I think it's hard to guard both of us. There's going to be less doubles, just us get to work." 

Like Doncic, Irving viewed the game largely as a learning experience. "While I was out there, it felt really special just in terms of opportunities we had to really learn from one another," he said. 

"Tonight was just one of those games that could have gone either way. Wish we could have gotten the win, but just learn from this ... it's an exciting time."  

While Irving is accustomed to playing off of other high-usage players, Doncic isn't, and becoming comfortable getting off of the ball at times in order to let Irving operate is something that Doncic is going to have to learn. He's well aware of this fact, and he acknowledged a play down the stretch of the game against the Kings where he settled for a step-back three when he should have passed to Irving. 

"It's my bad," he said. "Should have gave it back to Ky. For me, it's still a learning process. But for sure, I should have gave it back. He was really hot down the stretch, so that was on me for sure."  

No one expected a polished product after one game, but the flashes of potential were there. Despite the final outcome, the performance in Sacramento is one that Dallas can build on. The Mavericks now boast one of the league's most lethal backcourts, and that makes them a very dangerous team heading into the final stretch of the season.