Listen Live
Indiana Pacers v Sacramento Kings

Source: Ezra Shaw / Getty

(Indianapolis, IN) – The Indiana Pacers (24-17 | 11-9) rally together without Tyrese Haliburton, Pascal Siakam, Andrew Nembhard, and Aaron Nesmith to defeat the Sacramento Kings (23-18 | 13-8) 126-121.


After a pair of days off, the Indiana Pacers offense would come out firing on all cylinders offensively. Indiana made four of their first five shots, but their defense was not defending at a high level. Sacramento would go on a 10-2 run after trailing 8-4. Neither team would lead more than four points in the first twelve minutes. T.J. McConnell paced Indiana in scoring with eight points, but seven of the nine players to play in the first quarter contributed. For the Kings, Kevin Huerter led them in scoring with ten points followed by Keegan Murray with nine points.  Both teams shot 61% from the field, but the difference was that Sacramento buried four threes. Indiana was 14/19 on two-point shots and would lead 34-31 because of their efficiency within the arc.


Indiana’s offense would remain efficient in the second quarter, but their defensive intensity improved. The Pacers would extend their lead to double figures for the first time in the game after two minutes of play in the quarter at 49-39. Their lead would hover around that for the next six minutes. Sacramento would slowly cut it down to three, but Indiana went on a 12-2 run to close the first half. McConnell accounted for the run himself with four points and three assists. Indiana would lead 70-57 at intermission. Leading all scorers with 16 points was Domantas Sabonis. Indiana was led in scoring by McConnell with 14 while dishing out five assists. Buddy Hield was a crucial piece of the offense with seven assists and zero turnovers.


Coming out of halftime, Mike Brown’s team would respond to the message with his team attempting to end its three-game losing streak. Kevin Huerter scored the first seven points to start the half, resulting in Rick Carlisle calling a timeout seeing the lead cut down to 70-64. The burst would continue for Sacramento as they eventually cut it down to two halfway through the quarter. Indiana would never let them take the lead or tie it. The offensive success for Indiana would pick up again to go back up ten after three quarters. Indiana would lead 99-89 with McConnell leading Indiana in scoring with 20 points while issuing 8 assists. Leading all scorers was Huerter with 26 points. Murray added 21 points for the Kings. Indiana had five other players in double figures.


After not turning the ball over once in the third quarter, Indiana would turn it over eight times, five of those coming in the final four minutes. After tying their game high lead of sixteen points for the fifth time at 122-106 with 2:20 remaining, the wheels completely fell off. The defensive pressure from the Pacers disappeared and they kept turning the ball over at the same time. As the final minute approached, Indiana was clinging onto a 122-117 lead with the ball. Hield would make a pair of free throws followed by a quick dunk from De’Aaron Fox. Indiana would turn it over and Huerter converted a layup to make it a one possession game for the first time in the fourth quarter. McConnell would get to the rim, but failed to convert with 11.5 seconds remaining, Fox would go the other way and airball a three. Sacramento grabbed the loose ball and called a timeout with five seconds remaining. Indiana would foul on the inbound and Malik Monk missed both free throws. Jalen Smith closed it out with two free throws. Indiana wins 126-121.

TOP PERFORMERS: Bennedict Mathurin (25p and 4a), T.J. McConnell (20p and 10a), Myles Turner (18p), Jalen Smith (17p and 13 r), Jarace Walker (15p), and Buddy Hield (12p, 8a, 5r). For Sacramento, Kevin Huerter (31p with 7 threes), Keegan Murray (27p and 9r), De’Aaron Fox (24p, 6r, 6a), and Domantas Sabonis (21p, 11r, 10a). For tonight’s full box score, click here.

NOTES: Tonight marked the fourth time in McConnell’s career he’s scored 20+ points and dished out 10+ assists. Indiana is now 4-4 this season without Tyrese Haliburton compared to 7-19 last season. The Pacers are now 2-2 on the six-game road trip. Kevin Huerter’s 31 points are a career high. Jarace Walker’s 10 points in the fourth quarter only would have been a season high, his 15 points on the night were.

NEXT UP: It’s a quick turnaround for the Pacers as they catch a flight tonight to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers tomorrow night for game five of their six game road trip. Tip-off is scheduled for 10pm with the Kroger Pregame Show starting at 9:30pm with Pat Boylan on 93.5/107.5 The Fan.

The post Pacers Avoid Epic Collapse and Hold on to Defeat Kings 126-121 appeared first on 93.5 / 107.5 The Fan.

Pacers Avoid Epic Collapse and Hold on to Defeat Kings 126-121  was originally published on