Well, that was a close one. Despite playing catch-up most of the game, the Sacramento Kings were able to top the Indiana Pacers in crunch-time.
Things didn’t start out well for the Sacramento Kings and they didn’t get better, save for a few small runs to keep things close throughout. Sacramento opened the game with a turnover and a foul on the first two possessions of the game, a harbinger of things to come.
The Kings had 20 turnovers in this one, leading to 26 Indiana points. In all fairness, nothing worked for the Kings in offense tonight. As a team, they shot 45.1 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from the line as their two leading scorers, Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox, combined to go 10-32.
Sacramento, for what it’s worth, never let things get too out of hand. Despite grabbing the lead and losing it several times, the Sacramento Kings kept fighting and it eventually paid off in the form of some clutch play late in the fourth.
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After falling behind 105-101, the Kings rallied to tie it at 107 with under two minutes to play. The Pacers rallied to take a 110-109 lead with under a minute left, but a well-timed tip-in from Willie Cauley-Stein gave Sacramento a 111-110 lead with 16.1 second remaining, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Indiana had two chances to win it at the end, but Bojan Bogdanovic couldn’t get his shot to fall and Darren Collison turned it over to end the game.
Despite the win, this wasn’t one of the Kings’ better performances. They struggled offensively and couldn’t figure out a way to stop Bojan Bogdanovic in this one. Bojan went off for 27 points on 10-19 shooting, while two other Indy starters, Darren Collison (11 points, 12 assists) and Myles Turner (14 points, 12 rebounds) went for double-doubles.
The Kings defense, as a whole, was rather suspect in this one as they allowed the Pacers to shoot 52 percent from the field and were outpaced in steals and blocks, albeit by a small margin. Where Sacramento did excel, however, was in drawing fouls and forcing turnovers.
The Kings drew 26 fouls, with their top-three players in Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic going a combined 14-14 from the line. They also forced 25 turnovers, with the duo of Fox and Bogdanovic again leading the way as they combined for six of the Kings 10 steals.
While those three performed well from the line and in the hustle department, only Bogdan shot well from the field. Bogi had himself a game, going 7-12 from the field for 20 points, two rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Willie Cauley-Stein also played well in this one, notching a double-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds and three assists on 8-13 shooting.
It wasn’t a pretty win, but a win is a win and good teams find ways to win even when things aren’t going their way. The Kings were getting outplayed and were without their sixth-man in Marvin Bagley III for this one and could’ve easily folded; but they didn’t. Instead, the Kings stepped up and took down a 13-9 Pacers team, even if they were without their star player.
Up Next: Sacramento Kings (11-11) vs. Phoenix Suns (4-18) on Tuesday, Dec. 4