Notebook: Pacers 97, Kings 92



Posted Dec 1, 2012 1:18 AM

By James Ham, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Indiana Pacers were able to fend off a late fourth quarter run by the Sacramento Kings, sweeping the season series and sending the Kings to yet another defeat on their home floor by a final of 97-92.

David West was unstoppable for the Pacers, leading his team in both points with 31 and rebounds with 11. George Hill anchored the backcourt, scoring an efficient 25 points on 9-for-14 shooting and added eight assists in the win.

DeMarcus Cousins led the way for the Kings, but it wasn't pretty. The third-year big man out of Kentucky scored 19 points, but needed 17 shots to get there. On the plus side, Cousins grabbed a game-high16 rebounds in the loss.

QUOTABLE: "They're still competing and playing as hard as they can possibly play, but we have to get the payoff and get the win. That's the bottom line, we have to get the win." -- Keith Smart on his now 4-11 Sacramento Kings.

THE STAT: In their two match-ups this season, Cousins has hit just 14 of his 44 shots attempts against the Pacers.

TURNING POINT: With a little over nine minutes remaining in the game, Smart had his team switch to a zone defense and the Pacers made them pay. Hill buried a short three from the corner, followed by Sam Young from the left elbow and a three-point game quickly became a nine-point lead for the Pacers. The Kings made a good fight out of it down the stretch, but those were two huge baskets in this game.

QUOTABLE II: "It felt good. I missed the shot. I wish I could have it back, but I can't." --- A disappointed Marcus Thornton on missing a late 3-pointer that could have tied the game.

HOT: After a rough shooting star by the Kings starting backcourt, Jimmer Fredette and Francisco Garcia came in off the bench and kept their team in the game. Fredette scored eight points on 3-for-5 shooting over an eight minute stretch in the second quarter, while Garcia added nine points on 4-for-6 from the filed in a little less than nine minutes before the intermission. The duo returned in the second half to more of the same, finishing with a combined 24 points on the night.

NOT: Paul George struggled mightily with his shot tonight, finishing with four points on 2-for-11 shooting and missing all six of his 3-point attempts.

GOOD MOVE: With Tyreke Evans ailing, Smart had little choice but to rely heavily on his bench. With a few other options available, Smart turned to Jimmer and Garcia and they gave the Kings a huge lift.

BAD MOVE: For the second time this season, Cousins decided to take the ball at Roy Hibbert and once again, Hibbert made Cousins work for his points. In their first match-up, Cousins shot just 9-for-27 and then backed that up with a 5-for-17 performance tonight.

NOTABLE: Evans was a late scratch in this one. The Kings starting shooting guard bruised his left knee on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves and is day-to-day.

UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Saturday @ Golden State, Tuesday @ Chicago, Wednesday vs. Trail Blazers. For the Kings, Saturday @ Clipper, Wednesday vs. Toronto, Friday vs. Orlando.