Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: Pacers (29-7) vs Kings (13-22)
Scott Agness | Updated: January 13, 2014, 4:10 p.m.
The league-leading Pacers return to action Tuesday night when the Sacramento Kings come to town. The Pacers had three days between games and will now have a game just about every other day for the rest of the month.
The Pacers are embarking on a stretch where eight of their next nine opponents are Western Conference teams. That includes their final West Coast trip – five games over nine days.
For the Kings, they’ve ventured east from California for the start of a six-game road trip, with the Pacers being their lone Eastern Conference opponent. They come to Indy red-hot, with victories over Portland, Orlando and Cleveland — two of them by at least 20 points.
The Kings have topped the 100-point mark in 18 of their last 19 games, including the last 12. However, the Kings are just 1-9 on the season when they are held under 100. The Pacers hold their opponents to an average of 89 points per game.
Center DeMarcus Cousins should be the Pacers’ toughest task. Cousins, who has recorded a double-double in 10 straight games, is averaging 23.3 points and 11.5 rebounds per game and making a strong bid for his first All-Star appearance in February. In both meetings against Roy Hibbert and the Pacers last season, he scored at least 19 points and had double-digit rebounds, but made just 14-of-44 field goals.
In early December, the Kings acquired Rudy Gay, a high-volume scorer, from Toronto for Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson, and Chuck Hayes. As part of the deal, the Kings also added Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray. Since the trade, the Kings are 7-8.
Third-year point guard Isaiah Thomas has played terrific, scoring at least 20 points in 14 of their last 18 games. He’s raised his shooting percentage (2.1 percent), scoring average (5.5 points) and his assists average (2.2) all significantly since last season.
Kings: Carl Landry (out, torn left hip flexor muscle)
“You get yourself out of a suitcase and I think that’s important. It kind of refreshes you a little bit, lets the dust settle with everything and everything kind of settles back into place.” – Frank Vogel on being at home for all three games this week
“They can knock off some great teams. They’ve beat Miami, they’ve beat Portland, they’ve won at Houston. They can play with the big boys. Just because their record doesn’t show that yet, I think coach [Mike] Malone has them on the right path.” – Frank Vogel on Sacramento
“He’s as talented of a player as there is in the NBA. He can beat you by himself.” – Frank Vogel on DeMarcus Cousins
“I think that’s probably the only team in the NBA that has three people almost averaging 20 points. They have a lot of firepower. They’re playing well as of late. The last eight games, I think they’ve been playing extremely well so we have our hands full.” – George Hill on the Kings
“I think they’re real good, especially the past couple of games that they’ve been playing. They beat some of the elite teams in this league. I think they’re just one of those teams that plays up to the level of competition.” – Paul George on the Kings
- The Pacers have won seven of the last 10 meetings with Sacramento, including two in a row.
- DeMarcus Cousins was named Western Conference Player of the Week for this past week, where he helped the Kings go 3-0. He ranked seventh in the conference in the scoring (25 points per game) and second in rebounding (12.7).
- Kings guard Ben McLemore was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for his play in December (9.1 points per game, 2.9 rebounds).
Nov. 30: The Pacers held off a large by the Kings in a 97-92 win in Sacramento. Marcus Thornton’s 3-pointer, which could’ve tied the game with a just a few seconds left, was off the mark and George Hill sank two free throws for the win. The Pacers did a great job of guarding the paint, holding the Kings to 36 points, and their exceptional ball movement was apparent as they recorded 27 assists.
David West carried the Pacers with 31 points and 11 rebounds. Hill knocked in 25 points (4-for-6 from downtown) and though Paul George’s offensive game struggled (2-for-11 shooting), he recorded nine assists. DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 19 points and 16 rebounds.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana/NBA TV - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)