Friday, January 24, 2014 at 10:00 PM ET at Sleep Train Arena
Game Preview: Pacers (33-8) at Kings (15-26)
Scott Agness | January 22, 2014
With 41 games out of the way, the Pacers (33-8), owners of the best record the league, begin the second half of the season Friday night in Sacramento. Indiana is coming off a disappointing loss in Phoenix, where they surrendered a season-high 124 points.
The Kings (15-26) will be playing their first home game since completing a six-game road trip — they went 2-4 — that began in Indy on Jan. 14. In that game, Indiana scored 116 points, a season-high at the time, that night on way to a 24-point victory.
Entering the team’s final meeting of the season, the Kings could possibly be without their top two scorers, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. Both exited Wednesday’s game, a 21-point loss in Houston, and didn’t return. The team lists them both as “day-to-day.”
Should he be able to play, Cousins will be the Pacers’ biggest concern in this one. The 6-foot-11 big man hits nearly 49 percent of his field goals and averages more than 23 points per game, the ninth-best scoring average in the NBA — one spot below Paul George (23.2). He’s a double-double machine, with 28 on the season, and he’s posted eight 30-point games.
Indiana’s league-best defense looks to contain the Kings, who’ve scored over 100 points in 20 of their last 26 games. When scoring 105 or more points, Sacramento is 13-3. In their first meeting 10 days ago, the Pacers kept them to 92.
Forward Rudy Gay, who’ll be matched up against George, has made a successful transition to the Kings after being traded from Toronto in December. On Tuesday in New Orleans, Gay scored 41 points, matching his career-high. Since joining the Kings on Dec. 9, he’s put up 21 points per game.
Another big change that has made a big difference for Sacramento is first-year head coach Mike Malone inserting point guard Isaiah Thomas into the starting lineup. Since that move 22 games ago, Thomas has averaged 21 points and seven assists.
This is the first game of the Pacers’ 12th set of back-to-back games this season. They are perfect on the front end (11-0), but five of their eight losses have come on the second night. They'll conclude this back-to-back with a visit to Denver on Saturday night.
Kings: DeMarcus Cousins (day-to-day, moderate left ankle sprain), Rudy Gay (day-to-day, left Achilles injury)
“He’s as talented of a player as there is in the NBA. He can beat you by himself.” – Frank Vogel on DeMarcus Cousins
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 the last three meetings with Sacramento.
- The Sacramento Kings will become the first NBA team to stream first-person views lives using Google Glass. In this game, they’ll debut about a dozen cameras on their mascot, dancers, sideline reporters and others closest to the action live offer first-person views.
- Solomon Hill and Kings forward Derrick Williams were teammates at the University of Arizona from 2009-2011.
- DeMarcus Cousins was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from Jan. 6-12. Paul George has been named Eastern Conference Player of the Week twice this season, for games played from Nov. 4-10 and Jan. 13-19.
Jan. 14: The Pacers led for all but nearly a minute and turned in their best offensive performance of the season as they steamrolled the Kings, 116-92. The Pacers, who snapped the Kings’ streak of 12 straight games in triple digits, used a 22-6 run in the fourth quarter on way to earning their 30th win of the season. The win also secured Frank Vogel and his coaching staff’s spot at the 2014 NBA All-Star game to coach the Eastern Conference squad.
Paul George broke out of his mini-scoring slump with 31 points, 14 coming in the third period. David West finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Kings center DeMarcus Cousins had an incredible third quarter where he totaled 19 points and 10 rebounds, and ended the night with 31 & 13 for his 11th straight double-double. Rudy Gay was held to 13 points.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady