Game Preview: Pacers vs Kings
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 8:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
After surrendering a season-high 154 points in a 13-point loss in Washington, the Pacers (30-34) return home to host the Sacramento Kings (27-37) on Wednesday night. It will be the second night of back-to-back road contests for the visitors.
While Indiana's offense has been rolling, the absences of its big men have proven to be a tough defensive obstacle for them lately. During Monday night's defeat, the Blue & Gold allowed a season-high 96 points in the paint to the Wizards. Unfortunately, they will be facing another tough task down low when the Kings come to town.
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As of Tuesday morning, Sacramento is fourth in the league in scoring in the paint (53.3 points per game), one spot higher than Washington. Winners of three out of their last four, the Kings score 46.7 percent of their points near the rim. Starting bigs Marvin Bagley III (14.0 points, 7.4 rebounds per game) and Richaun Holmes (14.5 points, 8.7 rebounds) are shooting over 50 percent from the floor. Holmes alone is averaging 64.4 percent shooting in 55 games played this season.
Pacers fans did receive some positive news about the return of Goga Bitadze during coach Nate Bjorkgren's pregame press conference before Monday night's game. Bjorkgren stated that Bitadze has been working out in one-on-one drills with the team and participating in shootarounds. It's an indication that his return is on the horizon.
Pacers: PG - Caris LeVert, SG - Edmond Sumner, SF - Doug McDermott, PF - Oshae Brissett, C - Domantas Sabonis
Kings: PG - Delon Wright, SG - Buddy Hield, SF - Maurice Harkless, PF - Marvin Bagley III, C - Richaun Holmes
Pacers: Goga Bitadze - questionable (left ankle sprain), Malcolm Brogdon - questionable (sore right hamstring), Jeremy Lamb - questionable (sore left knee), Edmond Sumner - questionable (bruised left knee), JaKarr Sampson - out (concussion), Myles Turner - out (partial plantar plate tear, right foot great toe), T.J. Warren - out (left foot stress fracture)
Kings: Chimezie Metu - questionable (low back soreness), De'Aaron Fox - out (health & safety protocol), Harrison Barnes - doubtful (left adductor tightness), Tyrese Haliburton - out (left knee), Robert Woodard II - out (lower back soreness)
Jan. 11, 2021: The Pacers dropped a tight contest to the Kings, 127-122, at Golden 1 Center. Indiana had fought back from a 12-point deficit to earn a one-point lead in the fourth quarter. However, an overturned goaltending call and an unfortunate bounce of a loose ball doomed the squad down the stretch.
Trailing 118-117, Domantas Sabonis attempted a contested layup against Richaun Holmes. Originally called a goaltending violation, it was ruled Holmes had touched the ball before it hit the backboard, and the call was overturned. On the ensuing Kings possession, Indiana played lock-down defense, forcing a loose ball. However, the ball trickled to the right corner and directly into the hands of sharpshooter Buddy Hield. He obliged and knocked in a three to give Sacramento a 121-117 lead with 1:09 remaining. The Pacers could not take over from there.
Four Pacers finished with 20 points or more, with Domantas Sabonis leading the way with 28 points and 11 boards. Malcolm Brogdon finished with 24 points on 9-of-19 shooting, while Victor Oladipo added 21. Doug McDermott finished with a bench-high 21 on 8-of-10 shooting.
The Kings were led by four starters who finished in double figures. Harrison Barnes finished with a game-high 30 points — his only 30-point performance this season. De' Aaron Fox finished with 21, while Buddy Hield recorded 18 — all from beyond the arc.
- The Pacers have won six of the last eight contests against the Kings. Before Jan. 11, their last loss came on Dec. 1, 2018.
- Indiana holds a 31-14 all-time series home record against the Kings.
- Pacers center Myles Turner and Kings forward Harrison Barnes were teammates on the U.S. Men's National Team during the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: Bally Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.