Leading by six with 5:18 remaining, Thaddeus Young collected a pass in the paint and went head first into the teeth of the defense, picking up the bucket and the foul. The crowd erupted in approval as Young pounded his chest and screamed.
On the Kings' ensuing possession, a steal led to Young on the fastbreak, where he again picked up a huge and-1, putting the Pacers ahead by 12 and essentially closing the door on the game as Indiana went on to collect a 107-97 over the Kings at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday night.
"It was perfect timing for the situation that we were in," explained Young after the game. "They were charging and trying to comeback and those two (and-1's) were backbreakers for them."
Young — who finished with 20 points and nine rebounds — was instrumental during Indiana's 19-5 landslide of a run that brought them from leading by one to safely putting the game away when Bojan Bogdanovic sent home a one-handed slam on the fastbreak.
The victory was the third straight from the Pacers (16-10), who opened up a three-game homestand with a rollicking fourth quarter that led to the 10-point win.
"We just knew we had to stick together and fight," said Domantas Sabonis, who fought off food poisoning and scored 14 points off the bench. "There wasn’t a lot of energy in this game. Both teams coming off of back to backs and we just said the first team to play defense wins."
The Kings were not without offense on the night, as Buddy Hield scored a team-high 20 for the visitors.
It wasn't enough, however, to overcome the balanced effort from the Pacers, who finished with seven players in double figures.
To start the night, the Pacers built an early 8-2 lead, which was quickly erased by the shooting of Hield, who knocked down three 3-pointers in the first five minutes to put Sacramento ahead 13-11 with 6:52 remaining in the opening quarter.
Even without Hield on the floor, the Kings offense continued to flourish, taking a 31-24 lead into the second quarter.
To start the second frame, Sacramento jumped ahead by 13 points when Bogdan Bogdanovic canned a three. But soon after, Domantas Sabonis started to find his footing, sending home buckets on back-to-back possessions to bring it back to a single-digit deficit and trigger a Kings timeout with 8:32 left in the half.
Out of the stoppage, the Pacers continued to chip away at the Kings lead, as Bojan Bogdanovic followed up a driving layup with a three from the corner, making it a 44-41 Sacramento lead.
In the closing moments of the half, after the Pacers had taken a two-point lead, De'Aaron Fox tied the game on a jumper. But with the clock winding down, Darren Collison answered with a buzzer-beating jumper from just inside the 3-point arc to grab a 54-52 halftime lead.
After falling behind in the early moments of the third quarter, a Myles Turner three served as the spark of a 9-0 Pacers run that vaulted Indiana to a three-point lead and caused a timeout from the Kings.
An errant pass from Sacramento was chased down by Cory Joseph, who made a direct line to the hoop and converted on a tricky layup to keep the Pacers in front.
In the final minutes of the third, Sabonis flicked in a turnaround layup, keeping Indiana ahead 73-70 going into the final quarter at the Fieldhouse.
With the fourth quarter underway, Indiana was able to get its lead up to six points in the early going, but Kings forward Justin Jackson was on fire from deep, drilling three 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the quarter as the Kings climbed back.
When the score got as tight as 84-83, the Pacers responded with a burst of offense. A three from McDermott followed by a turnaround hook from Sabonis pushed Indiana's lead back to six with 7:12 remaining in the game.
From that point forward, the Pacers unleashed on offense, embarking on what became a 19-5 run to jump ahead by as much as 15 points.
Although the Kings were able to battle back to get the lead down to 10, Indiana remained safely ahead as Young and company closed out the #PacersWin.
"It’s just about playing hard," said Myles Turner of the defense, which has held its last three opponents under 100 points. "I know I said that a lot, about playing hard, but that’s what it is. We started the game so lackadaisical and I think around halftime we kind of got a fire lit under us and just started playing so much better."
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers got a boost at the free throw line, making 19-of-22 shots.
Indiana outrebounded the Kings 52-43.
Myles Turner tied his season high with 13 rebounds.
You Can Quote Me On That
"It’s huge. You see a game like where Domas goes out and Kyle is able to step in with a double-double. We have a lot of weapons on this team and now everybody is playing with confidence. I think that’s one thing that’s grown a lot. I don’t think guys at the beginning of the season were playing with as much confidence as they’re playing with right now." -Myles Turner on the team's depth
"(Cory Joseph is) our sixth man. He’s been solid all season long, he’s been steady all season long…I love the way he plays the game. He plays every possession on both ends of the floor and has really been a glue for this team, as well as that second unit." -Nate McMillan on Joseph's play
"They’ve got experience. They’re physical. They handled the mental part of playing the second night of a back-to-back. Mentally, we’re exhausted and didn’t keep people in front of us enough, didn’t get enough loose balls, and had some untimely finishes on some plays where we didn’t finish." -Kings coach Dave Joerger
Stat of the Night
The Pacers have now produced 20 or more assists as a team in 14 consecutive games.
- The win tied the season series against the Kings at 1-1.
- Domantas Sabonis, who was a game-time decision, played 24 minutes in the win.
- Darren Collison finished with 14 points, six assists, and no turnovers.
- Kings forward Willie Cauley-Stein was assessed a flagrant 1 foul with 4:14 remaining in the game.
Indiana's three-game homestand continues with a meeting against John Wall and the Washington Wizards on Monday night at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »
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