GAME RECAP: Pacers 119, Kings 105
T.J. Warren scores 23 points and grabs 4 rebounds as the Pacers beat the Kings 119-105.
T.J. Warren scores 23 points and grabs 4 rebounds as the Pacers beat the Kings 119-105.
December 20, 2019 - T.J. Warren, Doug McDermott, and Justin Holiday respond to the 119-105 victory over the Sacramento Kings, Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
December 20, 2019 - T.J. Warren led all scorers with an efficient 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting (3-of-4 3PFG) in Indiana's 119-105 win over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
December 20, 2019 - Myles Turner scored 17 points (5-of-9 FG, 6-of-6 FT), pulled down three boards and registered two blocked shots in the Pacers 119-105 win over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
December 20, 2019 - Domantas Sabonis nearly reached another double-double in Friday night's 119-105 win against the Sacramento Kings at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, scoring 15 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Sabonis added six assists and two blocked shots while shooting 6-of-13 from the field.
Dec. 20, 2019 - Myles Turner plays through contact and gets creative with the finish, converting the and-one with his left hand.
Dec. 20, 2019 - Domantas Sabonis electrifies the crowd with his pass to T.J. Warren for the layup.
Dec. 20, 2019 - T.J. McConnell hits the shot at the end of the first quarter.
Dec. 20, 2019 - T.J. Warren shows off the moves on his way to the early bucket.
Game Rewind: Pacers 119, Kings 105
Friday, December 20, 2019 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Sandwiched between an L.A. Lakers win and two upcoming games against high-profile Eastern Conference opponents — the Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors — the Pacers played host to the Sacramento Kings on Friday night. It was the quintessential "trap game" scenario.
"We talk about it," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said pregame. "We talk about why this could be a trap game. This is — you know, everybody's excited about the L.A. win, or any time you beat a good team, you sometimes can tend to come in and not look at that next game as important. So, for us we talk about it."
Thanks to McMillan's talk, Indiana (20-9) dispelled any notions of overlooking the Kings (12-16) by cruising to 119-105 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for their fifth-straight win.
After surrendering a 10-2 run and falling into a 28-22 hole with 2:50 left to play in the first quarter, T.J. McConnell sparked Indiana's offense with eight consecutive Pacer points. His most impressive bucket of the run — a thrilling buzzer beater from just inside the 3-point line — pulled the Pacers to within two (32-30) as the quarter ended.
McConnell and the reserves would then energize Indiana to a 38-point second-quarter performance and a 68-57 halftime lead. The former 76er scored 13 first-half points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting from the field. The Blue & Gold never relinquished the lead in the second half, and secured the easy victory on a pair of T.J. Warren 3-pointers midway through the fourth.
In all, seven Pacers scored in double figures, including all five starters. Fighting off an undisclosed illness, Warren led all scorers with 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Myles Turner added 17, while McConnell and Domantas Sabonis tallied 15 apiece in the victory. In his 10th career start, Aaron Holiday finished with 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting, nailing all three 3-point attempts. Holiday replaced Jeremy Lamb, who sat out while nursing a sore right groin suffered in Tuesday's victory over the Lakers.
After a back-and-forth opening four minutes, Indiana finally broke the one-possession game on Warren's floater in the paint with 7:59 to go in the first quarter. The shot was preceded by a block from Sabonis on the defensive end that eventually led to a shot-clock violation. A few moments later, Warren's baseline three grabbed a 16-11 lead for Indiana.
It was essentially a one-man show that kept Sacramento neck-and-neck with Indiana early. Nemanja Bjelica had 11 of the Kings' first 18 points. His 3-pointer from the left wing at the 5:47 mark pulled Sacramento back to within two, 20-18, and forced McMillan to call a timeout. Bjelica ended up scoring 13 on 5-of-8 shooting in the first. He wouldn't hit another shot for the rest of the game.
After the timeout, a 10-2 run from Sacramento — including a 3-pointer from former Pacer Cory Joseph — vaulted the Kings in front, 28-22, with 2:50 left to play in the frame.
But just as they've done for the majority of the season, the Pacers' reserves would not let their opponent get away. McConnell scored the Blue & Gold's last eight points of the frame to pull Indiana back to within two. With 1.9 seconds to go, he let the ball roll across the floor to save time. As he crossed half court, he picked the ball up and sprinted towards the basket. A quick step back gave him the space needed to drill the buzzer beater.
Out of the break, McConnell kept up his impressive play by finding Justin Holiday with a bounce pass for the two-handed slam. Doug McDermott then found his stroke, and scored Indiana's next five points to grab a 37-36 lead with 10:44 left in the half.
"I thought we did a great job," McDermott said postgame of the second unit. "I think it started with those first guys that came in — with McConnell, with Justin Holiday. So, gotta give them credit. It's something we've put emphasis on all year, is to just bring in energy regardless of what the score is."
Later in the quarter, McDermott and Sabonis pair up and spark the offense. Sabonis found McDermott for the wide-open baseline three to push Indiana ahead, 45-40. On the next possession, they would trade places on the stat sheet. With 7:39 to play, McDermott dished the ball to the paint to Sabonis, who finished with a thunderous slam to maintain a five-point lead for the Blue & Gold.
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The play would lead to an eventual 13-4 surge from the Pacers over the next 3:24 that nabbed a 60-46 lead with 4:15 remaining in the half.
However, the Kings quickly chewed the Pacers' lead down to five on an 11-2 run of their own. But back-to-back threes from Aaron Holiday and Malcolm Brogdon would close out Indiana's stellar quarter, and give the Pacers a nine-point advantage at halftime.
Indiana extended their lead to double digits in the early moments of the third. Turner scored eight of the Pacers' first 10 points of the frame, including a nifty put-back layup with 8:30 left in the third that gave the Blue & Gold a 78-61 lead.
Indiana's defense would then hold the Kings to just five points over the next 4:24 to keep increasing their lead. With 4:26 remaining, Aaron Holiday's step-back three from the top of the key finally pushed their lead above the 20-point mark (88-66) for the first time in the contest.
With 2:45 left in the quarter, Turner would keep Indiana's lead at 20 with a momentous swat on former Hoosier Yogi Ferrell's layup attempt. Brogdon would add a pair of free throws on the other end then pushed the Pacers' lead back to 22, 90-68.
But as time wound down, it was Sacramento's turn for a bit of late-quarter luck. The Kings would rattle off a 9-0 run to finish the quarter, including a half-court 3-pointer from rookie Justin James with just 0.6 showing on the clock to trim Indiana's lead to 92-79 as the quarter expired.
Sacramento would trim Indiana's lead to 11 out of the break, but would never get any closer. Back-to-back threes from McDermott and Justin Holiday stopped Sacramento's momentum in its tracks. With 9:20 remaining, McConnell pushed Indiana into triple digits and regained a 16-point lead on a pull-up jumper in the paint.
Warren finally put the Pacers ahead by 22, 110-88, once more on a 3-pointer with 5:52 left to play. On the next Pacers' possession, he showed off his sharpshooting skills once again in the left corner to put the game completely out of reach.
The Blue & Gold managed to put away the final five minutes of the game with its deep bench players without much of an issue. The blowout was a nice change of pace after Tuesday's close battle with the Lakers.
Inside the Numbers
Domantas Sabonis scored in double figures for the 27th time this season with 15 points. But, he fell one rebound short of his 24th double-double.
The Pacers dished out 34 assists, marking the fifth time this season they've tallied 30 assists or more.
Indiana surrendered just nine turnovers for the second time in three games.
T.J. Warren scored 20 or more points for the 12th time this season.
You Can Quote Me On That
"It helps having players come in and do their jobs, and he's done that all season long. He's like an injection, he comes in and changes the tempo of the game. We speed up and get more scrappy." –Pacers head coach Nate McMillan on how much of an advantage it is to have a guy like T.J. McConnell come off the bench
"The effort was great most of the night. I think that neither team was playing defense in the beginning. Second half I think we came out there and really established our defense like we needed to do." –Myles Turner on tonight's team effort
"We know they're a top team and we have to respect them for that. But we have to go with the mindset that we're going to punch first and hopefully leave there with a win." –Myles Turner on their mindset heading to Milwaukee
Stat of the Night
Indiana recorded a season-high 68 first-half points to easily put away Sacramento in the second half for the easy victory.
- The Pacers have now won their last four home matchups against the Kings.
- Indiana has matched their longest winning streak of the season (5), and have won 13 of its last 16 games dating back to Nov. 18.
- Coming into this game, Sacramento's Richaun Holmes ranked third in the NBA in field goal percentage (65.5 percent). Tonight, he finished with 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting.
The Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors on Monday, Dec. 23 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »
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