Tyreke Evans took T.J. Ford out of the game in the first quarter. Literally. Evans so abused Ford that Pacers coach Jim O'Brien had no choice but to pull his point guard eight minutes in. Ford only played 12 more minutes the rest of the game, finishing with zero points, one assist and two turnovers.
That might have been the difference in the game -- getting a goose egg from a vital offensive weapon who happens to be undersized against normal point guards (never mind a creature like 'Reke) and as such gives up 16 first-quarter points ... that's pretty huge. And it happened only because of Evans's tools, and his willingness to use them. That first Ford stint was an 8-minute match-up problem. That's why you draft players like Evans.
Elsewhere on the court, Spencer Hawes out-Murphyed Troy Murphy, hitting three threes (Murphy had one) and generally doing what he pleased on the court. He and Jason Thompson (who was also effective on offense), however, got murdered on the boards, giving up an outrageous 22 offensive rebounds for Indiana. The Pacers took 43 percent of all offensive rebound opportunities, which is way way too many.
But thanks to the humming offense (and awful Pacers defense), the Kings pulled it out.
More on this game Thursday morning.