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Kings 111, Pacers 110: A win in the final seconds

The Sacramento Kings snapped a three game losing skid to go back to .500 with a narrow victory over Indiana.

Kimani Okearah

Sacramento was lucky not to be trailing by more than four after the end of the first quarter. In the second consecutive game, the opposing team got off to a hot shooting start. The Indiana Pacers were 11/16 from the field but were also negatively affected by seven turnovers. Their leading scorer was Bojan Bogdanovic, who had 11 points on 4/5 shooting. The Kings had three players with six points: Buddy Hield, Nemanja Bjelica and Bogdan Bogdanovic off the bench. Their defense was sloppy but Kosta Koufos helped massively by locking down the paint. The first quarter ended 30-26.

The Kings outscored the Pacers 32-30 in the second quarter, thanks to a 10-0 run to take a 49-43 lead. However, they gave the lead right back and the Pacers kept a lead late to end the half 60-58. Justin Jackson and Troy Williams gave solid production off the bench. Jackson hit two threes, finishing with eight points before being substituted and also threw a perfect lob to Willie Cauley-Stein. Troy Williams had five points, including a three and a grown man’s rebound for a putback. Buddy Hield led the way with 11, while De’Aaron Fox was 1-7 from the field. Myles Turner sure loved sending his layups back to Indiana. The Pacers were led by Bogdanovic’s 13 points, while Tyreke Evans and Turner had 10 each.

Each team scored 31 points in the third quarter, but it was Indiana who held a two-point advantage over Sacramento. It was a mini battle of each Bogdanovic, with Indiana’s Bojan taking his total to 22 and Sacramento’s Bogi going up to 17, leading all Kings’ scorers even off the bench. Fox continued to struggle shooting, but got points through drawing fouls and converting at the line. Iman Shumpert got some threes in as well. The quarter would end 91-89.

Oh, man. This was an intense fourth quarter with the game coming down to the final second, literally. It was a low scoring quarter, due to the fact that no team could hit a shot to save their life and the game was stalled at 107-103 for what seemed like forever. But Fox’s vastly improved defense came into effect against Darren Collison and Cauley-Stein got the game-winning putback. The Indiana version of Bogdanovic missed their chance to win the game and Hield fought for the rebound with Collison to draw a jump ball. Hield won the bad tip, but it fell right to Collison’s hands and the shot went in-and-out. However, that was a violation since he can’t be the first to touch the ball. The Kings got the ball back on an inbounds pass and that was it. A much needed Kings win!

Best Players

Bogdan Bogdanovic played 31 minutes off the bench, and still led the Kings in scoring with 20. He was 7-12, with three threes and had six assists. The backup point guard role he’s molding into worked out today!

De’Aaron Fox had another awful shooting night, and even missed his chance to win the game, but still made up for it on other ends of the game. He added six assists and four rebounds with big steals on the defensive end. He converted all seven of his free throws as well.

Buddy Hield had 18 points, five rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes. He also struggled shooting, going 6-16 and 2-9 from three. This marks two consecutive games of seven missed threes in one game for Buddy #randomstat.

Willie Money Watch

Willie had solid numbers on the stat sheet, with 17 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and two steals. He struggled on ends you can’t find on the stat sheet, like caught balls and defense, but had the game-winning basket on a putback dunk.

Notable Players

Troy Williams off the bench had 12 points on 4-6 shooting, including 3-3 from deep.

Kosta Koufos played 15 minutes since returning from a calf injury. Although he didn’t score, he added seven rebounds and locked down the paint while he was out there.

Justin Jackson added eight points on 3-7 shooting, 2-3 from three. He played 25 minutes, mostly getting additional minutes due to Marvin Bagley’s absence.

Notable Stats

The Kings were 13-29 from three, good for 45%.

They were 16-24 from the free throw line, narrowly escaping with a win despite many missed free throws.

The Kings were called for 16 fouls (seemed like more) compared to 26 on Indiana.

Indiana had 26 points off 20 Sacramento turnovers.

Harry Giles didn’t play a single minute, surprisingly.

The Game in One Sentence

Back at .500!

Next Game

The Kings travel to Phoenix to take on the Suns on Tuesday at 6:00 PM PST.