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Kings 97, Pacers 107: No legs left in the fourth

A rough second half for Sacramento sees their three game winning streak come to an end in Indiana.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping 31 points in the first quarter, you’d be surprised to see the Kings not hit 100 points to finish the game. They never touched 30 points in any of the three remaining quarters and only scored 18 in the third. Sacramento just lost all legs in that second half, especially in the fourth when the Pacers went up 100-85 and essentially locked a home win. The Kings are still above .500 at 13-12.

The Kings started the first quarter shooting 1-6 from the field, leading to an early 8-2 deficit. Then Mr. Buddy Buckets became scorching hot, nailing three three’s in a row including a layup to propel a Kings run and turn the game around to a score of 19-11. Indiana made a little run to make it closer, but the Kings went on a 7-0 run and closed out the quarter fairly nicely at 31-24. Hield easily was the top scorer for Sacramento with 13 points on 5-8 shooting while Frank Mason, Nemanja Bjelica and Willie Cauley-Stein all chipped in four each. The Pacers were led by a trio of five-point scorers in Thaddeus Young, Tyreke Evans and Darren Collison.

The second quarter did not end as planned for the Kings. They opened up a 12-point lead against Indiana as the Pacers couldn’t buy a basket. Then the tides switched and it was the Kings struggling to get one to fall, leading Indiana to come back in this game and take the lead. Collison would make a buzzer-beating two to give the Pacers a 54-52 lead at the half. Bojan Bogdanovic got going for Indiana, finishing the half with 11 points. Young and Collison had 11 each as well. The Kings were led by Hield’s 15, but no one else was in double figures. De’Aaron Fox scored his first points in this quarter with four assists, finishing with four and Bjelica grabbed eight rebounds.

This was a very, very low scoring third quarter, as the Pacers outscored the Kings 19-18. Both teams were missing their shots, but the worst part was that the Kings had built up a 68-62 lead, then lost it to end the quarter at 73-70. Fox started to get going, taking his total to to 14. Hield and Cauley-Stein were in double figures, but they were not shooting well. Collison and Bogdanovic led Indiana with 14.

Well, the Kings completely ran out of legs in the fourth quarter. Justin Jackson really elevated the bench with his three’s, including one ridiculous one with the shot clock winding down. However, poor defense, the inability to get defensive rebounds, and too many missed shots killed Sacramento’s chances of extending their winning streak to four. The Kings will not have to face the Pacers again this season as the final score is 107-97.

Best Players

Buddy Hield had a monstrous first quarter, finishing with 13 points and at one point had the same amount of points as the entire opposition (11). However, he went ice cold the rest of the way and didn’t make his fourth three pointer until the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach. He finished with 20 points on 8-20 shooting and 4-12 from three with four rebounds.

De’Aaron Fox got his scoring going in the third quarter and finished with 18 points. He was 7-14 from the field and 0-3 from deep, so he didn’t shoot as well as he did against Cleveland. But this is Indiana’s really good defense we’re talking about. He dished out six assists and blocked two shots.

Justin Jackson was the best player off the bench in terms of the scoring output he had in the fourth. He gave the Kings a huge lift when they couldn’t buy a shot but it wasn’t enough. He finished with 11 points in 25 minutes on 4-6 overall shooting and 3-5 from downtown. He’s been having some solid performances off the bench in recent games.

Willie Money Watch

In 31 minutes, Willie finished with 14 points on 6-14 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds, so he did hit around his seasonal averages in those departments. However, his efficiency in terms of finishing layups, playing defense and grabbing rebounds was not up to standards in most cases. An example of his inefficiency came after a steal to get the ball back, only to throw an errant pass and give it away for an easy basket for Indiana.

Notable Stats

The Kings are a really, really efficient three point shooting team, but shot 9-32 from beyond the arc tonight. Their free throw shooting was 12-15, which is an improvement.

Sacramento was out-rebounded 43-52.

Sacramento also only had 46 points in the paint, compared to 72 against Cleveland. The Pacers are a good team defending the paint and it showed.

Marvin Bagley had six fouls in ten minutes. He had four points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal.

The Game in One Sentence

The Kings can still go 3-1 on this four-game road trip with a win against the Chicago Bulls, who did recently beat the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Next Game

The Kings head to Chicago to take on those Bulls mentioned above on Monday at 5:00 PM PST.