In what was poised to be a blockbuster match-up, the Sacramento Kings beat the Indiana Pacers in thrilling fashion from the Fieldhouse on Wednesday night. Damian Jones sealed the victory with a game-winner as this contest went down to the wire.
The contest featured the return of Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield to Kings’ television, with Justin Holiday and Jeremy Lamb playing in their first game since the trade. Domantas Sabonis did not make his homecoming, off the heels of a bone bruise that has the big man sidelined until at least April 2nd. De’Aaron Fox did not face his former running mate either, as he did not play with a hand injury. It was an opportunity for both teams to display their new brands of basketball, embrace the identity that the trade initiated and more importantly: gave us what we’ve been waiting to see.
Sacramento were consistent from beyond the arc tonight, building off momentum from their matinee vs. Phoenix on Sunday. Led by Chimezie Metu and Davion Mitchell, the Kings shot 8/17 from 3-point range. Metu went 6-6 from the field before missing a shot, garnering 18 points that tied his career high in just first 11 minutes of play.
There was no shortage of Haliburton or Hield on the Pacers side of play, both falling into their usual strengths: Hali dishing 15 dimes while Hield shot 5-7 from beyond the arc.
The Pacers took their largest lead in the third, while the Kings were plagued by turnovers resulting in a 89-78 deficit. There was a lack of defense on both ends, but Sacramento couldn’t keep up with Indiana’s second half offense, and thus another penultimate frame fell flat.
Mitchell had answers in the fourth quarter, pouring in timely buckets that gave Sacramento a tied chanced to claim the win. Once again the Kings found themselves knotted up in crunch time. Damian Jones garnered the game winning putback, sending the Kings to a 110-109 finish off a missed Trey Lyles three-pointer.