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Kings 111, Pacers 115 (OT): Deja Vu

Kings blow a big lead against the Pacers. Again
By | 0 Comments | Jan 28, 2017

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Sacramento Kings built up a huge lead against the Indiana Pacers, watched it slowly whittle away, and completely blow it down the stretch. Nine days after losing a huge lead to the Pacers at home, the Kings decided to go for a repeat performance in Indiana, this time waiting until overtime to sputter it away.

The story of this game was the Kings’ inability to handle the Pacers’ physicality once they ratcheted the pressure up in the third quarter. The Kings were humming on offense, running beautiful offense through DeMarcus Cousins (26 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists) and getting great shots all over the court. The Kings tied a franchise record with 7 three pointers in the first quarter on their way to an explosive 64 point first half. The ball was moving well and everyone was shooting well; Darren Collison (26 points, 4/6 3P), Arron Afflalo (15 points, 3/5 3P), and Ty Lawson (16 points, 2/3 3P) were the main beneficiaries. The Kings built a 9 point lead at half and built a 16 point lead in the third quarter.

The game turned when the Pacers amped up the physicality on defense, and the Kings responded poorly. The Kings had 19 turnovers in the game, six of those coming in the third quarter. The ball movement dried up, and disappointingly the Kings only ended the game with 22 assists to offset their turnovers. The Kings also started fouling on defense and letting the Pacers get to the free throw line; Paul George (33 points, 16/17 FT) did most of his damage from the line. The Pacers chipped away at the lead, and tied the game at 104 on George’s free throws with a minute remaining.

Overtime ended up becoming a physical slugfest, with plenty of contact left uncalled on both sides. The Kings struggled to get offense, staying close mostly because Collison and Afflalo hit some tough shots. George ended up hitting the gamewinning shot, a midrange jumper over Afflalo’s outstretched arms. Cousins and Collison could not score on the other end given multiple chances, and that was the ballgame.

The Kings now fall to 2-3 on this roadtrip, but continue to play competitive basketball. They play again tomorrow against the Hornets, and then a back-to-back against Philadelphia and Houston to close it out. If they can get one more win out of the three I’d be pretty satisfied.

Observations!

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