The big quarter was part of a game in which Indiana set season
highs for total points, first-half points (59) and shooting
"A complete game for our guys," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "It
was not our best defensive effort but pretty good."
Pacers forward Paul George bounced back after scoring a season-low
eight points in his last outing. He finished with 31 points Tuesday
on 10-of-18 shooting, including 4-for-7 from beyond the arc.
"I've been staying in the gym and getting up shots," George said.
"Once I got a couple going, I started to feel the rhythm that I've
been feeling all year."
Indiana forward David West chipped in with 16 points and a team-high
eight rebounds, and center Roy Hibbert added 10 points.
The deciding moment for the Pacers came just after Sacramento took
the lead on guard Jimmer Fredette's 15-foot running jumper. The
basket followed a steal by Sacramento guard Rudy Gay on a bad pass
from Indiana guard Lance Stephenson.
Vogel called timeout, and the rejuvenated Pacers responded with the
game-deciding run that began with guard Danny Granger hitting a
3-pointer with 8:37 remaining in the second.
The run was capped off in a similar fashion to the way it opened.
George sank a 3-pointer, and the Pacers held a 55-38 lead with 2:50
to play in the half.
In between, Pacers forward Luis Scola led the way as the unlikely
scoring leader during the nearly six-minute run with six points.
Granger and George added five apiece.
Sacramento, which saw its three-game winning streak end, never held
the lead again. The Kings made a slight run during the third
quarter, when they outscored Indiana 29-27 thanks to center DeMarcus
Cousins' 19-performance. The Pacers compensated thanks to George's
best offensive quarter; he scored 14.
"(The Kings) got going a little bit in the third quarter," Vogel
said. "Cousins in particular had a spectacular third quarter, but so
did Paul George."
Cousins sat the entire fourth quarter but still led the Kings with
31 points and 13 rebounds. It was his 11th consecutive
The Pacers held a 25-16 fast-break scoring advantage, with Indiana
collecting 12 of those points in the second quarter.
On back-to-back processions during the second quarter, the Pacers
demonstrated their ability to score in transition.
George came up with the steal on a bad pass from guard Isaiah
Thomas. He tipped the ball to guard George Hill, who promptly
rewarded George for his efforts with the assist, finishing with a
behind-the-back slam-dunk with just less than four minutes to play
in the half.
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Hibbert then blocked a Cousins shot that was picked up by
Stephenson, who went coast to coast for a finger-roll layup. The
17,530 fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse erupted as Kings coach
Michael Malone called a timeout with 3:28 to play in the half.
"We did not do a good job of stopping their transition tonight,"
Gay said. "And they are not a transition team."
Gay was held to 12 points, eight points below his season
average, his third-lowest scoring output of the season.
The Pacers also corralled Thomas, who entered averaging 19.3
points. He tallied just seven, five in the first half.
"We watched film and we made sure they don't do what they like
to do," Stephenson said. "We tried to force them into bad
Indiana held Sacramento to 39-of-92 shooting (42.4 percent).
The Pacers' bench continues to provide quality minutes. Point
guard C.J. Watson led the backups with 10 points, reaching
double digits in scoring for the seventh time. Scola and Granger
each added nine.
"The second unit came in and gave us a lift," West said. "They
played very well, moved the ball."
Vogel called on his bench for much of the final quarter, and the
Pacers ran the margin to a game-high 29 points when
guard/forward Rasual Butler scored his lone bucket on a dunk
with 4:32 remaining in the game.
"We played hard, solid defense and just good team play all
over," West said. "They have been scoring at a high rate.
Overall, I think everybody stepped up and got the job done
NOTES: Sacramento C DeMarcus Cousins was named the NBA's Western
Conference Player of the Week for games played Jan. 6-12. He
averaged 25 points and 12.7 rebounds, and the Kings went 3-0.
... The Kings scored 100-plus points in 12 consecutive games
before falling short Tuesday. ... At the start of Tuesday's
game, the Pacers led the NBA in scoring defense, allowing 87.9
points per game. They are the lone team with a sub-90 scoring
average. ... Indiana entered the game allowing opponents an
NBA-low average of 34.2 points in the paint. ... Two of the
NBA's top-10 scorers were on the court Tuesday night, Cousins
(23.3 points per game) and Pacers G Paul George (22.6).
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