[January 25, 2014]SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Indiana Pacers
trailed the Sacramento Kings 103-99 with 18 seconds left to play Friday
night when they called timeout to draw up a play.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel was looking for a quick 3-point basket
from All-Star game starting forward Paul George. George did even
better, producing a four-point play and forcing overtime. Then he
scored eight of his 36 points in the extra frame, leading the Pacers
to a 116-111 victory over the Kings.
"You hit a shot like that, you have to have the momentum going into
overtime," George said. "That's what we do so well is finish and
close games out."
George took an inbounds pass, drilled a 3-point shot from the right
wing, drew a foul from Kings forward Derrick Williams and made his
free throw with 15 seconds left. Kings guard Isaiah Thomas missed an
18-foot jumper under pressure and the game went to overtime.
George has made plenty of miraculous plays in his career but never a
four-point play to force overtime.
"That will be the first one on my bucket list," George said,
smiling. "I practice shots like that. So that was just a normal shot
I felt like, but I did feel like I got hit and got pushed from
Guard Marcus Thornton scored a career-high tying 42 points and guard
Isaiah Thomas added 38 for the Kings (15-27), matching his career
"Tough loss, man, tough loss," Thornton said. "The plays we needed to
execute we didn't. They came up with the big stops. We did a lot in
that game to win the game, so it's tough."
Pacers guard Lance Stephenson had 24 points and 10 rebounds. Forward
David West scored 22 points and center Roy Hibbert had 11 rebounds
and 10 points for Indiana (34-8).
The Kings played without two injured starters, center DeMarcus
Cousins (sprained right ankle) and small forward Rudy Gay (strained
left Achilles) — who were hurt Wednesday night against Houston.
Cousins averages 22.6 points and 11.6 rebounds — both team highs — and Gay averages 19.8 points and 6.0 rebounds.
Aaron Gray started for Cousins, and Williams started for Gay.
"I'm very proud," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "Our guys came
out and played their hearts out and they put themselves in a
position to win the game. It was a game we should have won. I
couldn't be more proud of everyone who played tonight. This shows
you a lot about our team."
In overtime, West hit a 3-point shot, putting the Pacers up
108-106 with 3:56 left. After a Kings turnover, George extended
Indiana's lead to 110-106, capping a fast break with an emphatic
The Kings pulled to 112-111 on Thomas' jump shot with
1:38 left, but Stephenson scored from close range, giving Indiana a
114-11 lead with 1:20 left. The Kings turned the ball over twice and
George made two free throws, extending Indiana's lead to 116-111
with 12 seconds left.
The Pacers were coming off a 124-100 road loss on Wednesday night to
Phoenix, their worst defeat of the season, and narrowly avoided just
their second two-game losing streak.
That surprising loss to the Suns, who made 11 of 16 3-point shots,
had the Pacers ready for anything from the undermanned Kings.
"We didn't overlook them," Hibbert said. "We lost to Phoenix. this
was like a comeback game for us. We didn't take this team lightly.
We went out there and played our hearts out. Guys made big shots."
Thornton quickly filled the Kings' offensive void when the game
began, scoring 26 points in the first half and lifting Sacramento to
a 60-50 lead. Thomas added 13 first-half points.
NOTES: Kings C DeMarcus Cousins (sprained left ankle) and F Rudy Gay
(strained left Achilles tendon) did not play against Indiana and,
according to coach Michael Malone, might miss at least one more
game. "It's honestly too early to tell," Malone said before the
game. "I know DeMarcus is dying to play. The good thing is both MRIs
didn't reveal anything to us serious. So I'm hoping (they return) in
the next day or so, but it could be a couple games. We'll have to
re-evaluate it tomorrow with our training staff and see what they're
saying." ... Despite his team's injuries, Malone said he still
planned to "slowly increase" backup F Carl Landry's playing time as
he continues his comeback from a torn left hip flexor muscle. Landry
appeared in just his third game this season Friday. ... Pacers F
Paul George appeared in his first game since being voted a starter
for the Eastern Conference in the NBA All-Star game and being named
in the pool of 28 players for the U.S. men's basketball national
team. "Couldn't be more proud," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.