The Kings have shown they know how to build a big lead only to waste it and end up with a loss.
Twice they’ve had leads of 20 or more points this season, only to end up losing.
The lead wasn’t that big this time, but a 17-point advantage in the second half wasn’t enough to put away the Indiana Pacers.
But Carl Landry saved the Kings from another embarrassing loss with a putback with 0.8 seconds to play in overtime to give Sacramento a 102-101 win Friday night at Sleep Train Arena.
“We ran a play to get Darren Collison open from the inbounds play and eventually get Rudy (Gay) the ball on an ‘iso’ on the right side of the court,” Landry said. “I just told my teammates, me as well as Reggie (Evans) were going to crash the glass. Being in situations like that, you never know, the ball can bounce your way.”
The win ended a four-game losing streak for the Kings. It was the first time they had won without DeMarcus Cousins in more than two seasons, having lost 16 in a row without him.
Cousins, the Kings’ leading scorer and rebounder was out for the fourth consecutive game with a viral infection.
Cousins also will miss tonight’s game against Orlando.
After being in control most of the night, the Kings’ offense ended up being a lot of dribbling and not enough movement as the Pacers crept back into the game.
The lead evaporated thanks to the Kings’ inability to grab key rebounds or contain David West at key moments.
West tied the score at 96-96 with 28.1 seconds to play in regulation, getting a shot to fall over the defense of Jason Thompson.
The Pacers outscored the Kings 24-16 in the fourth.
In overtime, the Kings led 100-96 before a 5-0 run by the Pacers to take the lead on a 4-footer by C.J. Watson with 1:02 to play.
The Kings had the ball with 14.1 seconds to play and went to Gay to win the game. He missed a 15-foot jumper but Landry was able to put the miss back in.
Kings coach Michael Malone had faith in Gay, who shot 10 for 20 but missed eight of his last nine shots.
“I’m always going to go to him in those situations because he’s a guy who can close games out,” Malone said. “And some of the looks that he had, for him are great looks, they just didn’t go down.”
Having a lead with less than a second to play was no reason for the Kings to be comfortable, having lost a game this season in Memphis when they led with 0.3 seconds to play after blowing a 26-point lead.
After a timeout to get their defensive assignments in order, the Kings forced a contested three by West that was off.
Gay led the Kings (10-9) with 27 points. He also had five assists. Collison had 20 points, six rebounds and six assists.
It was a nice bounce-back game for Collison, who played only 19 minutes in Tuesday’s loss to Toronto and missed all five of his shots. Malone opted to go to Ramon Sessions to close that game.
Landry added 14 points off the bench.
West led the Pacers (7-13) with 16 points.
Malone said it’s on him to make sure the Kings do not fall into the bad offensive habits that helped the Pacers get back into the game.
“For me, do a better job of controlling the game,” Malone said. “Make sure we’re running offense, getting ball movement and not so much pounding, pounding and pounding (of the ball).”