Kings Blog

Good 1st half plus bad 2nd equals much-needed win for Sacramento Kings over Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers guard George Hill (3) shoots between Sacramento Kings forward Carl Landry (24) and Kings guard Darren Collison during the second half Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, in Indianapolis.
Indiana Pacers guard George Hill (3) shoots between Sacramento Kings forward Carl Landry (24) and Kings guard Darren Collison during the second half Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, in Indianapolis. Associated Press

This game wasn’t a clinic in precise execution for 48 minutes.

But when there’s an eight-game losing streak to end, style points aren’t what you’re going for.

The Kings weren’t complaining about how their 99-94 win over the the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday night looked.

Sacramento was outscored 44-35 the second half. The Kings shot just 42.5 percent and had only 16 assists.

But a win is a win these days.

“It feels good. We needed to get a win, a tough road win,” Kings coach Tyrone Corbin said. “We were able to stick it out at the end to get it.”

The Kings had moments in the fourth quarter that were baffling. Ben McLemore gave the ball to power forward Carl Landry against Indiana’s press, and the ball was stolen by David West.

Luckily for the Kings (17-29), Indiana’s C.J. Miles missed an open three-pointer with 37.9 seconds that would have cut Sacramento’s lead to 95-94.

The Kings allowed an open George Hill to hit a late three-pointer, but there wasn’t enough time for the Pacers (17-32) to complete their comeback after trailing by 23 points.

“I just told the guys we needed to execute because we had the lead and we did not need to hurry, also to know where their three-point shooters were and to make them work on the defensive end,” Corbin said. “The guys did a great job, especially after playing (Friday) night and coming here to get the win.”

Second-half woes – The last 24 minutes of the game were the opposite of how the Kings started.

Sacramento shot 50 percent in the first half (21-for-42) with 11 assists and only three turnovers while forcing 10 Indiana turnovers.

The Kings shot 34.2 percent in the second half (13-for-38) with five assists and forced only five turnovers.

The Kings didn’t get the same kind of ball movement they had in the first half after Indiana picked up its defensive intensity. The Kings survived because they held the Pacers to 32.4 percent shooting (12-for-37) in the second half.

“I thought we did a good job of executing down the stretch, I thought we stayed poised,” said Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. “When we faced a little adversity we didn’t get rattled.”

The ball movement in the first half was a contrast from Friday’s loss at Cleveland which was heavy on one-pass or no-pass halfcourt offense.

“We moved the ball and we got good shots,” said guard Darren Collison. “The last couple of games, it seemed like we were more one pass and take a quick shot. So I thought we moved the ball tonight and got better shots.”

Added Cousins: “That is something that is being preached to us. I thought it helped set the tone, having our three primary guys get off to a good start. I thought it allowed everybody else to get into a flow.”

Those three primary guys all posted at least 20 points and three assists. Rudy Gay had a game-high 31 points and three assists.

Cousins had an off shooting night (6 of 24) but finished with 20 points, 19 rebounds and three assists before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Collison had 23 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Shooting struggles – Cousins is shooting 11-for-41 in his last two games.

Cousins said the sprained left ankle he’s playing through is not an issue.

Coming back to Indiana – Collison played for the Pacers for two seasons, 2010-12, and had a solid game against his old team. He said he takes playing against his former team personally.

“I’d be lying if I say I don’t. This is an organization that I have respect for, and I know exactly what happened in the past, and I’ll never forget that. So any chance I get to play one of my former teams, I always look to take on the challenge.”

Follow The Bee’s Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

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