The Indiana Pacers jumped up 9-0 on the Sacramento Kings and never looked back, cruising in a wire-to-wire victory and securing their first back-to-back win of the season. Indiana stormed out of the gates behind a dominating first quarter from Domantas Sabonis to set the tone for the night. Sabonis had Indiana’s first seven rebounds en route to a 12 point, 16 rebound double double, dishing five assists, though he was only 5-6 from the floor.
Everything went the Pacers way tonight, even when it didn’t. Indiana shot 52% in the first half to lead by 25, but that shooting fell off the earth in the third quarter with the Pacers shooting just 3-18 and scoring 14 points. That didn’t much matter thanks to the ineptitude of the Kings offense, who even gifted a bad Pacers quarter, couldn’t trim the deficit any closer than 19.
The nature of the game gave Indiana a lot of extra garbage time to work with, showcasing the second unit in a five-man lineup. As a unit, they had their struggles, but Cory Joseph played well in the second half after an underwhelming first, scoring 13 on 5-8 shooting with three threes.
Lance Stephenson continues to struggle with his shot at 2-6 for six points, but played well all around with seven rebounds and five assists to go with a pair of blocks. T.J. Leaf also had some good plays, scoring seven. Ike Anigbogu also saw action late, scoring his first NBA points in the closing minutes (along with a big block!).
Four of the five starters scored in double figures, led by Bojan Bogdanovic, who had 17. Bogdanovic hitting three threes. Thaddeus Young also had a pair of threes, scoring 15. Victor Oladipo had 14, coming up with some highlights in his 28 minutes.
It’s encouraging to see the Pacers come out of the gates to make a statement to move to 4-3, but against a superior opponent, their second half effort very likely could have sent them to a loss. Late threes from Alex Poythress pushed them over the century mark, but the overall second half effort was fairly poor, from shooting to ball handling, even to defense when the Kings finally started scoring points in the fourth quarter.
The Pacers will have to use tonight’s second half as a quick teaching moment when a back-to-back on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs are struggling, but are far from pushovers, and Indiana can’t stumble the same way they did tonight and expect the same outcome.