Indiana Pacers vs. Sacramento Kings: Pacers Could Get Easy Night vs. Depleted Kings

By Mathew Muncy
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

In the third game of their current five-game West Coast trip, the Indiana Pacers could wind up with an easy night if the two stars of the Sacramento Kings sit out.

The Kings lost Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins during their game on Wednesday against the Houston Rockets. Gay went down with a left Achilles strain in the first quarter while Cousins suffered a moderate ankle sprain in the second quarter. Both players are listed as day-to-day with no word on whether they will play tonight or not.

Even if they do play, it might not make a difference. These two squads met up last week in Indianapolis and the Pacers whipped up on the Kings 116-92. Cousins was the only factor for the Kings in that game, scoring 31 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, while Gay was the only other Kings player to even score in double digits with 12.

With the Pacers coming off one of their worst performances of the season, you know they will be looking to right the ship which would mean another beat down of the Kings. The Phoenix Suns took the Pacers to town on Wednesday, shooting 54.2 percent and putting up 124 points, the most any team has scored against the Pacers this year.

But we cannot forget about how bad the Pacers have been on the road this season. With a 21-1 record at home, seeing a 12-7 road record almost makes you feel a little queasy. Sacramento could upset the Pacers on their home court, especially if Cousins and Gay play, but it still seems unlikely. This Pacers team has its flaws — mainly against faster teams, back-to-back games or teams who couldn’t miss if blindfolded, all of which the Kings aren’t.

Indiana still has the league’s best defense, allowing 89.2 points per game and their offense is steadily climbing. But the Kings are coming back home after a six-game road trip, and they hold a three-game winning streak on their court, scoring an average of 116.7 points and shooting 50 percent.

Paul George was recently announced as one of the Eastern Conference All-Star starters, so you know he will be amped up tonight and ready to give the 1.2 million fans who voted for him a show. Indiana isn’t a team who typically loses back-to-back games, and it’s hard to imagine them losing to a depleted or 60 percent healthy Kings team.

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