Marcus Thornton entered Friday’s game averaging just seven points per game, but he opened the first quarter with 24 points going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. Thornton finished the game with a career-high 42 points as the Sacramento Kings fell in overtime to the Indiana Pacers 116-111. Thornton lost his minutes last week in favor of Jimmer Fredette but responded with an onslaught on the offensive end Friday night. He may have played well enough to earn his spot in the rotation back.
The Kings ended regulation tied at 103 giving the Pacers all they could handle at Sleep Train Arena. Sacramento enjoyed a fairly comfortable lead in the first half as they were up 49-32. They took a 60-50 lead into the half and responded in the second, but Derrick Williams had an untimely turnover late in overtime as the Kings made the same mistakes on offense that have plagued them all season.
The effort Friday was an improvement over the last meeting where the Pacers dominated the Kings on both ends en route to a 116-92 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Paul George had 31 in that game, and it was no different Friday. George showed everyone in attendance why he deserves to be an All-Star with his masterful performance. Sacramento entered the game 13-3 when scoring more than 105 points. Friday’s loss drops the Kings to 0-2 without DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. Gay strained his Achilles while Cousins sprained his ankle in the last game. Both stars remain day-to-day.
The Kings are now halfway through the season and sit below .500 at 15-26. Head coach Michael Malone has seen some improvement in some areas while Sacramento has also had some defining wins this season. But this team still needs help via the trade machine. General manager Pete D’Alessandro has maintained that the Kings will remain active heading into the deadline. That could rejuvenate the Kings going into the second half of the season. Either way this team needs to keep taking steps forward, not backward.