The Pacers trailed most of the game, down by 17 at one point, but their offense and defense finally clicked down the stretch as George saved the day by hitting a four-point play with 15 seconds left in regulation. George took a screen-pass from David West, immediately pulled up for a three-pointer and was fouled by Derrick Williams. The shot dropped and George sank the free-throw to send the game into overtime.
With the momentum going their way, the Pacers made quick work of the Kings in OT. George scored eight of his 36 and the Pacers finished off the comeback, 116-111.
Sacramento came into the game without their two best players, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, which made everyone think they would just roll over for the league’s best team. But Marcus Thornton and Isaiah Thomas had other ideas. Thornton scored 22 of his career-high tying 42 points, and Thomas had nine of his career-high tying 38 in the first quarter.
It was an all too familiar scene for the Pacers as the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns both started their games shooting lights out. But unlike the Suns game, the Pacers were able to keep pace with the Kings, waited for their shots to drop and the game to slow down to their pace.
No other Kings player scored in double-figures. Williams was the closest with seven points to go along with his 11 rebounds.
Indiana had all five starters in double-digits by the end of the game. Lance Stephenson was on triple-double watch again (24 points, 10 rebounds and six assists), West had his way in the post (22 points and six rebounds), Roy Hibbert provided the defensive spark late in the game (10 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks) and George Hill almost had the quietest triple-double in NBA history (10 points, eight assists and eight rebounds).
Losing to the Kings, especially a depleted Kings team, would have been bad for Indiana. They’ve only lost back-to-back games once this season, and they play the Denver Nuggets tonight, so a three-game losing streak would have been likely. Instead they travel to Denver knowing they’re still the best team in the league with a chance to buck their typical trend of losing on the road on the back-end of a back-to-back.