Pacers look to avenge recent loss to Kings
Perhaps the home-court can do for the Pacers what it did for the Kings on Dec. 1, when Sacramento used an 8-3 run down the stretch to pull off a 111-110 victory on a Willie Cauley-Stein put-back dunk with 16 seconds remaining.
Both teams will be playing the second half of back-to-back games as each played on the road Friday night. The Pacers cruised to a 112-90 victory at Orlando, while the Kings rolled 129-110 at Cleveland.
While the Pacers will await on the status of forward Domantas Sabonis, who missed Friday’s game with food poisoning, they are not likely to have guard Victor Oladipo, who has not played in any of the past nine games with a sore knee.
Sabonis was not the only person affected by food poisoning. Pacers head coach Nate McMillan coached the game despite physical discomfort.
”I feel pretty dizzy right now,” McMillan told reporters Friday. ”That was a solid game from start to finish against a very good team.”
The only injury concern for the Kings is with forward/center Marvin Bagley, who is day-to-day with a back issue.
An improved Kings team will enter Saturday with a 13-10 record after winning three consecutive games, the team’s longest streak since closing out October on a five-game win streak.
De’Aaron Fox was in complete control against the Cavaliers, scoring 30 points in 29 minutes with 12 assists. He went 12-of-16 from the field and a scintillating 4-of-5 from 3-point range in his second-highest scoring game of the season behind the 31 points he scored at Atlanta on Nov. 1.
Fox scored 15 points on 4-of-16 shooting last weekend against the Pacers and did not make either of his 3-point shots. But it was a Fox miss that actually helped the Kings defeat the Pacers as Cauley-Stein grabbed the wayward shot to deliver on his game-winner.
Also of assistance that day was the Kings’ defense, which held the Pacers to one field goal over their last nine shots in order to pull off the victory.
“There were some stretches where some things didn’t go well for us, made some mistakes, but we kept coming and we were relentless,” Kings coach Dave Joerger told reporters after the Dec. 1 game. “We got some stops at the end, which was critical.”
Bojan Bogdanovic will enter Saturday’s game with some momentum after leading Indiana with 26 points on Friday. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 15 points in the Kings’ victory Friday.
When the teams met last weekend, it was Bojan Bogdanovic who scored 27 points on 10-of-19 shooting, while Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 20 but walked away with the victory.
Key for the Kings, as they have gone 2-0 to start their four-city road trip, is a hot start. The Kings outscored the Suns at Phoenix 36-9 in the first quarter Tuesday and then held a 38-27 advantage after one quarter at Cleveland on Friday.