NBA India Games 2019: Indiana Pacers showcase all-round dominance to record easy win against Sacramento Kings
In what was another star-studded night in Mumbai, the Indiana Pacers, and the Sacramento Kings played their final preseason game in India. The first match-up had set the bar really high as the Pacers overcame a 21-point deficit to record an overtime win.
While there was plenty of action for fans at the Dome @ NSCI to cherish, tonight's game ended in a rather comfortable victory for the Pacers. The scoreboard read 130-106 in favor of the Eastern Conference side at the of 48 minutes of regulation play.
Unlike the first game yesterday, it was defense that dictated the early stages of the first quarter. However, both teams were able to establish their respective offensive identities and started racking up points on the board.
While T.J. Warren continued on his exploits from yesterday, Marvin Bagley set the tempo for the Kings, notching up a quick 10 points early on. The first quarter was rather close and Sacramento enjoyed the lead after 12 minutes with the scoreline reading 30-25 in their favor.
It was deja vu of sorts for the Kings in the 2nd quarter though. Just like they were caught off guard after the break in the first of the two NBA India Games, they were left trailing the Pacers again, who went on a 21-5 run in the first 4:40 minutes of the second quarter.
Indiana started to make it rain from downtown, making as many as 7 treys with the likes of Justin Holiday, Aaron Holiday, and Doug McDermott all chipping in with buckets. T.J. McConnell and Domantas Sabonis dropped several dimes as the Pacers outscored Luke Walton's side 46-29 to enjoy a 12-point lead heading into half-time. At the end of the first 24 minutes, the scorecard read 71-59 in favor of Myles Turner and Co.
The Pacers were wary of a possible Kings outburst coming out of the break and displayed composure to maintain their hold of the game. Newly recruited forward JaKarr Sampson had already established some rhythm in the first half and he stayed hot from the field, leading the scoring charts for the Pacers with 15 points at the end of three quarters of play.
Nate McMillan's side were ahead by as many as 20 before finishing the third period with a 96-79 lead. Buddy Hield managed to get his offense going but it wasn't enough for the Kings as they were outscored 25-20 by the Pacers.
The last 12 minutes of the game continued in the same fashion as Indiana continued to dominate. They stepped up their transition defense as well and effected multiple blocks with Amida Brimah at the heart of the action, swatting away two shots.
Brimah was also at the end of an Alize Johnson pass as he flushed home the alley-oop jam to make the Mumbai crowd roar. Johnson, on the other hand, was the star performer of the day for the Pacers, boasting of 17 points and 8 rebounds on the night. For the Kings, it was the Buddy Hield show again as he recorded 17 points of his own in addition to 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
While they had to toil hard to get the W yesterday, the Indiana Pacers dominated the game from the beginning of the 2nd quarter to notch up an easy 130-106 victory and draw the NBA India Games 2019 to a close. They would be taking away a lot of positives while the Sacramento Kings will have a lot to ponder heading into the 2019-20 NBA season.