The Pacers were a part of history on Friday, taking part in the first-ever NBA game in India. Those fans lucky enough to be in the NSCI Dome in Mumbai were treated to a good one, as the Pacers rallied to force overtime and ultimately knocked off the Sacramento Kings in first of two preseason contests, 132-131.
T.J. Warren had a strong debut in a Pacers uniform, hitting a 3-pointer to force overtime and the go-ahead basket in the extra session on his way to a game-high 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting (5-of-6 from 3-point range).
The Kings led 111-102 after Buddy Hield’s bucket with 5:30 remaining before the Pacers a memorable charge.
They slowly chipped away at the deficit, with Jeremy Lamb’s layup with 35.3 seconds remaining trimmed the deficit to three. On the other end, Myles Turner contested De’Aaron Fox’s layup attempt and forced a miss, giving Indiana a chance to tie the game.
Out of a timeout, the Pacers ran a beautiful set that freed up Warren in the left corner, where he drilled the trey to tie the game at 118 with 7.8 seconds left.
Turner subsequently swatted Fox’s shot out of bounds, leaving 0.6 seconds on the clock. Hield got an open look at the buzzer, but missed, sending the game to overtime.
In the extra period, Warren drained another three on the opening possession to give the Blue & Gold their first lead since the opening minutes of Friday’s contest.
Indiana remained in front until Hield’s triple tied the game at 128 with 1:18 remaining. Warren answered on the other end, however, with another bucket to put the Pacers back in front.
After Fox hit one of two free throws with 32.6 seconds to play to make it a one-point game, Warren drove into traffic and missed a layup, but Domantas Sabonis was there for the putback with 17.3 seconds remaining.
On the other end, Hield threw the ball out of bounds, seemingly ending the game. But the Pacers were called for a five-second violation, giving the Kings one last chance to extend the game.
Hield nearly banked it a three to force double overtime, but it rimmed out. Marvin Bagley III tipped in the miss at the buzzer, but the Pacers survived by one point.
NBA INDIA GAMES: Complete Coverage at Pacers.com/India »
Sabonis finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds for Indiana, while Lamb added 20 points. Malcolm Brogdon also left a positive first impression in a Pacer uniform, racking up 15 points, 14 assists, and six boards, while Turner (11 points and 13 rebounds) also registered a double-double.
The Pacers led 6-5 after two early dunks by Sabonis before Sacramento surged ahead with 12 unanswered points.
Some of Indiana’s new additions made key contributions in the opening frame, as Lamb scored eight points on 3-of-3 shooting and Brogdon dished out five assists, but the Kings led 39-29 after one.
The Kings maintained a double-digit lead for the majority of the second quarter and used another 12-0 run to push the margin to as high as 21.
The Blue & Gold clawed back with a 21-10 run, capped by a bank shot from Doug McDermott with 1.4 seconds left in the half to make it a 10-point game. But the Kings got an unexpected bonus at the buzzer, as Yogi Ferrell drained a heave from beyond halfcourt to close the half, giving Sacramento a 72-59 lead at the break.
The Pacers played inspired basketball coming out of the half, opening the third quarter with a 15-3 run — the last eight points in that stretch coming from Warren — to make it a one-point game.
The contest remained tight throughout the third quarter, but Indiana never managed to retake the lead and headed into the fourth trailing, 97-92.
Hield led Sacramento with 28 points in the loss, while Barnes added 21. Fox tallied 16 points and eight assists.
The Pacers and Kings will square off once more on Saturday in Mumbai in the second and final exhibition in the 2019 NBA India Games. That contest will take place at 9:30 AM ET and be aired live on FOX Sports Indiana.
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers shot 51.6 percent from the field in Friday’s victory.
Indiana outscored Sacramento 62-46 in points in the paint.
The Kings’ bench outscored the Pacers’ reserves, 51-35. McDermott led Indiana’s second unit with nine points off the bench, while Edmond Sumner added seven.
Turnovers were an issue for both teams, as the Pacers forced 22 giveaways but committed 25 turnovers themselves.
The Kings went 10-for-17 from 3-point range in the first half, but were just 5-for-19 in the second half and overtime.
Stat of the Game
Starting together in the frontcourt for the first time in three seasons as teammates, Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis combined for 32 points and 25 rebounds on 14-for-26 shooting.
- Sabonis sustained a cut to his left ear after taking an elbow from Dewayne Dedmon in the first quarter. He received four stitches and returned to action wearing a headband over his ears.
- In addition to All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, rehabbing a ruptured quad tendon back in Indianapolis, the Pacers were without two more rotation players on Friday: rookie center Goga Bitadze (sprained right ankle) and third-year forward TJ Leaf (right quad strain).
- Two-way guard Naz Mitrou-Long (allergic reaction) and training camp invite CJ Wilcox (right quad strain) also were unavailable on Friday.
- Cory Joseph made his debut for the Kings after spending the past two seasons with the Pacers, tallying four points, three assists, and one steal in 16:27.
- Friday’s crowd included 3,000 boys and girls from more than 70 schools under the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program. Learn More »
The Pacers and Kings will face off once more on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 9:30 AM ET.
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