Photo credit: @SoleCollector
By Jeremiah Salmonson
Just when you thought the Sacramento Kings were at full strength, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Trevor Ariza were unavailable for the Kings in Friday night’s tilt against the Indiana Pacers. Bogdanovic is dealing with a sore ankle and Trevor Ariza is not with the team for personal reasons. The Kings were coming off a tough loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday and would look to bounce back Friday.
In the first quarter, Nemanja Bjelica got off to a hot start. Bjelica scores 13 points in the first and helped lead the Kings to an early 32-30 lead. The Kings weren’t able to play their style of defense against the Pacers in the first, but that was overshadowed by the Kings offensive prowess.
In the second quarter, the Pacers went on a bit of a run that allowed them to build a double digit 53-42 lead with 6:00 left in the half. The rest of the half, the Pacers’ lead held true. The Kings would get the lead down to 8 points, but the Pacers were able to get it back by putting up 38 in the quarter. Richaun Holmes led the way for the Kings in the first half putting up 14 points. The Pacers’ T.J. Warren scored 13 points to lead the Pacers to a 68-57 lead going into halftime.
In the third quarter, the Kings couldn’t get anything going on offense. They had their chances, but players like Buddy Hield couldn’t get anything going in terms of hitting shots. The Kings were only able to put up 22 points and headed into the final quarter down 92-79. The bright spot for the Kings was Justin James, who had managed 10 points for the Kings off the bench.
In the fourth quarter, the implosion for the Kings continued. The Kings’ shot-making evaporated in the third and fourth quarters, and they weren’t able to shut down the Pacers’ offense. These negative ingredients for the Kings would lead to a blowout loss 119-105 to the Pacers on the road.
The Kings still look a bit lost on the offensive end. Kings head coach Luke Walton has a lot of work ahead of him to get this group to gel together and start putting wins together. A bright spot for the Kings was Justin James. James is definitely earning minutes with the absence of Trevor Ariza who is away from the team and Bogdan Bogdanovic dealing with some injury issues. Leading the way for the Kings in defeat was Richaun Holmes with 20 points. Leading things for the Pacers in victory was T.J. Warren with 23 points.
Up Next: The Kings travel to Memphis for a back-to-back against the Grizzlies on Saturday at 5 PM PST.