Pac­ers leave Kings gasp­ing

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - V.Anand @times­

Mum­bai: It had none of the ex­cite­ment of Game 1in the NBA In­dia Games. In­di­ana Pac­ers slowly and surely squeezed the life out of the Sacra­mento Kings like a boa con­stric­tor to run out easy 130-106 vic­tors here on Satur­day. Pac­ers won the pre-sea­son se­ries 2-0 and must have def­i­nitely won for them­selves a ton of fans af­ter putting in a su­pe­rior show in the sec­ond game. With the ad­di­tion of Vic­tor Oladipo in the reg­u­lar sea­son, Pac­ers surely should fancy their play­off chances in the East.

Af­ter the high-volt­age ac­tion in Game 1, Pac­ers, who came back from the death to equal­ize in reg­u­la­tion and win the game1in over­time, 132-131, knew ex­actly what to do to stop the tran­si­tional of­fence of the Kings. Pac­ers did that and only in the first quar­ter did they lose the lead a cou­ple of times. Once their of­fence found the rhythm, there was no stop­ping them. Only Kings’ su­pe­rior three-point shoot­ing at that stage kept them go­ing. They were shoot­ing at 70 per cent to Pac­ers’ 30. De­spite this, Pac­ers outscored Kings 46-29 in the sec­ond quar­ter.

But Ed­mond Sum­ner brought about the de­ci­sive shift in mo­men­tum in the sec­ond quar­ter. Sum­ner scored 10 points, dished out four as­sists. Pac­ers never lost the lead there­after. Kings knew their goose was cooked. Pac­ers’ three point shoot­ing sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved from the low 30s to the high for­ties. Though Sum­ner didn’t have a hec­tic sec­ond half, Pac­ers never lost their mo­men­tum as they dom­i­nated the board, pulling down 41 de­fen­sive to not al­low Kings sec­ond chance points.

But what was the most sig­nif­i­cant stat was the points Pac­ers scored in the paint. The win­ners had 60 as com­pared to Kings’ measly 28. It showed how hard the Pac­ers worked to score their points, break­ing the perime­ter de­fence of the Kings at will. In the fi­nal quar­ter, Pac­ers put on a show too, com­fort­ably in­creas­ing their lead to more than 20 points. The crowd for the first game was made mostly of stu­dents. Prob­a­bly their en­thu­si­as­tic cheer­ing was what the Kings missed, be­cause the Game 2 crowd came to life only for a brief mo­ment at half time when the cam­era man trained his lens on Bos­ton Celtics leg­end Larry Bird.

Eight Pac­ers play­ers con­trib­uted more than 10 points in the game with Al­ize John­son get­ting 17 and 8 re­bounds. Aaron Hol­i­day had 16 and 3 while JaKarr Samp­son had 15 and 4, and Justin con­trib­uted 14 and 5. For the Kings, only five play­ers scored more than 10 points and the best among them was Buddy Hield who had 17 with 5 re­bounds and five as­sists. Marvin Ba­gley had 15 and 6.

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