Even with rookie guard Tyreke Evans back on the floor for the Sacramento Kings (24-51), they fell short to the Indiana Pacers (27-47), 102-95.
Although the Kings started off hot, taking a 15 point lead in the first half, the pendulum swung towards the Pacers in the second.
After being out 5 games with the concussion he suffered in Milwaukee, Tyreke Evans made it seem as though another triple-double was in the making. While only scoring four points in the first half, Evans grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out 8 dimes.
Jason Thompson was able to produce coming off the bench, leading the team in scoring with 14 points as well as 4 rebounds.
The second half was a different story.
While the Kings were only able to put 14 on the board in the third quarter, forward Danny Granger scored 25 points in the second half. Granger made 13 of 20 field goals and sank 4 three’s, finishing the game with 33 points.
“It’s not surprising that Granger could go off, he’s been doing that to everybody,” said coach Westphal. “But it’s still disappointing that we didn’t do a better job of controlling him and executing our offense.”
The Kings had 16 turnovers and Tyreke added 7 to that total.
Although Jon Brockman and Tyreke Evans were able to play tonight, the injuries continued. Francisco Garcia (wrist), Sean May (knee), Dominic McGuire (foot), and Omri Casspi sat out due to illness. Dominic McGuire sustained his foot injury in Cleveland and will be out the remainder of the season.
“It’s unfortunate that we have so many guys hurt, it’s tough being short handed,” said Brockman before the game. “You know were just gonna fight like we fought all year and go out and give it our best shot.”
Tonight was one of those nights where their best shot wasn’t enough.
Even with three players contributing double-double’s (Evans, Thompson, and Landry), the lull had in the third quarter is what led to the loss.
The Kings take on the Timberwolves tomorrow night in Minnesota, hoping to make it win number three in their season series.