SACRAMENTO KINGS

Preview: Kings look to get back on track against Pacers

Feb 2, 2024, 9:44 AM | Updated: 10:38 am

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 18: Keegan Murray #13 of the Sacramento Kings is guarded by Buddy ...

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

In a meeting between two teams that will be linked for years to come, the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers will meet on Friday night in Indianapolis for the final time this season.

The Kings (27-19) had their four-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday in Miami, and now they will face a new-look Pacers team that has Tyrese Haliburton back from injury and star forward Pascal Siakam in the lineup.

Indiana (27-22) has struggled since acquiring Siakam as they have weathered a stretch with Haliburton nursing an injured hamstring. The Pacers enter play on Friday having lost two straight games while holding a 4-6 record over their past ten contests.

Haliburton, who missed the first matchup between these two teams on January 18th at Golden 1 Center, will likely be on a minutes restriction against Sacramento, meaning we might not get a long look at the marquee matchup against former teammate De’Aaron Fox.

With or without Haliburton’s full availability, this game will have plenty of firepower as these two high-powered offenses face off once again.

Sacramento Kings vs. Indiana Pacers Game Info

When: 4:30 PM PST

Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, IN

TV: NBC Sports California

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Coverage starts at 3:00 PM on Game Night

Line: Kings -3.5, O/U 244.5

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Pacers coverage, beginning at 3:00 PM PST on Game Night before a 4:30 PM PST tip-off from Indianapolis.

Can Fox & Monk Bounce Back?

During Wednesday’s loss to Miami, Sacramento got little to no production out of De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk as the Kings struggled to generate consistent offense throughout the game.

Fox and Monk have rarely gone through cold spells in unison, but the Kentucky duo both turned in tough performances during the losing effort.

Over 37 minutes of action, Fox scored 13 points on four-of-16 shooting (one-of-eight from deep), while Monk added six points on three-of-eight shooting over just 14 minutes (season-low).

Monk is currently going through one of his roughest stretches as a King, averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 turnovers per game on 33 percent shooting from the field and a disappointing 0.8 percent from three-point range (one-for-12).

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 08: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings high fives Malik Monk #0 during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on December 08, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)

Sacramento is a different team when Fox struggles, and when that does happen, Monk has stepped up and carried the load scoring the basketball. This time, though, both guards are struggling in unison, leaving it to Keegan Murray and Domantas Sabonis to generate more offense.

In their meeting with the Pacers on January 18th, Fox scored 24 points on eight-of-20 shooting, and Monk scored nine points on three-of-nine from the field.

Let’s see if the two can tap back into their offense and beat their performances from the last time that these two teams met.

More Keegan?

With Fox and Monk going through a rough patch, Keegan Murray was the go-to option during Wednesday’s loss to the Heat.

Murray erupted for 33 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field and seven-of-11 from downtown, marking the third time this season that the sophomore has scored 30+ points in a single game.

21 of Murray’s points came during the first half in Miami, as the Kings went away from the Iowa product in crunch time. Murray attempted just seven field goal attempts during the second half as the Heat pulled away.

If Fox doesn’t have his rhythm early, Sacramento would be wise to continue feeding Murray as the forward continues to emerge as a two-way talent.

Pack The Paint

Indiana leads the NBA in paint scoring (56.8 points per game), and they proved how dangerous they can be in the key when they faced the Kings a few weeks ago.

The Pacers scored 62 points in the paint during a 126-121 win over Sacramento, with TJ McConnell scoring 18 of his 20 points in the paint on nine-of-13 (69%) shooting.

As we have learned over the past season-plus, the Kings lack rim protection as they enter play on Friday ranked 27th in blocks per game (4.0). If Sacramento wants a better chance at pulling out a win, they will have to contain the paint against players like Pascal Siakam, Myles Turner, and Haliburton.

Notes

  • With another double-double performance, Domantas Sabonis would break Oscar Robertson’s Kings franchise record for consecutive double-doubles during a single season. Sabonis needs one more to hit 30 straight games, a mark that hasn’t been reached in the NBA since Russell Westbrook (36 games) did so in 2021.

Kings vs. Pacers Injury Report

Sacramento

  • Sasha Vezenkov – QUESTIONABLE (right ankle sprain)
  • Jordan Ford – OUT (G-League)
  • Jalen Slawson – OUT (G-League)

Indiana

  • Bennedict Mathurin – QUESTIONABLE (toe sprain)
  • Tyrese Haliburton – QUESTIONABLE (left hamstring strain injury managment)
  • Myles Turner – QUESTIONABLE (left ankle sprain)
  • Jalen Smith – QUESTIONABLE (back spasms)

Upcoming Schedule

  • Friday, February 2nd – Sacramento Kings @ Indiana Pacers – 4:30 PM PST
  • Saturday, February 3rd – Sacramento Kings @ Chicago Bulls – 5:00 PM PST
  • Monday, February 5th – Sacramento Kings @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 4:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, February 7th – Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons – 7:00 PM PST
  • Friday, February 9th – Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets – 7:00 PM PST

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