Preview: Domantas Sabonis makes his return to Indiana as an All-Star
Feb 3, 2023, 7:40 AM| Updated: Feb 4, 2023, 11:43 am
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Almost a year to the day that news broke of a blockbuster trade between the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers, the two players that headlined the deal will face off on Friday night–this time, as recently-named NBA All-Stars.
Domantas Sabonis will return to Indiana for the first time since last year’s trade as the Kings (29-21) will look to extend its winning streak to three games against old friend Tyrese Haliburton and a Pacers team that has fallen to 24-29 on the season after losing 11 of their past 12 games.
Sabonis, who was named to the All-Star team on Thursday for the third time in his career, will have to face his old team without the services of De’Aaron Fox as the speedy guard will be unavailable due to personal reasons.
With Fox out of action, Sacramento will likely call on second-year guard Davion Mitchell to fill in, as the defensive-minded guard will have a chance to defend his old teammate in Haliburton.
Here’s everything that you need to know for today’s Kings vs. Pacers matchup:
Sacramento Kings vs. Indiana Pacers Game Info
When: 4:00 PM PST
Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, IN
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Pregame coverage starts at 2:30 PM PST on Game Night
Line: Kings -3.0, O/U: 235.5
Feed The Big Man
With Fox out, Sacramento should look to replicate what they did during Wednesday’s win over the San Antonio Spurs:
Feed Domantas Sabonis.
The talented center took on more of a scoring role during a 119-109 win, as Sabonis finished the night with a season-high 34 points on 15-of-20 shooting from the field to go along with 11 boards–his NBA-leading 39th double-double of the season.
Indiana’s defense has struggled over the past ten games, allowing opponents to score 123.5 points per contest while posting a 1-9 record during the process. Sabonis is very familiar with old teammate Myles Turner’s game, meaning that we could see the former duo spend a lot of time in the paint this afternoon.
Break The Slump
Sacramento has not gotten off to a strong start from beyond the arc to begin this seven-game road trip.
The Kings are shooting just 30 percent from deep during a 2-1 start to the trip, but it’s going to be hard to continue winning games if three-pointers aren’t falling. Sacramento is 2-7 this season when shooting under 30 percent from three, meaning they are toeing a fine line to start this road trip.
Kevin Huerter is going through another rough stretch as the guard is shooting 20 percent from three-point land over the past three games. Huerter has broken through a rough stretch before this season, as the 24-year-old has said previously that the best way to bust out of a slump is to keep shooting through it.
Indiana struggles to contain opponents from three this season, as opponents are shooting 37.2 percent from deep (28th in the NBA).
Will tonight mark the end of Sacramento’s three-point shooting woes? We’re about to find out.
- Sacramento holds a 4-1 record vs. Indiana since the start of the 2020-21 season.
- The Kings have won two-straight games against the Pacers, with the most-recent loss coming on November 7, 2021 at Golden 1 Center. Domantas Sabonis had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana.
- In the only meeting between the two teams this season, Sacramento defeated the Pacers by a final of 137-114 at Golden 1 Center.
- De’Aaron Fox – OUT (personal reasons)
Fox will not suit up for the Kings on Friday night due to personal reasons.
While it has yet to be confirmed that it is the reason behind the guard’s absence, Fox’s wife Recee Caldwell is expected to give birth to the couple’s son sometime in February. It’s currently unknown how long Fox will be away from the team.
It’s possible that Indiana holds Tyrese Haliburton out on the second night of a back-to-back.
Haliburton made his return to the floor on Thursday after missing 10 games due to knee and elbow injuries. The All-Star guard scored 26 points and handed out 12 assists over 36 minutes during a 112-111 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
More information on Haliburton’s status is expected in the hours leading into tip-off.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
Friday, February 3rd – Sacramento Kings @ Indiana Pacers – 4:00 PM PST
Sunday, February 5th – Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans – 5:00 PM PST
Monday, February 6th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5:00 PM PST
Wednesday, February 8th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5:00 PM PST
Friday, February 10th – Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks – 7:00 PM PST