With some breathtaking basketball on display, Indiana Pacers maintained their domination as they trounced Sacramento Kings 130-106 in the second pre-season friendly game between the two NBA sides on Saturday. The upcoming season of the National Basketball Association (NBA) commences on October 22.
In the NBA debut in India, the Pacers had eked out a 132-131 victory against the Kings on Friday, but on Saturday it was altogether a different ball game and the Pacers had a comfortable outing, as they dominated all the four quarters in the match which was attended by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.
The stars for the Pacers were Alize Johnson (17 points), Jakarr Sampson (15 points), Myles Turner (12 points), Jeremy Lamb (11 points) and Edmund Summer and Domantas Sabonis (both 10 points each).
DJ Warren started the proceedings with a two-pointer for the Pacers and then collected a lone point, but Marwin Bagley's jump and dump shots put the Kings slightly ahead as he grabbed back to back two-pointers.
It was neck-to-neck then with Pacers 15-14 ahead with five minutes left in the opening quarter.
A three-pointer by Marwin Bagley put the Kings 19-17 ahead, but soon the Pacers restored parity. But, the drinks break seemed to have rejuvenated the Kings as they tested the Pacers defence to move 28-23 ahead. And the Kings maintained a slender five-point lead -- 30-25 -- at the end of first quarter.
With a quick-pointer, Sabonis reduced the gap to 27-30 for the Pacers with a cutting dunk shot. Two back-to back three-pointers by Pacers meant that both the teams were leveled at 33-33.
However, from then, there was no looking back for Pacers as Aaron Holiday collected five points -- a three pointer followed by a basket -- and was joined by Justin Holiday's three-pointer as they were 46-37 ahead.
It seemed that Aaron Holday, Justin Holiday and Edmon Summer were on song as they kept adding to their points as Pacers maintained 11-point lead at 55-44, going into another time-out.
But two-consecutive three-pointers by D Demon and Buddy Hield brought the Kings back into the contest. However, Sampson and Summer kept collecting points for the Pacers with ease and Summer ended the second quarter with another breath-taking two-pointer as they lead 71-59.
Kings started the third quarter with two consecutive three-pointers, but then completely lost the plot as Pacers players, particularly Turner and Sabonis, kept collecting points and their lead swelled to 80-69.
Lamp, Sampson and Turner kept on adding to the team's tally of three-pointers as the Pacers marched ahead with a 17 point lead going into the fourth quarter and were cruising at 96-79.
And the fourth quarter was no different, and with lay-shots, dunks and jump shots, the Pacers maintained their lead as the Kings were always playing the catch-up game.
Earlier, in the day, the Pacers and the Kings laid the foundation of a legacy project at a civic school here. They will support five schools with technology equipment, trained teachers, a basketball court and improved infrastructure facilities.
NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo was present on the occasion.