(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers hit a little speed bump on their
western trip, but will try to get back on track Friday night when they visit
an injury-riddled Sacramento Kings team at Sleep Train Arena.
The Pacers began their five-game swing on the west coast with an eight-point
victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday, but laid an egg on
Gerald Green scored 23 points against his former team as the Phoenix Suns
routed the Pacers, 124-100. Green was a part of an offseason trade between the
two teams that sent Luis Scola to the Midwest in exchange for Green, Miles
Plumlee and a lottery protected first-round pick.
Paul George, who was voted a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team,
tallied 26 points with seven rebounds and George Hill added 16 points for
Indiana, which had its five-game winning streak snapped.
"We just ran into a hot Suns team, simple as that," George said. "They just
caught fire and they shot the ball well tonight. We knew the game was going to
be the way it was going to be and we knew they were going to come out with a
lot of energy and play with a lot of energy, we just did a terrible job of
responding to it."
The Pacers will visit the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers on this trip.
The Kings head into battle down two very important pieces.
DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay were both injured in the first half of
Wednesday's loss in Houston. Cousins has a sprained left ankle, while Gay is
battling a left Achilles strain. Both are listed as day-to-day, but neither is
expected to be in action Friday night.
Derrick Williams paced the Kings with 22 points to go along with 11 rebounds
off the bench and Isaiah Thomas deposited 20 points and six assists in
Sacramento's third loss in its last four games.
Jimmer Fredette and Ben McLemore scored 14 and 11 points, respectively, in
"It hurts all of us," Williams admitted of the early departures to Cousins and
Gay. "Especially when you're missing 40 points a game between the two of them,
and it really hurts the whole game plan."
Williams is expected to start in place of Gay, while Cousins' spot could go to
Aaron Gray or Carl Landry.
The Pacers beat the Kings by 24 in Indianapolis on Jan. 14 and have taken
three straight. Indiana has won four of its last six in Sacramento.
The Sports Network