Sacramento, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Paul George scored 36 points and made huge plays at the end of regulation and overtime to help the Indiana Pacers complete a 116-111 come-from-behind win over the shorthanded Sacramento Kings on Friday.
The Pacers trailed 103-99 late in regulation when George, who was voted an All-Star game starter for the first time in his career on Thursday, took a handoff and drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing, drawing a foul in the process. George completed the four-point play and Isaiah Thomas, who matched a career-high in this one, came up short on his last second jumper and five extra minutes were needed.
George's feed to Lance Stephenson for a layup gave Indy a 114-111 edge with less than a minute remaining in the extra session. Both teams came up empty on their next possessions and out of a timeout, Thomas drove left and was stripped by George. PG made a pair of free throws to seal the outcome, helping Indiana avoid consecutive losses for the second time this season.
Stephenson stuffed the stat sheet, posting 24 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, David West netted 22 points and Roy Hibbert had 10 points, 11 boards and five blocks.
"I'm proud of our guys for weathering their storm," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said. "Finding a way to win."
The Kings were tasked with hosting the NBA's best team without leading scorers DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) and Rudy Gay (Achilles), who are averaging just under 43 points per game together this season. Marcus Thornton nearly matched that himself, exploding for 42 points in the setback. Thomas scored 38, giving the starting backcourt the most combined points in Kings' history.
"No matter who is in uniform, we have enough talent to go out there, compete, play hard and play the right way," said Kings head coach Mike Malone.
The Kings jumped out to a 49-32 lead midway through the second period and owned a 60-50 halftime edge.
George's trey at 5:39 of the third had the Pacers within a point at 73-72, but Sacramento responded out of a timeout, with Thornton knocking down a deep jumper. Frustrations mounted, with West and George Hill each picking up a technical foul in the period. The Kings led by five heading into the final frame.
Indy took its first lead of the second half with 2:38 left in the fourth when West capped an 8-0 surge with a fadeaway from the left baseline. Moments earlier, George received a pass ahead from Hill and threw down a reverse jam to tie it up.
A pair of Thomas free throws with 18.3 ticks remaining set up George's heroics at the other end.
The Pacers improved to 2-0 in overtime games this season ... Hill had 10 points, eight assists and eight rebounds ... Indiana outscored Sacramento 44-32 in the paint ... Derrick Williams had 11 rebounds for the Kings, while Jason Thompson had 10 before fouling out ... Thornton and Thomas combined for 80 points. The rest of Sacramento's starters had just 11 on 3-for-20 shooting.