George helps Pacers rally past Kings 106-100 win
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Tightly clutching the game ball in the locker room, Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan was all smiles for a variety of reasons.
Paul George scored 24 points, Jeff Teague had 22 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, and the Pacers used a big second half to beat the Sacramento Kings 106-100 on Wednesday for McMillan’s 500th career victory.
The veteran coach is 29th on the wins list for NBA coaches. Only three other active coaches — Gregg Popovich, Doc Rivers and Rick Carlisle — have 500 or more victories.
Indiana’s impressive rally on the road made it one sweet night for the 52-year-old McMillan, who is in his first season with the Pacers. McMillan’s team trailed by as many as 22 points in the first half, and then outscored Sacramento 65-40 in the final two quarters to win for the seventh time in eight games.
“When I started coaching, I started as an assistant coach, I never really thought about being a head coach,” McMillan said. “To be a part of this league this long and to win 500 games I the NBA is a blessing.”
George presented McMillan with the game ball in the locker room after helping the Pacers outscore the Kings 35-21 in the fourth.
“We came out flat again on the road, we had a bad approach in the first half,” George said. “But we hung in there and played as a group after that and kept chipping away at the lead. We don’t like being in that position. We need to start games on the road with more focus.”
DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for Sacramento, which lost Rudy Gay to a suspected torn left Achilles tendon in the third quarter. It was Cousins’ fifth career triple-double.
The Kings closed out a 1-6 homestand and have dropped eight of 10 overall.
Gay, Sacramento’s second-leading scorer, fell to the floor while driving to the basket and was carried off the court. Gay, who had 21 points, will be evaluated Thursday.
“That’s a tough thing to watch, man. ... I hate it for him. I spoke to him and told him I’ll keep you in my prayers,” Cousins said.
Reserve Al Jefferson had 20 points in 17 minutes for the Pacers, and Myles Turner had 16 points.
George made a jumper and Teague connected on two foul shots to give Indiana a 99-98 lead with 1:56 left. George then hit another jumper and Thaddeus Young’s block on Cousins set up a key dunk by Turner in the final seconds.
Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo and Kosta Koufos each had 11 points for the Kings. Collison also had nine assists and four steals.
Teague rebounded from a poor first half and flirted with his first career triple-double for third time in five games. He had 16 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds Monday in a win over New Orleans.
Against the Kings, the veteran point guard picked up two early fouls, went scoreless in the opening quarter and had four points in the first half.
“Jeff got in foul trouble early, but he came out in the second half attacking and finding his teammates,” McMillan said. “He really showed some fight in the second half.”
Pacers: Shot 41 percent from the field in the first half and were outrebounded 24-11.
Kings: Finished the homestand with a 1-6 record. . Reserves Omri Casspi (strained tendon) and Ty Lawson (ankle sprain) were unavailable.
Pacers: Face the struggling Lakers on Friday in Los Angeles.
Kings: Visit Memphis on Friday for the start of a season-high eight-game road trip.