for this game

Pacers top Kings, spoil Martin's return

Jan 13, 2008 - 7:05 AM By Tom Galland PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- The struggling Indiana Pacers spoiled the return of Kevin Martin, holding off the Sacramento Kings at Arco Arena for the second time in their last three visits.

Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored 23 points as the Pacers led from start to finish in a 111-105 victory over the Kings on Saturday.

Travis Diener added a season-high 19 points, including five 3-pointers, for the Pacers, who won for just the second time in 10 games.

"I had it going, (my shot) felt really good," Diener said. "It was just good to help contribute to a victory and snap this losing streak. Hopefully, we can build on this for (Sunday night at Golden State). Anytime you can get a road win in this league, it's very tough."

Martin played well after missing 17 games with a groin injury suffered on December 4. The Kings' leading scorer made his first seven shots and finished with 25 points on 7-of-9 shooting in 29 minutes.

But Sacramento was playing from behind all game.

The Kings shot 60 percent (9-of-15) during the first quarter but that was offset by a season-high 11 turnovers that led to 13 Indiana points, helping the Pacers to a 29-21 lead after one.

"I was pressing, playing against my old team," said Kings center Brad Miller, who committed five of his six turnovers in the first quarter. "I was trying to squeeze (passes) in there, but they know my game pretty well. Jamaal (Tinsley) and Jermaine (O'Neal) kept deflecting the ball it seemed like."

For the game, the Kings committed 23 turnovers, and fell to 0-8 on the season when giving it away 20 or more times.

After allowing 65 first-half points on 54 percent shooting, the Kings rallied with a 15-2 third-quarter run to close within one at 71-70.

But Diener ripped the nets with 11 points, including three shots from the arc in just over two minutes, to push the Pacers on top by eight.

"The last two games, (Diener) came in and sparked us," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "The tempo speeds up when he is on the floor. He does a nice job of hitting open threes. He also does a great job of penetrating and finding teammates."

Shawne Williams hit a 3-pointer with ten minutes left in the game to put Indiana up by 11. However, the Kings would rally again and cut it to 105-103 after a 7-0 burst with 90 seconds left.

But Sacramento would finally run out of gas after Martin missed his first shot of the night with 53 seconds remaining. O'Neal then converted two free throws and the Pacers pulled away for the win.

"Having Jermaine in there, who creates a mismatch every time, we just wanted to spread the floor and make them rotate and get some open looks," Dunleavy said. "We needed (this win). We've let some go in the last couple weeks, which has been very frustrating. To finish one out tonight feels good."

"This was a good win to get us back on track," said O'Neal, who scored 12 points and grabbed seven boards in his return to action after missing Thursday's game at Phoenix with a chronic sore left knee. "We have to put together a string of games to get that winning feeling back."

Dunleavy scored 18 points in the first half to help Indiana grab control of the game. The former Warrior keyed a 17-7 stretch that ended with Diener's 3-pointer that gave the Pacers a commanding 65-49 lead.

But the Kings scored the final four points, including Martin's jumper at the buzzer, to make it 65-53 at the break.

"It felt a little funny out there," Martin said. "It felt like my first game as a rookie. I still have to get my timing down and get in the groove with my teammates."

Francisco Garcia added 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings.

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