Pacers rip Kings, pick up rare road winMar 4, 2009 - 7:04 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Arco Arena has been good to everyone but the Sacramento Kings this season. It even provided friendly confines for the Indiana Pacers.
Jarrett Jack scored 22 points and Troy Murphy had 23 and 10 rebounds as the Pacers salvaged just their eighth road win of the season with a 117-109 victory over the Kings on Tuesday.
They did so thanks to another tough performance from Murphy, one that has gone under the radar yet again.
"I think he may be the most underrated guy in the league," Jack said of Murphy, who shot 8-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-6 from the arc.
"The stuff he does really goes unnoticed. His numbers are almost staggering for a guy his size. Being able to shoot the ball at his height, the ability this guy has is unbelievable."
Marquis Daniels and Travis Diener scored 18 points apiece for the Pacers (27-36), who pulled within two games of the eighth-place Milwaukee Bucks (29-34) in the Eastern Conference. The New Jersey Nets (27-33), Chicago Bulls (27-34) and Charlotte Bobcats (26-35) also are in the mix.
The Pacers continued their push toward an unlikely playoff bid on the road, where they entered the contest with a 7-25 mark. In fact, Indiana had lost 12 of its last 13 road games.
"If we want to get in the playoffs, we've got to win these games," Diener said. "We haven't been very successful on the road this year but we've still got, I think, eight games left on the road, where we can try to make up some ground. Tonight was the first step."
"It was a great way to start a road trip," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "I thought our tempo was terrific throughout the whole game. Travis came in the first half and the second half and hit five of six from three."
The Kings, though, fell to 9-21 at Arco, which used to be one of the most raucous home venues in the NBA, using cowbells and screaming fans to intimidate even Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers at the start of the decade.
Things have changed.
Playing to a half-empty house, the Kings have more problems than just on the court. They have been rumored to be undergoing some financial difficulty, though their uninspired play has contributed to the lack of fan interest.
It was on display in this one, as the Pacers - without All-Star Danny Granger and forward Mike Dunleavy - shot 11-of-21 from the arc and handed out 26 assists. They took a 15-point lead into the fourth quarter and cruised the rest of the way.
"I think our guys have played consistently well no matter who has been in the lineup," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "Michael has missed 40-some games and Danny went down a couple of weeks ago.
"Our guys are a resilient group. They always feel that they have a chance to win and they play really tough, especially at home."
Kevin Martin scored 21 points and Rashad McCants added 20 off the bench for the Kings, who have lost five of their last six.
The reason for their latest setback seemed evident some in the locker room.
"Needless to say, our defense was atrocious tonight," Kings coach Kenny Natt said. "That's one of the first things I want to (say)."
"We didn't play any defense tonight," McCants said. "That's the bottom line. We've got to get better as a unit playing defense - talking, communication, having that passion to take up for one another."
SACRAMENTO 109 FINAL
Mar 4 12:24 AM
SACRAMENTO 78 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 3 11:55 PM
SACRAMENTO 51 HALFTIME
Mar 3 11:13 PM
SACRAMENTO 27 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 3 10:39 PM
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