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NBA India Games 2019

NBA India Games 2019: Takeaways from the Indiana Pacers' comeback overtime win over the Sacramento Kings

TJ Warren
Getty Images

It was history from the second the ball tipped and the game itself made the event even more historic.

The first-ever NBA game in India did not disappoint, as the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers put on a show at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai.

The Kings were in the lead for the majority of the contest but the Pacers would not go down without a fight. Indiana used a third quarter push to bring themselves back into the contest and T.J. Warren (30 points) buried a clutch 3-pointer to send the game into overtime.

The Pacers kept their foot on the gas in the overtime period, completing the comeback to defeat the Kings, 132-131.

For takeaways on tonight's contest, we have you covered below.

Warren's explosion

One of the biggest questions entering the 2019-20 season for the Pacers is who is going to step up while Victor Oladipo is out?

Their All-Star guard (torn quad) is still expected to be sidelined until December/January and last year's fill-in go-to guy Bojan Bogdanovic is no longer on the roster.

Enter newly acquired forward TJ Warren.

Warren was a known bucket-getter for the Phoenix Suns for the first five seasons of his career. He averaged 19.6 points per game in 2017-18 and followed that up by averaging 18.0 points per game last season while posting his career-high from beyond the arc (42.8%).

That 3-point range was on display in Mumbai tonight, as Warren went 5-for-6 from 3-point land on his way to a game-high 30 points. With the Pacers in desperate need of a scoring boost, Warren went off for 11 points in the third quarter to spark the comeback. He scored another six points in the fourth quarter, including this clutch game-tying 3-ball to send the game into overtime:

In the OT period, Warren continued to score the rock with a team-high seven points to lead Indiana to victory.

It may have only taken one game to find out who is going to fill Oladipo's scoring void until he can return to action.

Primary scorer Buddy Hield

Last season, Buddy Hield emerged as the Kings' leading scorer, averaging 20.7 points per game. It was never in question if he could assume that role again this season, but this one preseason contest proved that he's more than ready to be the go-to guy in Sacramento again.

Hield was the game's second-leading scorer with 28 points shooting an efficient 11-for-20 from the field (55.0%) while going 4-for-10 (40.0%) from beyond the arc.

Hield's 42.7% from 3-point land last season was among the most efficient in the NBA - he ranked 7th in 3-point percentage - and had it not been for a couple heaves at the buzzer, he would have finished closer to 50% from beyond the arc in this contest.

Hield really got going in the third quarter, scoring nine points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field to combat the Pacers' run. The Kings were constantly trying to get their sharpshooting guard in a position to score, as you can tell by his team-high 20 shot attempts.

The Oklahoma product will surely retain his spot as the Kings' leading scorer again this season.

Pacers frontcourt duo

The Pacers frontcourt tandem of Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis is one of the most promising features of this exciting Indiana squad.

They proved to the NBA world exactly why that is the case in their first preseason game of the year.

Turner and Sabonis were a force downlow the entire game - they both finished with double-doubles, dominating the paint and the boards all night long.

Sabonis looked unstoppable at times, bullying the Kings bigs. He had 21 points and 12 rebounds with six of those 12 rebounds coming on the offensive glass, creating a number of second chance opportunitites for his team. He also threw down multiple massive dunks, with this putback being the most impressive.

As for Turner, he posted a stat sheet-stuffing 11 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks with one of his blocks saving the game for Indiana, swatting away De'Aaron Fox's game-winning shot attempt in regulation.

The future is bright for this big man pairing.

Kings' depth

Although blowing their lead is discouraging, the Kings still had plenty of encouraging signs from this first preseason contest.

Sacramento's depth was shining in this one, as seven different players scored in double figures, making a significant impact on the game.

Buddy Hield's 28 led the way, but Harrison Barnes' 21 points played a huge role in building and maintaining the team's lead for most of the game. De'Aaron Fox was as incredible as he always is, filling up the box score with 16 points, eight assists, three rebounds and a steal.

Marvin Bagley also had 12 points and five rebounds, but the bench production was what was the most optimizing aspect for the Kings.

Bogdan Bogdanovic was fantastic in 28 minutes of playing time, scoring 14 points (5-7 FG) to go with seven assists. Forward Nemanja Bjelica chipped in 14 points, five rebounds and a pair of assists while newly acquired centre Richaun Holmes had 10 points, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

If the Kings can have a solid nine guys contribute night-in and night-out this season, they're going to be tough to beat any time they take the floor.

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