The Kings (14-20) overcame a 10-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter Thursday, before Francisco Garcia hit a 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds to play to secure a 116-113 win over Memphis. The victory came on the heels of Tuesday’s 104-100 win over Orlando to open a four-game homestand.
Sacramento hasn’t won three games in a row since a four-game winning streak from Feb. 28-March 6.
“In the last 5 minutes of the game we started making shots and that picks up your energy,” Kings coach Reggie Theus said after Thursday’s victory. “We’ve played through adversity all year, this wasn’t the first time. Our guys don’t quit.
“Sometimes when you win games like this, it becomes addictive. The guys know that they stuck together and in the end they made plays. The defense worked for us, the offense worked. They got the open guy shots and they feel good about it.”
John Salmons has been a major factor in the Kings’ last two wins. After scoring 21 points against the Magic, he totaled 28 with 11 rebounds and seven assists - including one on Garcia’s game-winning shot - on Thursday.
Salmons appears to be moving into a more significant offensive role, averaging 19.5 points in the last 17 games - all starts due to a groin injury to leading scorer Kevin Martin. The swingman averaged 8.5 points last season, his first with Sacramento.
“I think with the team we have now, we all do it together,” Salmons said. “It’s not an individual player. We don’t have that type of talent to do that.”
The Kings have won eight of their last 10 meetings with Indiana (16-21), including four of five at Arco Arena.
The Pacers, losers of eight of their last nine overall, are looking to snap a seven-game road losing streak after being defeated 129-122 in overtime at Phoenix on Wednesday.
They’ll have to try to snap the skid without reserve center David Harrison, who was suspended five games by the NBA on Friday for violating the league’s anti-drug program.
“This is a private matter and we will do what we can to provide David any help going forward,” Pacers president Larry Bird said in a statement.
Harrison, who has averaged 4.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 27 games this season, was one of five Pacers charged in a brawl with Detroit Pistons fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Nov. 19, 2004. Harrison was not suspended for that incident, but still faces a lawsuit related to it.
Especially with Harrison out, Indiana hopes Jermaine O’Neal’s expected return to the lineup will provide a lift after he sat out Wednesday’s loss to rest his sore left knee - an injury which also caused him to miss five games in November.
O’Neal is averaging 15.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. He had 22 points and 12 rebounds in the Pacers’ last meeting with the Kings, a 102-98 loss at Sacramento on March 6.