SACRAMENTO -- Expect the unexpected. With time winding down, Willie Cauley-Stein bailed out the Sacramento Kings with a soaring putback dunk to give his team a late one-point lead over the Indiana Pacers with a little over 16 seconds remaining. After a wild series of events in the final seconds, Sacramento found a way to come out victorious and snap their three-game losing streak.
It wasn't always pretty, but the Kings continue to defy the odds makers. They're fighting their way through adversity both on and off the court and staying together as a group.
The Kings currently stand at 11-11 on the season after the 111-110 win over the Pacers. Here are two positives and two negatives from the game:
Cauley-Stein finishes strong
Cauley-Stein hasn't completely mastered the concept of consistency, but he's improved greatly in his fourth NBA season. The 7-footer rushed his shot early against fellow 2015 lottery pick, Myles Turner, but he calmed down and put together a very nice game for Sacramento.
The 25-year-old center finished with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds, in the win. It was the eighth double-double of the season for the former Kentucky star.
More important than the numbers, Cauley-Stein stayed completely engaged in the final play of the game. He tracked De'Aaron Fox on his drive to the hoop and went in for the big finish off the miss. Sometimes the little things are the difference between a win and a loss.
Trying to snap the three-game skid, Dave Joerger turned to a tight nine-man rotation. Bogdan Bogdanovic is the leader of the second unit, but he's not the only one off the bench who came up big for the Kings against the Pacers.
Justin Jackson played one of his better games of the season. The second-year wing finished with eight points, three rebounds, two assists and a team-high plus-10 in the plus/minus category.
Two-way player, Troy Williams, chipped in 12 points on a perfect 3-of-3 from long range and he provided a spark on both ends of the court with his aggressive play.
Kosta Koufos has sat out plenty of games this season for one reason or another. With Marvin Bagley missing the action due to back spasms, the veteran 7-footer got the call and played spectacular team and individual defense in his 15 minutes off the bench. He was rusty offensively, but managed to grab seven rebounds and shut down the Pacers' Domantas Sabonis.
Free throw woes
The Kings are the worst free throw shooting team in the league and it almost cost them the game against Indiana. As a team, Sacramento is 16th in the league in free throw attempts, going to line 23.4 times per game. They hit just 69.4 percent of those opportunities.
Free throws seem simple enough, but the Kings have struggled to figure them out. In the win over the Pacers, the Kings shot just 16-of-24 from the stripe and with the game on the line in the fourth, they missed three.
The Kings escaped with a one-point win, but that wasn't the case last Saturday in Oakland. Sacramento missed eight free throws in that game as well, including one at the 1:07 mark of the fourth quarter by Bagley. A missed tip-in during the final seconds could have won the game for the Kings, but a made freebie a minute earlier would have tied the game.
The Kings run and gun and cover their mistakes by getting as many possessions as possible. That doesn't mean that they can give the ball away at will.
Sacramento turned the ball over 20 times against Indiana, led by a team-high six from Fox. Eight of the nine players that stepped on the floor for the Kings gave it away at least once.
On the plus side, the Pacers finished with 25 turnovers. They tried to run with the Kings and it led to a lot of mistakes. Sabonis finished with seven turnovers and former King, Darren Collison added six for Indiana in the loss.