SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Midway through the season, Indiana's Paul George is being mentioned as an MVP candidate.
On Friday night, he showed why he deserves such consideration.
George scored eight of his 36 points in overtime to help the Pacers beat the Sacramento Kings 116-111.
George sent the game to overtime with a four-point play to cap a nine-point fourth quarter. He made a 3 and was fouled by Derrick Williams with 15 seconds left. George then made the free throw to complete the four-point play and tie the score at 103.
"We run that play a lot and I practice that shot," said George, who has seven 30-plus point games this season. "I was coming off a screen and felt him pushing me from behind. I just knew to rise up."
Isaiah Thomas missed a jumper in the closing seconds for the Kings, sending the game into overtime.
In overtime, George made 3 of 4 shots and had a key steal to thwart any thoughts of a Sacramento comeback.
David West made 3-pointer and George dunked after a steal, putting Indiana up 110-106. George, voted a starter for the Eastern Conference in next month's All-Star game, later added a corner jumper for a 114-111 lead.
After his heroics on offense, George added one at the defensive end. He stole the ball from Thomas with 12 seconds left and was fouled. George made two free throws for a 116-111 lead.
"They got some incredible bounces tonight," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "But when we defend like we did tonight I can't ask a whole more from our guys. The difference between winning and losing close games is going to come down to execution on offense and can you get the best shot possible."
The Pacers overcame a 17-point second-quarter deficit and rallied in the fourth to tie the score.