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Road Reaction: Pistons 114, Kings 108

The Sacramento Kings fall apart in the fourth quarter in the Motor City.


Box Score

The Sacramento Kings walked into the Motor City Friday trying to snap a three-game losing streak.  However the Detroit Pistons, who trailed most of the game, hung around and after a late third quarter surge, pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 114-108 victory.

Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey scored 36 points on 12-for-20 shooting , while his rookie backcourt mate, Brandon Knight added 23 points and dished out a career high 10 assists.  Tayshaun Prince had a strong night as well, scoring 22 points, grabbing a team-high ten rebounds and handing out five assists.

DeMarcus Cousins shook off lower back spasms and pinned 26 points and 15 rebounds on fellow second year big man Greg Monroe.  Rookie Isaiah Thomas got the start tonight at point guard for coach Keith Smart,  who was trying to shake things up a little bit for the struggling Kings.  Thomas responded early with a strong first quarter, but played only sparingly the rest of the way.  Marcus Thornton scored 24 points in the loss for the Kings, who fell to ten games under .500 for the first time this season.

Notes and Analysis

  • John Salmons poor play this season finally caught up to him as coach Smart benched the veteran wing.  Salmons scored five points in 22 minutes off the bench after starting 28 of the Kings 29 games this season.
  • All five starters scored in double figures for the Kings.  The insertion of Thomas into the starting line-up had an immediate effect as the Kings turned up the pace of the game.
  • J.J. Hickson played poorly and coach Smart took notice.  Mid-way through the second quarter, Smart pulled Hickson and then gave him an earful on the bench.  Hickson sat the rest of the game while Smart used Travis Outlaw in his place.
  • Thomas played so well in the first quarter that he was actually pacing for a triple-double.  While Thomas’ defense left something to be desired, he played well enough to earn another start next game.
  • Jimmer Fredette led the Kings bench in scoring with nine points on 3-for-6 shooting.  The bench finished with just 16 points on the night.
  • Cousins owned Monroe.  The two young centers are both having breakout seasons, but tonight, Cousins limited Monroe to just three points and eight rebounds in 33 minutes of action.
  • Jason Thompson shook out of his mini-funk, scoring 13 points, grabbing four rebounds and finishing with three blocks.  Thompson had scored just 11 points over his previous three games combined.
  • This was a barn burner of a game with both teams getting out on the break and running.  The Kings had 25 fast break points at half, but the Pistons held them to just four more in the second half.  The Pistons were the more aggressive team in the second half and finished the game with 30 fast break points.
  • Stuckey, Knight and Prince, the Pistons starting guards and wing, combined for 81 points, 15 assists and 19 rebounds.  The trio turned the ball over just three times on the night in a combined 116 minutes.
  • Stat of the Night: The Kings set a new high in assists tonight with 25.  Tyreke Evans led the way with nine while Thomas and fellow rookie Fredette each kicked in four.
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