The Detroit Pistons hosted the Sacramento Kings looking for something, anything to be happy about. They were on a 3-game skid and their playoff hopes had been fading with that skid.
It didn’t start off the way they hoped for as the Kings opened up a 16-6 lead. Rudy Gay was burning Kyle Singler off the dribble, Andre Drummond had trouble defending DeMarcus Cousins, and Brandon Jennings couldn’t stay in front of Isaiah Thomas.
Josh Smith of all people kept the Pistons in it scoring 11 points on 5/8 shooting in the 1st quarter as the Pistons trailed 31-28 after one.
The second quarter was more of the same. The Pistons were scoring with ease as Rodney Stuckey hopped off the bench and provided easy points and Drummond was a monster around the rim, but Detroit couldn’t defend. The Kings got to the rim with ease and they got anything they wanted. Sacramento led 54-52 at the break behind 15 points from Thomas and 14 from Gay. Stuckey had 16 and Smith had 13 for Detroit.
Detroit opened the third on an 8-0 run behind a Drummond dunk, a Smith 3-pointer(I know, incredible, right?), and a Jennings pull up triple for a 60-54 lead.
Detroit then started locking all windows and doors as they held the Kings scoreless for the first 4:02 of the second half before a Reggie Evans layup. Greg Monroe then answered with a layup, Smith had another 3-pointer(!!!), and Smith threw the alley-oop to a high-flying Drummond for a 69-60 lead. All in all, the Pistons out scored Sacramento 20-11 in the third quarter and led 72-65 after three.
In the fourth, the Pistons opened up an 83-69 lead after a 3 by Stuckey and a 3 by Singler. A Will Bynum jumper and a Monroe layup made it 89-73 Pistons, but the Kings answered with an 8-0 run behind Detroiter Ray McCallum, Gay, and Cousins to cut it to an 89-81 Pistons lead with 3:47 to play.
Smith then knocked down a long 2 and Bynum had two buckets that all but iced it. The Pistons defeated the Kings 99-89. Smith had 24 points on 10/17 shooting, Stuckey had 23 off the bench, and Drummond had 15 and eight boards. Jennings had five points on 1/10 shooting, 1/7 from deep.
I honestly feel so empty about this win. Why win now? What’s the point? You’ll just get ousted in the first round by the Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers. Obviously, this season hasn’t gone the way everybody expected. Why not tank the season, keep your top 8 protected draft pick, draft a potential franchise changer in the deepest draft since 2003, and start over next season? I know they’re only 3 games out of the 8 spot with 18 games to play, but I don’t know if I want the playoffs anymore. Just my take on it.
On a side note: I am very annoyed with the fact that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been eliminated from the rotation. He played eight minutes tonight and had a very positive impact. Held Gay in check in his eight minutes, forced a turnover, and on said turnover had a breakaway dunk and was the fastest player on the break. Play the rookie!