The Detroit Pistons dominated a depleted Sacramento Kings up front en route to a solid 95-90 victory . The Kings were without their star center, DeMarcus Cousins, who was battling meningitis over the past few weeks and sat out of tonight’s game. His absence was clearly felt as the Pistons were able to take advantage down low.
Sacramento was able to get a sizeable contribution from Rudy Gay with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Detroit was led by Greg Monroe with 24 points, Josh Smith with 13 rebounds, and Brandon Jennings with 8 assists. The win is the second back-to-back victory the Pistons have had this season and it is also the second win since their 13-game losing streak.
The win signifies the second road victory for the Pistons on this West Coast stretch while the Sacramento Kings continue to struggle without their star player; losing their past three games by a total of 12 points. The win also marks the first back-to-back road victories over Western Conference opponents since November 12th and 14th 2010. (Statistic coming courtesy of DSN Pistons Statistician Ky Carlin)
Josh Smith had a surprising game today, as he was able to record a double-double night before the fourth quarter while also leading the Pistons offensively. Smith’s impact could clearly be seen as the Pistons outscored the Kings 24-14 in the third quarter after trailing by three at half time. Smith had seven points in the fourth while seeing a solid contribution from Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and Kyle Singler as well, each achieving double-figures in the game.
Pistons big men were able to thrive under Cousins’ absence, scoring a total of 70 points across the front court. Sacramento struggled down the stretch as well, only able to conjure up five made baskets in the last three and a half minutes of the fourth quarter.
Quality free-throw shooting steadied the ship for the Pistons as they leave Sleep Train Arena with a five point victory. Next up, the Pistons play on Monday the 15th at 10:30 PM ET at Staples Center against the 16-7 Los Angeles Clippers. In their previous meeting, L.A won the matchup at the Palace 104-98. Tune in on 105.1 FM or FSN Detroit for the game.