Pistons vs. Kings final score: Josh Smith, defense leads Detroit to crucial 99-89 win

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

In a game the Pistons needed, the Pistons won. Take that however you want.

What happened:

The Pistons used a strong third quarter effort, 20-11, to take down the visiting Kings at The Palace on Tuesday night by a final score of 99-89.

It might not make all the difference in the end, but the Pistons won a crucial game against a team to which it needed to lose. Now they find themselves three games back -- of Sacramento and the No. 8 spot in the playoffs.

Josh Smith and defense both showed up. Will Bynum tried his little heart out.

What stood out:

The turning point in the game was the third quarter. It started with a Drummond dunk and back-to-back threes from Smith and Brandon Jennings, respectively.

Who stood out:

Josh Smith hit his only two three-point attempts and 10 of 17 shots overall in the game to lead the Pistons and all scorers with 24 points.

Andre Drummond had 15 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.

Bullets:

-- Rodney Stuckey scored 23 points off the bench, 16 of those coming in the first half. Stuckey is averaging almost 20 points a game against the Kings in his career, his highest against any opponent, according to NBA.com.

-- Stuckey ate up Detroit native Ray McCallum in McCallum's homecoming, and in front of McCallum's father no less.

-- Kyle Singler had five steals.

--  It was the second time this month the Pistons have allowed an opponent to score fewer than 90 points and they are 6-1 this season when doing such. It was just the second time since the All-Star break the Pistons held an opponent under 100 points.

-- The Pistons hit 7 of 18 threes. They are 16-8 this season when hitting seven or more three pointers in a game.

-- No time to dwell, or celebrate, or whatever you want to do, because the Pistons play the Raptors Wednesday night in Toronto. They then host the Pacers on Saturday before four straight against the Western Conference on the road. Fear not, the losses are coming.

-- Box Score

-- Roll Call

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