The Detroit Pistons have played three bad teams this season -- Wizards, Celtics and Kings -- and they have three victories after beating the Kings 97-90 at Sleep Train area, which broke the world record for loudest stadium ever.
While the matchup between Greg Monroe and DeMarcus Cousins was highly anticipated, it was actually Cousins and Josh Smith who were trying to will their teams to victory.
Smith did, as an announcer said, "a lot of everything," finishing with 21 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, five steals and four blocks.
Cousins, meanwhile, was a beast all night. He bullied his way through the Detroit defense and tallied 26 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.
Andre Drummond had quite a game himself. He was abused on the defensive end in the first half by Cousins and missed a series of bunnies around the basket. But after being pulled by coach Maurice Cheeks, the 20-year-old big man got a talking to from Pistons coach Rasheed Wallace on the bench.
Whatever Sheed said worked.
Drummond came back with a vengeance. He finished with 15 points and 18 rebounds, including some thunderous dunks in the fourth quarter that helped keep the game out of reach of the surging Kings.
What stood out:
The Pistons had energy from the very beginning and a lot of that had to do with the energy and activity of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who started at shooting guard for an injured Chauncey Billups. He didn't stuff the stat sheet, but KCP ran the floor and helped the Pistons take advantage of a rash of turnovers committed by the Kings.
Who stood out:
The Good Josh Smith. Smith got a little shot-happy and careless late in the game, but for 4/5ths of the night, Smith was in control, making shots, getting teammates involved and playing solid defense. He played 44 minutes and it seems like the Pistons needed every one of them to keep Sacramento at bay. And he also shot 7-of-10 from the free-throw line, which was a welcome sight.
- The Pistons were trailing 66-64 with 4:35 left to go in the third quarter. But Detroit then went on a 18-6 run to end the third and begin the fourth to put the game out of reach.
- The win snapped an epic 21-game Western Conference road losing streak for the Pistons. And it was only their second win in the past 46(?) Western Conference road games.
- Greg Monroe had a relatively quiet game -- eight points, four rebounds and two steals in 30 minutes.
- Brandon Jennings was pretty schizophrenic. He took a lot of questionable shots and wasn't getting teammates involved and then all of a sudden he flipped a switch and started making things happen. Then, just as quickly he started jacking up dumb shots again. In the end he finished with 11 points and nine assists but shot just 5-of-14.
- The Pistons were facing the worst 3-point defense in the NBA and again couldn't hit anything from the perimeter. Detroit finished 6-of-23. That includes 2-of-6 from Smith, 1-of-5 from Jennings and 1-of-5 from Kyle Singler
- Speaking of Singler, he started out great, hitting four of his first five shots. He connected on a 3 and made some great cuts to the basket for easy scores. And then the wheels fell off and he couldn't do anything. Needless to say, the rotation is still unsettled.
- The Pistons continue to leave people wide open on the perimeter and the Kings were able to hit 10 of 25 3-point attempts. This has to be by design and I'm wondering when someone is going to ask Cheeks about it. It drives me crazier than anything else going on with this team.
Game Thread Roll Call
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|15||The truth Rodney White||31|
|28||I Got Munnyz||10|
|36||OK from J||7|
|53||The Chris Myers Fan Club||1|