The Detroit Pistons outhustled, outmuscled and outplayed the Sacramento Kings for the majority of the 48 minutes Thursday night in a strong 113-101 victory. After the opening quarter that saw Detroit up four, it was largely all Pistons from then on. Detroit took control with a 35-21 spanking of the Kings in the second quarter. The Kings would draw within seven very late, but Detroit’s hold on the game was never in doubt.
Seven Pistons scored in double figures, led by Cory Joseph’s 24. Cory, coincidently getting the starting nod against his former team, did a bit of everything and certainly set the tone and moved the needle for the Pistons in this one.
Even more impressive were rookies Killian Hayes and Isaiah Stewart, as both looked like seasoned veterans. Hayes ran the offense smoothly, yet was aggressive in looking for his own opportunities with five field goals, including a step-back three and a variety of floaters. Hayes finished the game with a career-high 11 points and, more importantly, looks more and more comfortable on the floor.
Meanwhile, Stewart scored 16 and grabbed 13 rebounds, while pitching in four dimes as well. Stewart, getting the start for the concussed Mason Plumlee, played 33 rock solid minutes.
Sekou Doumbouya continues to show more signs of basketball growth. He played just 13 minutes, but he was always in the middle of the action and showed great interest in attacking the hoop rather than settling for the outside shot. That being said, Sekou did drill his only 3-ball. He knew it was going in when it left his fingers.
While the Pistons were easily the better team tonight on both ends, the Kings did themselves no favors with careless defense and mostly selfish hoists from the perimeter. The Kings shot 7-for-30 from downtown — that’s a sub- 24-percent mark. Most of the Kings looked disinterested to be playing organized basketball against the Pistons. They have now lost five straight after winning five straight just prior.
The Pistons will face the explosive Portland Trailblazers — the current sixth seed in the Western conference — Saturday night at 10PM EST.