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Pistons vs. Kings final score: Sluggish 3rd quarter dooms Pistons as they fall, 122-113

The Pistons kept things close most of the game, but the 3rd quarter might have been the Pistons worst of the season.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Detroit Pistons Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons and Kings started this one out with back-to-back 3s and it looked like we were in for the usual offensive showdown that Kings games are. It wasn’t quite that explosive offensively, but it was still a competitive game outside of the 3rd quarter.

After the rapid start, both teams cooled down for a few minutes. The Kings went on a 9-2 run and looked like they could pull away as the Pistons struggled to hit shots even more, but they were were able to follow up with a little run of their own and take the lead for a brief period.

The offensive pace picked up to close out the 1st and the Pistons would lead 29-28 after 1. It was a pretty balanced scoring attack for the Pistons as their leading scorers were Isiaiah Stewart and Bojan Bogdanovic with 6 points each.

The 2nd quarter started out a lot like the first with a lot of made shots and little defense. Neither team was really able to pull away because they just kept trading baskets.

Just like the first, there was a stretch in the middle of the quarter where both teams cooled off a bit. The defense didn’t really improve, it’s just that nobody was making shots.

The Pistons went over 4 minutes without a field goal until a Killian Hayes 3 ended the slump. However, the Kings never took advantage of the cold stretch and the Pistons were able to keep the game from getting out of hand.

The Pistons were able to close out the half with a 13-4 run, as they picked things up a bit defensively. They would take a lead into halftime, 63-55. The Kings were led by a trio of scorers, Fox, Sabonis, and Murray, with 10 points.

The Pistons were led by Bogdanovic with 13 points and Jalen Duren with 7 points and 10 (!) rebounds. The Pistons also outrebounded the Kings 25-15, which was a huge difference-maker in a game with poor defense.

Keegan Murray came out of the half with a quick 8 points that allowed the Kings to tie things up early in the 3rd. They would eventually take the lead after a 14-2 run before Dwane Casey would call timeout to try to stop the bleeding.

It didn’t help, as the floodgates were already opened. The Pistons couldn’t do anything defensively to stop them, and they do not have enough offensive firepower to keep pace with one of the better offensive teams in the league.

The Kings lead ballooned to 12 points before Dwane Casey would pull the starters to try to turn things around with 5 minutes left in the quarter. The Kings were killing the Pistons in transition with 14 fastbreak points in the quarter.

The bench was able to jumpstart the Pistons a bit in the last 5 minutes of the 3rd, as they dominated the Kings bench. However, the Pistons still trailed 93-86 heading into the 4th. With how things were going, it could have been a lot worse.

Marvin Bagley and Saddiq Bey did all that they could do to try to get the Pistons back into the game, attacking the basket and putting pressure on the Kings’ defense. Both players are starting to figure out their roles off the bench for the Pistons as the primary offensive creators along with Alec Burks. It is a lot of iso ball, but it has been effective.

Even with the Kings’ starters coming back in, the bench was able to keep things close. On a normal night that would be a positive development, but with how poorly the Pistons’ starters played in the 3rd, it didn’t really matter.

Once the starters came back in the Kings were able to keep their foot on the gas and cruise to the win, 122-113

The Pistons didn’t have an answer for Domantas Sabonis or Harrison Barnes in the 4th. Sabonis almost had a triple double with 23 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists . Harrison Barnes had 8 in the quarter, but was causing problems on both ends. He finished with

For the Pistons, they were led by Bojan Bogdanovic with 22. However, Saddiq Bey and Marvin Bagley deserve a shoutout for their solid play off the bench. Bey had 14 in 26 minutes and Bagley had 13 in 18 minutes.

Jaden Ivey’s struggles continued as he had 5 points, 5 assists, and fouled out. A day off or a change of role might be in store for the struggling rookie. Jalen Duren is a rookie who isn’t struggling as he had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

The Pistons will face the Nets on Sunday at home.