Kings play better in the Motor City but lose to Pistons 108-99

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Pistons Little Caesars
The new Little Caesar’s Arena in downtown Detroit*

The Sacramento Kings played their best game of the three-game road trip on Saturday night in Detroit even though they lost the game 108-99. The Pistons (7-3) went on a 16-5 scoring run late in the third quarter and the Kings (1-8) were unable to close the gap after that run losing their seventh consecutive game. Sacramento finished 0-3 on the road trip.

The Kings played their best basketball against the most physical team they had to face on the road trip. Maybe the most important accomplishment was scoring more than 86 points in a game which they had not done in their last four contests. There are no moral victories but there are games where a team can show improvement. That is what the Kings showed on Saturday night. They showed improvement.

Dave Joerger went with a starting five consisting of veterans and youth. Zach Randolph and Garrett Temple were the vets who started. Third- year man Willie Cauley-Stein got the start at center while rookies Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Aaron Fox were also in the starting five. Fox started at point guard because George Hill was not with the team due to personal reasons.

Joerger would also use a 12 man rotation versus the Pistons. Everyone on the Kings bench except Papagiannis played in the game.

The Kings managed to take the lead in this game. Their biggest lead was only one point but in was a lead. They stayed within three to four points of the lead for much of game.

Top Performers


Pistons Boggy
Bogdanovic drives the lane in Detroit*
  • Zach Randolph led the Kings in scoring with 19 points shooting 8-for-14 (57.1-percent) from the floor. Z-Bo also hit 2-of-3 from behind the 3-point line. Randolph played almost 30-minutes in the game.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 14 points against the Pistons hitting 6-of-7 shots from the field (85.7-percent). He was a perfect 2-for-2 from 3-point land. As usual, Bogdanovic played very strong defense as well.
  • De’Aaron Fox also posted 14 points but seven of those points came in the fourth quarter when the game was really out of reach. He dished out four assists in his 26-minutes on the floor.
  • Buddy Hield — who was nursing a sore ankle from the Boston game — put 13 up points and grabbed eight rebounds.
  • Garrett Temple had a very solid game with 10 points, three rebounds, three steals and one assist.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein who struggled in the first half really improved in the second half scoring eight points to go with three rebounds, four assists and two steals.
  • Frank Mason played an important role as the point guard for the second unit in the game. Mason played 21-minutes scoring seven points and distributing six assists.


Pistons Drummond
Andre Drummond posted a double-double in the game*
  •  Avery Bradley led the way for the victorious Pistons with 24 points. He hit 10-of-15 shots from the floor (66.7-percent). Bradley played 32-minutes for Detroit versus the Kings.
  • Power Forward Tobias Harris scored 20 points, hauled in five rebounds, added five assists, had one steal and one block in the game.
  • Big man Andre Drummond posted another double-double scoring 16 points and grabbing 19 rebounds. He also had four assists, three steals and one block.
  • Point guard Reggie Jackson — who was the subject of trade rumors earlier in the week- scored 15 and dished out seven assists.
  • Former King Anthony Tolliver scored 10 points against his former team.

Team numbers


1-alt kings

  • The Kings shot an impressive 52.6-percent (40-for-76) from the field. They hit 10-of-21 (47.6-percent) of their 3-point attempts.
  • The Kings still did not make it to the free throw line enough on Saturday night. They made 9-of-13 opportunities. Sacramento needs to bring that free throw attempted number up to 20-plus.
  • Sac pulled down 32 total rebounds (3 off/ 29 def) which is on the low side and could be of concern if those numbers continue to be low.
  • The Kings had 24 assists and committed 18 turnovers which resulted in 18 Piston points. The assist to turnover ratio is well below the goal of 2-to-1.


Pistons logo

  • The Pistons also shot over 50-percent from the floor as they hit 40 of their 79 field goal attempts.
  • Detroit was on fire from “downtown” as they connected on 13-of-24 (54.2-percent) of their shots from behind the 3-point arc.
  • They hit 15-of-22 attempts from the charity stripe.
  •   It was a low rebounding game for both teams as the Pistons hauled in 35 (8 off/ 27 def) rebounds.
  • Detroit came close to the 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio as they posted 28 assists versus 15 turnovers. Their turnovers turned into nine Sacramento points.
  • The Pistons had 10 steals against Sacramento Saturday night.

Up next on the schedule

The Kings flew home after the game and will be off until Tuesday when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden 1 Center. Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony should provide quite a challenge for the Kings.

The Pistons stay in Detroit and will return to action on Wednesday when the Indiana Pacers visit Little Caesar’s Arena.

*Photos by USA Today Sports

No Lee, No Problem as Streaking Warriors Grind Down Pistons for Win

By Matthew Harrington

It would be hard to believe on a night when David Lee wasn’t even in the building, Andrew Bogut nursed a nagging shoulder injury and Stephen Curry‘s silky-smooth shooting touch went rough that the Warriors would walk away with a W. Monday night proved that anything is possible with the red-hot Dubs, winners now of four in a row since the All-Star break. The Detroit Pistons (23-34) became victim number four, falling at the hands of the Warriors 104-96 at the Palace of Auburn Hills despite Curry nailing just 6 of 15 field goals attempted.

With Andrew Bogut returning to play after injuring his shoulder seven games ago and David Lee missing his second-straight contest with the flu, the load was placed firmly on the shoulders of the Warriors’ lone All-Star Curry. The Human Torch remained relatively damp, hitting only 3 of 9 three-pointers for 19 points but fed his teammates plenty while collecting nine assists. Guard Klay Thompson also had 19 points for the Warriors (35-22), including two that came on a dunk over Kyle Singler that sent the Pistons guard staggering into the stands.

Jermaine O’Neal, starting for Lee who didn’t join the Warriors on the trip, put together another solid performance, netting a second-straight double-double on 16 points and 10 rebounds. O’Neal previously sparked the Warriors 93-86 win over Brooklyn with 23 points and 13 rebounds Saturday night at Oracle Arena. Jordan Crawford had his best night in the blue and gold since coming over in a January trade, picking up 15 points in the Warriors first game of a six-game road trip.

The Piston big men took advantage of the absence of Lee and a limited Bogut (due to injury and foul trouble) with all three members of the starting frontcourt cracking double-digits in scoring. Forward Greg Monroe had a game-high 23 points and Josh Smith converted the double-double on 18 points and 11 boards. Starting center Andre Drummond picked up 11 points while Singler bounced back from the debilitating dunk to pick up a respectable 18 points.

The Pistons controlled play early, taking a 10-point lead with just over 5 minutes left in the 1st and the Warriors trailing 22-12. The Dubs closed out the quarter on a 21-15 lead to get within striking distance at 37-33. Golden State took its first lead since the 2:14 mark of the game after Harrison Barnes nailed a trey with 1:11 gone in the quarter. Just 35 seconds later, Crawford hit one from downtown to pad the Warriors edge to 41-37.

The two teams traded the lead twice over the rest of the half with the Warriors wresting it away from the Pistons for good on an Andre Iguodala layup with three minutes remaining to make it 55-54 for the visitors. The Warriors would head to the intermission clinging to a slim 63-62 advantage.

The two teams fought tooth and nail yet again in the second half, exchanging leads five times in the third to give the Pistons am 83-81 lead after 36 minutes of regulation. Down the stretch the Warriors limited Detroit to just 13 points while scoring 23 of their own to take home the victory, Golden State’s sixth consecutive victory over the Pistons.

Up next for the Warriors, three games back of the Los Angeles Clippers for first in the Pacific Division standings, is a trip to the United Airlines Center in Chicago for a Wednesday night showdown with the Chicago Bulls. The six game road trip also includes stops in New York, Toronto, Indiana and Boston.

Warriors make easy work of Pistons, win 113-95

By Gabe Schapiro

Tuesday night at Oracle Arena the Golden State Warriors (5-3) looked like they were playing a junior varsity squad in the Detroit Pistons (2-5), in a thorough dismantling that mercifully ended at a final score of 113-95. In what was a true team effort from the start, seven Warriors finished with eight or more points. With the win Golden State has now won five straight matchups against Detroit.

The Warriors domination started from the tip-off. In the first quarter six players scored four or more points, and they moved the ball around brilliantly. They dished out 13 assists, two off of the club record for a single frame. David Lee led the way with eight early points to go along with four rebounds. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson contributed seven points and three assists apiece. For the quarter they shot 60.9% from the field, and led 35-16.

The second quarter was more of the same. Lee’s hot start continued, adding nine more points to his total. Jermaine O’Neal had a quick seven points off the bench. Andre Drummond was doing his best to keep the Pistons within striking distance, scoring 10 points and grabbing seven boards, but he wasn’t getting much help. Golden State extended their lead out to 21 points, leading 62-41 heading into the locker room.

Coming out of half time any hopes the Pistons had at making this one interesting were quickly squashed. The Warriors hot hands didn’t skip a beat. The third turned into the Curry show, adding 12 points and dishing out a couple of beautiful passes. Heading into the final quarter Golden State had once again extended their lead to 94-71.

In a game that was essentially already locked up the fourth quarter consisted largely of garbage time, which allowed the final score to look closer than the game ever was. Golden State’s reserves got a lot of play as they coasted their way to the victory.

Curry led all scorers with 25 points. He also chipped in eight assists. Iguodala filled up the stat sheet, finishing with eight points, 11 assists, three rebounds, and two steals. Lee finished just shy of his customary double-double, posting 17 and nine.