That was just what the doctor ordered. The Sacramento Kings came out with fire and energy after a team meeting on Tuesday and broke their six game losing streak with a 101 to 92 win over the Detroit Pistons. DeMarcus Cousins absolutely got the best of Andre Drummond, scoring 33 points (including 4 of 5 from downtown!) to go with 9 rebounds. Rudy Gay chipped in with 25 on 10 of 14 shooting, and Rajon Rondo added his second triple-double in less than a week with 14 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds.
The Kings led throughout the game, getting it up as high as 19 points in the second half. Detroit brought that all the way back to just 5 points thanks to some increasingly sloppy play by the Kings but Sacramento was able to tighten the screws and came up with some big rebounds down the stretch. Omri Casspi in particular was excellent in that regard, grabbing 11 rebounds to go with his 9 points off the bench.
This was perhaps Sacramento's best defensive effort of the year. The Pistons managed to shoot just 38.2% from the field and 28.1% from three. They held Drummond to just 14 points, and Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris both only scored 16 points on 5-15 shooting each.
For the opponent's perspective, visit Detroit Bad Boys.
- Rondo was mostly brilliant tonight but he had two absolutely baffling turnovers that came after he opted to not shoot a wide-open layup and instead look for another assist. Just score the basket in front of you!
- I still have no idea what George Karl is doing with Willie Cauley-Stein. Willie is playing tremendously on defense and the fact that he can go out and stick with guards on the perimeter is a huge boon in this scheme that requires switching a ton. Koufos is a great defender but he doesn't have nearly the same mobility or athleticism. Free Willie!
- Interestingly enough, that was our first win against the Pistons in over three years. The last time we beat them was Nov. 7th, 2012.
- DeMarcus Cousins is now up to 42.1% shooting from three on the year.
- James Anderson, if you're in the game and Rondo passes you the ball in the corner and you're open, just shoot. Don't think about it. Possessions where the Kings have guys like Anderson or Gay passing up on open shots and then swinging it around to a poor outside shooter like Rondo to shoot the shot aren't good possessions.
- Speaking of Rudy, he finally got into a rhythm tonight and boy was that needed. He was just unconscious. The Kings did a good job of using screens to get him open but shots he had been getting already this season finally started to drop. I don't expect we'll see him be this efficient many times more but it's hopefully the start of an uptick in his production.
- You guys know how guys can have quiet scoring nights? Kevin Martin was like that. He'd play and then the game would end and you'd be like "Whoa he had 35 points?". To me, Andre Drummond had a quiet rebounding night. He finished with 17 but I would have guessed below 10 if you had asked me before I looked at the boxscore.
- Let me know in the comments below what your physical reaction was to Detroit getting this game back down to five in the final minutes. I had both hands clasped behind my head, repeatedly thinking "not like this!". Thankfully, the Kings were able to tighten the screws.