The Sacramento Kings went cold in the second half Tuesday night and the Detroit Pistons took advantage, holding Sacramento to 11 points in the third quarter and 35 in the second half en route to a 99-89 win at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Kings (22-42) led 54-52 at the half before going just 4-for-20 in the third quarter as they were outscored by Detroit (25-39)—which shot just 7-for-22 in the period—by a margin of 20-11.
The Pistons took control of the game by opening the fourth period on a 6-0 run.
The closest Sacramento got in the fourth was within eight points at 89-81 with 33:47 to go.
The Kings held their own with Detroit’s mammoth front line of Josh Smith (6-foot-9), Greg Monroe (6-foot-10) and Andre Drummond (6-foot-10), outrebounding the Pistons 50-47 and outscoring them 18-8 on second chance opportunities.
But the Kings were just 40.5 percent from the floor for the game, made just 3-of-15 from 3-point range and shot 6-for-17 at the foul line in the second half.
Detroit, the NBA’s worst foul-shooting team coming in at 67.1 percent, made 16-of-19 on the night.
Yeah, weird game.
Rudy Gay scored 20 points on 8-of-21 shooting for the Kings while Isaiah Thomas for 6-for-15 and had 19 points and eight assists. DeMarcus Cousins—coming off a 28-point, 20-rebound performance at Brooklyn on Sunday—grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked a career-high six shots, but scored just 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting. Derrick Williams added 10 points off the bench and Reggie Evans had three steals.
Smith paced the Pistons with 24 points, Rodney Stuckey added 23 and Drummond scored 15 points and blocked five shots. Kyle Singer scored 11 points and had five steals and Will Bynum dished out seven assists.
Sacramento rookie Ray McCallum, who attended Country Day High School in suburban Detroit before going on to star at the University of Detroit, scored nine points in 12 minutes on 4-of-5 shooting.
Detroit was 38-for-87 (43.7 percent) overall and 7-for-18 (38.9 percent) from long range.
Points off turnovers were even at 13-13, even though the Kings turned the ball over 16 times to just 12 for the Pistons.
It was Sacramento’s third straight loss on their seven-game road trip. They are now 1-3 on the journey and will go to Philadelphia on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Pacific.