Notebook: Pistons 103, Kings 97



Posted Jan 2, 2013 12:12 AM

Dana Gauruder, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Greg Monroe had 18 points and 11 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons secured their first three-game winning streak this season with a 103-97 victory over the Sacramento Kings at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Tuesday night. Brandon Knight had a team-high 20 points for the Pistons and Austin Daye added 13, including a game-clinching 3-pointer. DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings, who are 1-13 on the road, with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva was ejected for knocking Kings guard Isaiah Thomas to the floor with four seconds remaining in the first half. Thomas, who was struck in the head while driving to the basket, jumped up and attempted to go after Villanueva but was not penalized. The officials determined Villanueva, who was not initially called for a foul on the play, committed a Flagrant Two infraction after reviewing the replay.

QUOTABLE: "I was going to be prepared for whatever happened, no matter if I was not going to play the whole year or if I was not going to be here. I was going to stay prepared for whatever situation came up. Luckily, the situation is where I can get on the floor with my guys and be able to produce."

-- Daye on his strong recent outings after being benched for 21 games

THE STAT: 52.4. The Pistons aren't known for being a high-scoring team but they've been shooting the ball with great efficiency during the three-game winning streak, making 52.4 percent of their field-goal attempts. They shot 52 percent on Tuesday while reaching the 100-point mark for the fourth time in six games.

TURNING POINT: Detroit led most of the way, thanks to a 23-7 run to start the second quarter. Its bench, which has been very productive lately, scored all but two of those points. Rookie Andre Drummond finished it off with a steal and dunk for a 50-35 lead. The Pistons were up double digits until Sacramento's rally in the final eight minutes.

QUOTABLE II: "He's been getting better every game. He's one of the most important parts for us right now. He gets a lot of second shots, a lot of easy baskets, and his energy and his impact on defense has helped us out a whole lot."

-- Monroe on Drummond, who had seven points and 11 rebounds

HOT: Daye was buried in a deep shooting slump all last season, making just 32 percent of his field-goal tries and 21 percent of his 3-point attempts. He's looked like a different player this season since being inserted into the rotation ahead of veteran Corey Maggette. He's shooting 45.5 percent from the field and a whopping 65 percent on threes. His 13 points Tuesday were a season high.

NOT: The Kings played without shooting guard Marcus Thornton, who sprained his left ankle against Boston on Sunday. Replacement Francisco Garcia delivered no punch in his absence, scoring five points on five shot attempts in 24 minutes.

ROOKIE WATCH: Detroit shooting guard Kyle Singler was limited to four points and four rebounds in 33 minutes. Kings forward Thomas Robinson played just three minutes and had two points.

NOTABLE: Sacramento swingman Tyreke Evans missed his 13th game this season with a sore left knee. The Kings are 6-7 without him.... The Kings began a stretch of four road games in five nights. ... Pistons sixth man Rodney Stuckey missed his third straight game with a left ankle sprain. ... Cousins was the fifth player taken in the 2010 NBA draft and Monroe was chosen two picks later. In their previous five head-to-head matchups, Cousins averaged 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds and Monroe averaged 14.6 points and 9.2 rebounds. "Guys get up for every game but when it's in your same draft class, there may be a little extra flavor involved," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. ... Detroit had won eight of the last 10 meetings but lost 105-103 at Sacramento on Nov. 7. ... Will Bynum added 15 points for Detroit, which overcame 19 turnovers.

UP NEXT: For the Kings, Wednesday @ Cleveland, Friday @ Toronto, Saturday @ Brooklyn. For the Pistons, Friday vs. Atlanta, Sunday vs. Charlotte, Friday @ Milwaukee.