Pistons vs. Kings Game Preview - Jan. 15, 2011
Almost a year later, the Sacramento Kings are hoping to following the same path that last led them to consecutive victories on the road.
Coming off their first win away from home in more than two months, the Kings look to continue their recent road success against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.
Sacramento (9-28) snapped a 12-game road skid with a 93-83 win at New York on Friday. The last time the Kings won two straight on the road, they beat the Knicks 118-114 in overtime on Feb. 9, then won 103-97 at Detroit the next night.
Though Sacramento has dropped four of five to the Pistons after falling 100-94 on Nov. 14 at home, the Kings have won two of three at Detroit.
Beno Udrih, who had 22 points at Detroit in February, finished with 29 on 11-of-14 shooting Friday as Sacramento snapped a three-game overall skid.
Rookie DeMarcus Cousins had 16 with 10 rebounds and Carl Landry added 15 off the bench, but it was the Kings' defense that helped them improve to 3-13 on the road.
New York's 83 points and 31.5 percent shooting were season lows allowed by a Sacramento squad that's giving up 106.8 points per game on the road.
"I think (Friday) was the first game we played really good defense," said Udrih, averaging 24.0 points on 35-of-50 shooting over the last four games. "It's a good sign for us, but hopefully we learn from this and keep playing defense like that, together."
Detroit's Tracy McGrady has averaged 23.4 points during his career versus Sacramento but had eight while coming off the bench against the Kings in November. After starting two games during the first two months of the season, McGrady has started in six of the last eight.
He had a team-high 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting as the Pistons (13-26) won for the third time in 10 games, 101-95 at Toronto on Friday.
Though McGrady could be in the twilight of his career, he's averaged 13.6 points in his last eight games - nearly 7.0 more than his season average - while still trying to regain his form after knee surgery in 2009.
"I'm starting to feel a lot better physically," McGrady said.
Rodney Stuckey, who added 19 points against the Raptors, has averaged 21.3 in his last four games against the Kings.
It's uncertain if Detroit's Richard Hamilton, the subject of the same three-team trade rumor involving Denver star Carmelo Anthony, will play after being held out the last two games.
"This is a very different situation for me," said Hamilton, a 12-year veteran who's averaging 19.4 points versus Sacramento. "I've never been in this situation my whole career. I don't know where to look.
"Do I want to play? Yes. Do I want to be on the floor competing? Yes. Am I doing that right now? No. I want to play, I want to get on the floor, I want to get an opportunity to do something that I love to do."
Reigning NBA rookie of the year Tyreke Evans averaged 20.3 points for Sacramento in three games against the Pistons last season, but was held to 13 at Detroit in February.
Evans looks to bounce back after scoring nine points on 4-of-15 shooting Friday in his return from a three-game absence due to a sprained ankle.