The two best centers from the 2010 draft showed that perhaps impactful play from the post hasn't completely disappeared in today's NBA.
Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins and Detroit's Greg Monroe each had spectacular moments in what would become a 105-103 Kings win Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena.
Monroe, the seventh pick in the draft two years ago, recorded the first triple double of the NBA season 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Cousins, the fifth pick in 2010, led the Kings with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
The two centers will be tied to each other because of the draft, and both showed why their teams are high on them.
Monroe made 8 of 15 shots from the field and was instrumental in setting up teammates as the Pistons rallied from 10 points behind to make the game close late.
Cousins made 8 of 17 from the floor and also had two steals while avoiding foul trouble (two fouls).
The Kings (2-3) won their second in a row at home after losing three road games to start the season.
Kings rookie power forward Thomas Robinson made the night memorable for the wrong reasons. He was ejected in the fourth quarter for landing an elbow to the head area of Detroit forward Jonas Jerebko.
Jerebko stayed on the floor after being hit but remained in the game.
Kings coach Keith Smart said he didn't see the play but said the ejection of Robinson was "the best thing that could happen" to the rookie.
"Now he understands I can't do that again," Smart said. "So whatever the punishment that comes from the league office, (if it's) more, that's how you learn. The stove is hot, and he put his hand on the stove and got tossed out of the game. Now he'll learn from that, and you probably won't have that happen again for the next 15 years of his career."
The Kings can expect to know before Friday's game against San Antonio about league discipline for Robinson. The penalty likely will include a multi-game suspension for throwing an elbow and making contact.
Kings guard Tyreke Evans said Robinson apologized to the team.
"It looked like it was a pretty hard shot," Evans said. "Thomas said (Jerebko) flopped a little bit, but I don't know."
Robinson might have been having the biggest impact he's had this season. He grabbed seven rebounds in 12 minutes and was a spark during the second quarter, when the Kings built a nine-point lead. Robinson grabbed four offensive rebounds in the quarter to help the Kings score eight second-chance points.
The Kings had seven players in double figures, while the Pistons (0-5) had six.
Evans and Isaiah Thomas each had 15 points for the Kings, and Jimmer Fredette scored a season-high 12 off the bench.
"It was a good night for all of us," Fredette said.
Brandon Knight had 21 points for the Pistons.
Monroe's triple double was the first by a Piston since Chauncey Billups did it on Feb. 28, 2004. Billups had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists against Minnesota.
The last triple double against the Kings was by Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on Nov. 3, 2010. Bryant had 30 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.