The Kings had a chance to show the nation how different they were under new ownership and a new coach.
But they started off by not taking care of the ball and lost to the Detroit Pistons, 97-90, Friday night at Sleep Train Arena in a game that aired nationally on ESPN..
The Kings got off to a sloppy start with a season-high seven turnovers in the first quarter that led to 13 of Detroit’s 27 points in the opening period.
“We started the game throwing the ball all over the place and it was the same thing all night,” said Kings coach Michael Malone. “Our starting point guard Greivis (Vasquez) gets eight turnovers. DeMarcus (Cousins) has four, Isaiah (Thomas) has four. You can’t win games if you constantly beat yourself.”
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The Kings ended up allowing 22 points off 17 turnovers and Detroit’s talented frontline gladly took advantage to end a four-game losing streak. It was the first road win of the season for the Piston (3-5).
The Kings (2-6) have lost six of their last seven games.
Cousins finished with 26 points and 13 rebound to lead the Kings, but the Pistons had too much from two of their frontcourt starters and the Kings hurt themselves with poor shooting (42.5 percent) and mistakes.
“I’m really upset,” Vaquez said. “Eight turnovers, I don’t like that. So I take responsibility as much as I can being a point guard and being a leader.”
Josh Smith, who joined Detroit as a free agent from Atlanta, scored 21 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists. Smith also had five steals and four blocked shots.
Second-year center Andre Drummond scored 15 points and matched his career high with 18 rebounds, including eight offensive rebounds.
“He had seven made field goals and they were all dunks,” Malone said. “I thought Andre Drummond totally dominated us tonight.”
Drummond was passed over by the Kings in last year’s draft in favor of Thomas Robinson. Robinson was traded to Houston last season and has since been traded to Portland..
“Drummond is a very good player,” Cousins said. “Extremely active for a guy his size. He definitely was a game changer. He got them a lot of extra possessions ... that falls back on myself and the other bigs guys. We have to do a better job of getting those balls and not giving them extra possessions. So I’ll take the fall for that one.:
Then the next two forwards off the bench for the Kings were lost to injury.
The Kings lost reserve power forward Patrick Patterson just before the end of the first quarter to a knee contusion. Travis Outlaw aslo suffered a knee contusion on the play and played just six minutes.
That left Luc Mbah a Moute to play a season-high 30 minutes, mostly at power forward.
Friday was the first time the Kings had appeared on ESPN since the network’s annual franchise rankings placed the Kings last among the four major pro sports leagues.
That ranking took several factors into consideration, including team peformance and ownership. The Kings ownership situation had been uncertain for years with the Maloofs looking to move and eventually sell the team to a Seattle-based ownership group.
The franchise used the game to make a statement and set a new Guiness Book of World Records mark for loudest roar at an indoor stadium.
The sellout crowd of 17,317 reached 124.9 decibels during a first quarter timeout to beat the previous record of 106.6 dBA set by Milwaukee Bucks fans in 2008 at Bradley Center.
The crowd topped that mark at halftime and again before the fourth quarter, reaching 126 dBA.