The Kings defeated the Detroit Pistons 112-102 on Thursday at Golden 1 Center. Here are three takeaways from the game:
Taking care of business
For the second consecutive home game, the Kings faced an opponent they were expected to beat. They did not disappoint.
The Kings scored first and never allowed the Pistons, who rested leading scorer Blake Griffin, to take the lead or even tie the score.
Sacramento led by 23 and Detroit only got as close as 10, which was the final margin.
The Kings have let some large leads get away in the last month. They made sure that was not the case in this one. When the Pistons cut the lead to 15 with 5:07 left, coach Dave Joerger sent starters De’Aaron Fox and Willie Cauley-Stein back into the game but pulled them a minute and a half later once the lead grew to 19.
Everyone gets involved
Buddy Hield’s layup got it started, and by the time Sacramento scored its 16th point, each starter was on the board.
Several reserves contributed as well. In all, 10 of the 12 Kings who took the floor scored, including seven players in double figures. Hield led the Kings with 18 points.
The Kings outrebounded the Pistons 47-37 and had 29 assists and eight blocks.
Cauley-Stein comes up big
Cauley-Stein started opposite an All-Star in the Pistons’ Andre Drummond, but the fourth-year King looked like the better center in Thursday’s matchup.
Cauley-Stein recorded his 16th double-double of the season with a dunk early in the third quarter.
His final numbers: 14 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and two blocks in 25 minutes. His stats across the board were better than Drummond’s, even with the Pistons starter playing more than 31 minutes, nine of those in the fourth quarter.
Upcoming schedule for the Kings
▪ Jan. 12: Home vs. Charlotte Hornets – The Kings will look to snap a three-game skid against the Hornets when they meet for the first time this season.
▪ Jan. 14: Home vs. Portland Trail Blazers – The Kings lost at home to Portland on New Year’s Day in their only overtime game in 2018-19. The Blazers have won four in a row over Sacramento.
▪ Jan. 17: Road vs. Charlotte Hornets – When these teams meet for the second time in less than a week, it will tip off a six-game trip for the Kings.