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Kings 109, Pistons 104: Kings finally break through

The Kings snap their losing streak by finally closing out a game
By | 0 Comments | Jan 24, 2017

Better late than never? The Sacramento Kings spent the last five games losing in every way imaginable, from blowouts to blown leads to blown calls. They finally broke through tonight against the Detroit Pistons, who themselves are riding a bit of a roller coaster season and searching for consistency.

The Kings were led by DeMarcus Cousins’ 22 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists, but he had a down game tonight going 8/21 FG, 45.1 TS%, and notching 6 turnovers. The Kings’ best player tonight was Ty Lawson, scoring 19 points (7/11 FG, 1/2 3P, 4/4 FT) and dishing 6 assists with no turnovers in only 22 minutes. Lawson’s jumper, inconsistent this season, was locked in and he was living in the paint. Willie Cauley-Stein was the other star for the Kings off the bench, looking spry and active with 12 points and 5 rebounds in 21 minutes. Cauley-Stein also defended much more intelligently than he has; he avoided picking up any fouls while also protecting the rim.

The game started with the Pistons firing on all cylinders (sorry) and building up an early lead with 38 first quarter points. Jon Leuer channeled his inner Dirk, going nuclear for 15 points in the quarter on 6/6 shooting. It was a good thing the Kings were getting great shots and scoring the other way too to keep in striking distance, because Detroit’s shooting felt flukey.

Turns out it was unsustainable; Leuer when 0/5 for the rest of the game, and the Pistons only scored 68 points the rest of the game. The Kings, sparked in the second quarter by Lawson and Cauley-Stein, grabbed the lead and never looked back. The lead hovered between 5-11 points the rest of the game. The Pistons mounted one last challenge late in the fourth, cutting the lead to 4 points at 105-101 with a minute remaining. But Cousins sealed the game with a stepback jumper on the next possession to push the lead to six, and a missed three the other way was the end of it.

The Kings now stand at 17-27 on the season. For playoff watchers, that is 1.5 games behind the Denver Nuggets for the eighth seed in the West. For pick watchers, the Kings are in a virtual tie with Orlando for 9th place in the league, ahead only by a hair by percentage spots; rise one more spot and the pick goes to Chicago.

Onto the observations!

For the opponent’s perspective, visit Detroit Bad Boys

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