|Date of game: 3/11/2014
Sacramento Kings (22-41) at Detroit Pistons (24-39), 7:30 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - If the Detroit Pistons plan on getting into the playoff mix, they have to start getting their act together.
The Pistons have lost three straight, seven of eight and 10 of their last 12 games, and are back at The Palace of Auburn Hills Tuesday to host the Sacramento Kings.
Detroit dropped a 118-111 decision its last time out at Boston on Sunday, as the Celtics made 10-of-31 3-pointers and committed only seven turnovers. They scored 22 points off 16 Detroit miscues.
"We gave them too many easy baskets," Pistons head coach John Loyer said.
The Pistons were led by Josh Smith's 28 points on 12-of-24 shooting and he is averaging 18.7 ppg in the last three. Smith also grabbed 11 rebounds, while Greg Monroe had 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Pistons. Monroe is posting an average of 23.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in his previous three games.
Andre Drummond chipped in a double-double of his own with 18 points and 22 rebounds in defeat. He has grabbed 20 or more rebounds five times this season and is having a productive 2013-14 campaign. Drummond is first in the NBA with 5.4 offensive rebounds and has 343 total on the season, the most for Detroit since Dennis Rodman grabbed 361 offensive boards in 1990-91.
The Pistons are 14-20 at The Palace this season and rank first in points in the paint (53.0) and second in fastbreak points (18.1). They are 3 1/2 games behind for a playoff spot in the weak East.
Sacramento will resume a seven-game road trip Tuesday and fell to 1-2 on the trek with Sunday's 104-89 loss at Brooklyn. The Kings won the opener of this junket in Milwaukee, then lost at Toronto and to the Nets.
Marcus Thornton scored 27 points off the bench against his former team to lead Brooklyn, while DeMarcus Cousins paced the Kings with 28 points and 20 rebounds. Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas scored 20 and 10 points, respectively, for Sacramento, which dropped to 9-22 on the road and committed 25 turnovers for 28 Brooklyn points.
The Kings trailed by 23 at one point, 93-70, and never recovered.
"I don't think we were ready to play tonight," said Kings coach Mike Malone. "We were able to cut it to nine at halftime, which was a gift because it wasn't a nine-point game if you watch that half."
Cousins recorded his fourth career 20-point, 20-rebound effort and has scored at least 20 points in five straight games, averaging 23.4 ppg in that time. Gay has done the same in seven of the previous nine contests (22.9 ppg).
Sacramento, losers in five of seven games overall, still has Philadelphia, Chicago and Minnesota to play on the trip. The Kings lost to the Pistons 97-90 at home on Nov. 15 and were led by Cousins' 26 points and 13 boards.
Detroit has won seven of eight and nine of the last 11 meetings with Sacramento, which has lost three straight at The Palace.