Despite trailing by two points at halftime and getting off to another less than desirable start on the court, the Detroit Pistons somehow managed to shake off the rust and defeat the Sacramento Kings 99-89.
Though he's been maligned plenty in 2013-14 season, Josh Smith had an excellent game, scoring 24 points and hit some clutch shots late down the stretch. Smith was also active on the glass collecting eight rebounds and was a leader and distributor on the floor.
Rodney Stuckey also played an important role off the bench, scoring 23 points in 32 minutes, and Andre Drummond collected 15 points and a low eight rebounds. For Sacramento, Rudy Gay scored 20 points and was the leading scorer. That didn't help the Kings shake the turnover blues, as they had 16 which led to Detroit scoring 13 fast break points. Collectively, that was the difference in the game.
After a three game losing streak, the Pistons got back to business on the defensive end and as a result, in the win column for one night.
Prime Time Piston: Josh Smith. Rarely has Smith been a leader on the court this season with regards to points and big shots, so it was refreshing to see him take a major role and act as a scorer and clutch player, especially down the stretch. After Brandon Jennings took a few shots at Smith the day before, it was a good statement for Smith to quietly step up his game.
Powerless Piston: Brandon Jennings. Again, Jennings had a pathetic night, scoring only five points. Worse, he was an average distributor of the ball, only chipping in six assists. It's been said before, but Jennings needs to step up his game. Since coming to Detroit, he's had far more down nights than up, and continues to struggle. Frankly, Jennings has no right to question Josh Smith when his game and leadership has been as bad or worse.
It Was Over When… Detroit put away the Kings with a late 6-0 flurry. Leading by 11, the Pistons got a bit lazy late in the fourth quarter and allowed Sacramento to cut the lead to 89-81. Then, Smith hit a clutch jumper and Willy Bynum made two big baskets to give Detroit some breathing room and allow them to put away the win.
Stat To Know: 6, the amount of points by Greg Monroe, which is his third lowest point total this season. As a whole, Detroit is 5-5 in games where Monroe doesn't score within double figures, showing it is possible for the team to win when "The Moose" doesn't put forth gigantic point efforts.
What's Next: The Pistons head north of the border for a game with the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
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