The Sacramento Kings kept the Detroit Pistons winless, defeating them 105-103 on Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings have now won two-in-a-row, both at home, after starting the season with three-straight losses on the road.
Quotes of the Game
It worked out really well. You’ve got three guys that can penetrate and shoot the ball and are willing to give it up, so I think that worked for us tonight. We were able to spread the floor and guys were hitting shots and we were finding open guys, so I think it was a good lineup for us.
Jimmer on keeping himself in the mentality to stay ready:
You’ve just got to be ready like you said. You never know when you’re going to play and have that opportunity, but when you do have that opportunity you’ve got to take advantage of it as (much) as you can. You can’t go out there and play lackadaisical and not be ready to play or else you’re just not going to get back on the floor. So you’ve just got to be ready to play, earn your minutes and hopefully I’ve been doing that.
Tyreke Evans on seven Kings players scoring in double figures:
I think we did a great job. Jimmer and Aaron Brooks came in and did a great job off the bench. I think that’s what’s been the spark for us so far.
Evans on playing within the flow of the game:
I think when I’m aggressive on the defensive end that helps on the offensive end, so I just tried to be aggressive as much as I could tonight.
Notes and Analysis
- DeMarcus Cousins recorded his third straight double-double of the season, finishing with 21 points and 11 rebounds tonight for the Kings. During the first half of the game, he tweak his left shoulder but managed to play through it. After a shaky start to the season, Cousins has done a much better job of staying on the floor by avoiding foul trouble. He Cousins picked up only two personals tonight.
- Keith Smart is juggling his five guards as best he can right now. The group combined for 64 points and all five scored in double-figures.
- Isaiah Thomas went 6-for-9 from the field and hit three of his four 3-point attempts, but played only 21 minutes. He sat for most of the fourth quarter, but had a huge assist to Cousins in the final seconds that sealed the deal.
- Jimmer Fredette had a standout performance tonight. The second-year guard out of BYU scored 12 points and dished out two assists in 15 minutes of play. He scored seven points in a tightly-contested fourth quarter and played solid all-around basketball for coach Smart.
- Jason Thompson scored 13 points in 28 minutes of action, but grabbed just four rebounds. He missed his first free throw of the season, but has gone 11-for-12 from the stripe for a blistering 92-percent. It’s early, but it’s an astronomical improvement from the 60 percent at the line he shot last season.
- Thomas Robinson was ejected from the game early in the fourth quarter after throwing an elbow to the neck of Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko. He finished with just two points and seven rebounds in 12 minutes. The rookie forward is having a difficult time with the NBA’s travelling rules as well. He turned the ball over three times, two of those coming on easy travelling calls.
- Stat of the Night: While the Pistons lost the game, Greg Monroe had a monster game, including his first-career triple-double. The former Georgetown Hoya finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in the loss.
Three answers to three questions pondered
1. Do the Pistons come into tonight’s game gassed from last night’s loss in Denver?
Despite having played in the altitude last night, Detroit came ready to play the Kings. A five-point lead in the first quarter was all the Pistons muster this evening. They did keep the game close, however. The Kings’ biggest lead in the game was 10, but the Pistons managed to come within two points in the fourth quarter.
2. Who wins the battle between DeMarcus Cousins and Greg Monroe?
Cousins had a big night and finished with a double double, but Monroe won the individual match-up this evening. The Pistons big man recorded his first-career triple-double and the first triple-double of the NBA season. Monroe is the first Piston to record a triple-double since Chauncey Billups‘ 20-point, 10-rebound, 11-assist night against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Feb. 28, 2004.
3. Do the Kings come ready to pounce or do they play down to their competition?
The Kings came away with the win, but it was by a narrow margin. The Pistons breathed down the Kings’ necks all game long. However, this contest wasn’t a matter of the Kings underestimating their competition. Detroit came ready to play despite playing their second game in as many nights. But, a win is a win and the Kings have now won their last two after dropping their first three.
- Jonathan Santiago
Inside the building
According to those seated courtside, Jonas Jerebko’s constant chirping may have led Thomas Robinson to throw the elbow that got him ejected from the game. However, trash talk is no excuse for Robinson to throw a vicious shot like that to an opposing player. Robinson wasn’t in the locker room following the game, but teammates said he apologized for his actions though also suggested that Jerebko may have flopped on the play. Here’s video of the incident and you be the judge.
The Kings removed the Thunder Valley signage from the scoreboard following the tarp debacle on Monday night. In the casino’s place, the Kings attached Wells Fargo signs to the big screen. No word if that’s a permanent or temporary sponsorship deal. Apparently, Sleep Train is expected to take up space on the scoreboard as soon as their signage is done.
There are other kinds of signs found inside the Kings’ locker room. Taped on doors and walls are motivational reminders written by Kings head coach Keith Smart. Two of the most notable signs read “Relax, it’s only November” and “REBOUND”.
- Jonathan Santiago