The Kings needed a win in a big way Monday night in Detroit and that is exactly what they got. After losing five straight, Sacramento outlasted the Pistons at the Palace at Auburn Hills to come away with a huge 109-104 road victory.
Ty Lawson put on the jets and ran circles around the Pistons backcourt. The veteran reserve poured in 19 points and handed out six assists in 22 minutes of action off coach Dave Joerger’s bench.
It took a while to get DeMarcus Cousins going, but the 6-foot-11 big man found his game in the second quarter. Cousins stuffed the stat sheet on his way to a 22-point, 14-rebound, six-assist night. He shot just 8-of-21 from the floor and turned the ball over six times, but he was a big part of the win.
With Cousins struggling early, Joerger received big contributions from just about everyone who entered the game, including the bench, which outscored the Pistons reserves 52-30 on the night.
Willie Cauley-Stein has found playing scarce this season, but he took advantage of his opportunity in Detroit. The second-year big scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds with the second unit. He brought an energy and excitement that the Kings desperately needed.
Darren Collison dropped in 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting. Matt Barnes went for 10 points and added eight rebounds and Garrett Temple chipped in 11 points and dished out four assists.
Reggie Jackson attacked the Kings defense, scoring 18 points and handing out 11 assists, but like the rest of the Pistons guards, he had no answer for Lawson.
The Kings left Jon Leuer open and the veteran forward torched them early. Leuer dropped in all 15 of his points in the first quarter, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, but foul trouble derailed him in the second half.
Tobias Harris tossed in 15 points off Stan Van Gundy’s bench. Marcus Morris hit for 13 points and All-Star center Andre Drummond finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Lawson was the best player on the floor for most of the night. The dynamic point guard used his speed and quickness to get into the paint and created for both himself and his teammates.
The bench took control in the fourth quarter, pushing the lead to 11 points at the 7:13 mark with a Lawson 3-ball. Detroit cut into the Kings lead down the stretch, but the visiting team found a way to sneak out the win.
Gay was scheduled to undergo surgery on his left Achilles tendon in New York on Monday. He is officially out for the season. Omri Casspi continues to be sidelined by a strained calf muscle. The original diagnosis last Monday had him sitting an estimated 1-2 weeks.
The Kings continue their season-long eight-game road trip Wednesday against the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Following the Cavs game, Sacramento travels to Indiana, followed by Charlotte for a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday against the Pacers and Hornets.