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What we learned as Kings' disappointing loss to Pistons

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Cory Joseph celebrates against Kings

SACRAMENTO -- The Kings are proving that they can lose to any team on any given night. Thursday night on their home court, Sacramento dropped their fifth straight, this time to the Detroit Pistons, the team with the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

The Pistons looked like the team with something to play for. Detroit was the more aggressive team early and the Kings showed very little resistance, falling by a final of 113-101.

Veteran Cory Joseph dominated his former team, leading a group of young players to victory. Rookie Isaiah Stewart notched a double-double against the Kings’ frontline and Saddiq Bey added 12 points and five rebounds.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings dropped eight games below the .500 mark at 22-30 on the season. 

Cory Joseph's Revenge

The Kings dealt Joseph to the Pistons at the trade deadline and he made them pay Thursday night at Golden 1 Center.

Joseph abused Buddy Hield on multiple occasions, taking the Kings’ guard into the post and scoring over him with ease. When he got done with Hield, Joseph went at De’Aaron Fox and got him in foul trouble. 

After spending a year and a half in Sacramento, Joseph showed the Kings what they were missing, finishing with a game-high 24 points on 10-for-14 shooting while dishing out seven assists. 

Change is bad

With a two-day break between games and one of the few practices of the season, coach Luke Walton made a change in the starting line-up swapping out rookie Tyrese Haliburton for veteran Moe Harkless. It’s only one game against a bad Pistons team, but the early results were horrible

 

Harkless struggled to make a difference with the first team, finishing with four points on 2-for-5 shooting. He had a vicious dunk, but his overall impact was minimal. 

Haliburton led the second unit, but it didn’t really matter. The Kings looked out of sorts from the opening tip and the Pistons made them pay. 

Not enough from De'Aaron Fox

Fox had some nice moments in this game, but as the leader of the team and their best player, he has to be more impactful if the Kings have a shot at pulling out of their tailspin.

He finished with 23 points, seven assists and nine rebounds, but he missed all five of his 3-point attempts, including two airballs in the fourth when the Kings tried to rally. 

The Kings are a mess and if they have any chance of bouncing back, they’ll need Fox to do something special in the coming games. If not, this season will completely spin out of control.