SACRAMENTO -- The first game back from a long road trip is never easy. The Kings made it look downright hard.
In front of a booing home crowd, Sacramento didn’t get their first bucket to fall until the 6:45 mark of the first quarter, trailing the Detroit Pistons (20-42) by as many as 21 in the opening 12 minutes.
Sacramento finally got shots to fall in the second quarter and the Pistons lost point guard Derrick Rose. By the midway point of the third quarter, the Kings took control of the game and fought off a late charge by Detroit.
Led by a strong team effort from everyone who stepped on the floor, the Kings picked up a much-needed 106-100 victory at Golden 1 Center.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings notched their second-straight win to improve to 25-33 on the season.
Late to the party
The first quarter was a complete mess for the Kings. Needing a win to keep pace in the chase for the eighth seed, Sacramento came out flat and a struggling Pistons team put them on their heels.
In front of the home crowd, the Kings fell behind by as many as 21 points in the first 12 minutes. They hit just 6-of-23 from the field in the period, including 1-for-7 from long range.
Sacramento recovered in the second quarter and picked up the victory, but they can’t open games like this and expect to win on a regular basis.
Harry Giles brings his hard hat
Chants of “Harry! Harry! Harry” rained down in the third quarter as second-year big man Harry Giles went to work.
Fox to Giles 🔨 pic.twitter.com/eQMtirixn6— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) March 1, 2020
He got on the floor for loose balls, blocked shots, rebounded and hammered down a few dunks. More importantly, he did the dirty work that got the crowd engaged in the game. He posted 12 points and grabbed seven boards in the winning effort.
In addition to Giles, reserve Alex Len put in solid work, finishing the game with eight points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.
De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield were part of the problem early on. But once they woke up, they also were part of the solution.
After coming into the day questionable, Fox turned on the jets, scoring 23 points to go with seven assists. He struggled with his perimeter shot, but he managed to knock down 9-of-10 from the free-throw line.
Bogi with the corner 3️⃣ pic.twitter.com/6PZaIqL7pS— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) March 2, 2020
Bogdanovic didn’t pick up a rebound or an assist in the game, but he was one of the few Kings to get things going on the offensive end in the first half. Bogdanovic managed to score 15 points on 3-for-8 shooting from long range. He also tied his career-high with four steals.
Buddy Hield knocked down 7-of-17 from the field for 19 points and he added six rebounds off the Kings’ bench.