NBC Sports

What we learned as Kings beat Pistons to end nine-game skid

NBC Sports
De'Aaron Fox shooting against Pistons
USATSI

The slide is over.

Playing their fifth game in seven nights on the road trip, the Kings nearly ran out gas in Detroit on Friday night, but rallied late. 

De’Aaron Fox kept the Kings close in the fourth and then Harrison Barnes came up with two tremendous shots in the final two minutes to help lead the Kings to a 110-107 win over the Pistons.

Jerami Grant led the Detroit with 30 points and rookie Saddiq Bey continued his strong play for the Pistons, but it wasn’t enough to stop Sacramento.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings snapped their nine-game losing streak to improve to 13-20. 

Pushing through

Fox clearly didn’t have his legs under him, but that didn’t stop him from trying to snap the losing streak. 

The Kings’ star young point guard struggled with his shot, hitting just 9-for-21 from the field, but he still managed to post 27 points, six assists and five rebounds.

This was a gritty performance from Fox, who played 39 minutes Thursday night against the Knicks and was clearly running on fumes.

Active bigs

The tandem of Richaun Holmes and Marvin Bagley came to play in the Motor City. They were aggressive and active from the opening tip and both came away with big contributions.

Holmes recorded his 10th double-double of the season before the two teams could get back in the locker room for the intermission. He struggled with foul trouble, but dropped in an impressive 19-point, 17-rebound, two-block stat line.

 

Bagley was impressive early, even if he didn't close out the fourth quarter. The third-year big finished with 19 points and eight rebounds in the win. 

The bench struggles

With Tyrese Haliburton out of action with a calf injury, the Kings’ bench was woefully short-handed. Luke Walton, who usually sticks with a tight eight man rotation, expanded his group to include Cory Joseph, Kyle Guy, DaQuan Jeffries, Justin James and Nemanja Bjelica.

Bjelica came up with a couple of buckets in the fourth, to finish with eight points, but the rest of the group couldn’t buy a bucket, combining to score just two points on 1-for-15 from the field, including seven misses from long range.

When you get an opportunity in the NBA, you have to step up. That is not what happened with this group in Detroit where the Kings’ bench was outscored 34-10.