The Sacramento Kings are in a free fall. They come into Detroit mired in a five-game skid and they are a season-high 11 games under .500 when they face the Pistons on Monday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
DeMarcus Cousins was the only Kings player to score in double-figures in the team’s 102-99 controversial loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday evening. The NBA’s two-minute report conceded that the officiating crew made an error in the final minute of the game when they called Cousins for a push foul on an attempted dunk by All-Star Dwyane Wade.
The game was tied at 99-99 at the time of the infraction and Sacramento should have had the ball with 14 seconds remaining. Instead, Wade went to the line to give the Bulls a one point lead.
Detroit is riding a three-game win streak, including a big 113-112 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night. Marcus Morris led the way for the Pistons, scoring 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds against his twin brother Markieff. Detroit has had an up and down season, but they definitely playing better than when they faced off with the Kings two weeks ago in Sacramento.
Pistons by 5
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 16-27, third place in Pacific
Pistons: 21-24, fourth place in Central
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Anthony Tolliver vs. Tobias Harris -- The last time these two teams met, Tolliver dropped in 17 points on 3-of-7 shooting from long range to help the Kings erase a big deficit and come away with the win. Harris went blow for blow with Tolliver, scoring 18 points on 7-for-16 shooting, but it was the Kings who prevailed. Cousins versus Andre Drummond is always a marquee matchup, but the game will likely be decided by someone other than the two All-Star bigs.
Kings: SF Rudy (left Achilles tendon) out for the season, SF Omri Casspi (calf strain) out.
Pistons: SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (rotator cuff) questionable, SG Michael Gbinije (forearm) out.
The Kings lead the season series 1-0 after coming away with a win at Golden 1 Center Jan. 10. Detroit holds a 133-118 advantage over the Kings all-time and a 36-25 edge during the Sacramento-era.
“I think our team’s effort was incredible tonight. I think we did everything the right way to have a chance at winning this game, we just fell short.” -Cousins following the loss to the Chicago Bulls