DeMarcus Cousins scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, as the Kings held off the Pistons and kept them winless with a 105-103 victory at Sleep Train Arena.
Seven Kings scored in double figures, with Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas each chipping in 15 points. Jason Thompson added 13 points and Jimmer Fredette netted 12, including two big free throws down the stretch for Sacramento, which has won two straight after going 0-3 on the road to start the season.
"It wasn't pretty, but overall they made the plays when it was time to make the plays and we made a couple shots when we need to make a couple shots and won the game," Kings coach Keith Smart admitted. "It was an ugly game for us to win but this team found a way to do it and that's a plus."
Detroit, which was led by Greg Monroe's first career triple-double, fell to 0-5 for the second time in three years. Monroe totaled 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in the setback.
"We did a lot of things well, but we have to focus on the defensive end," Monroe remarked. "We have to find a way to focus more on defense."
Sacramento never trailed in the second half, but the Pistons made one last push and pulled within one possession late in the game. Brandon Knight, who also scored 21 points, drained a three-pointer that cut the deficit to 97-94 with under two minutes left, and Kyle Singler was fouled on the next Detroit possession.
Singler only made 1-of-2 from the line, and Marcus Thornton drained a huge three-pointer at the other end to give the hosts some breathing room.
After trading baskets, Knight hit another three-pointer, but Fredette calmly sank two from the foul line with 20.5 seconds remaining to all but seal the outcome.
Detroit held a 27-26 lead after the first quarter, but suffered through an 8-1 run midway through the second that gave Sacramento an eight-point lead that increased to 55-46 at the break. The margin reached as high as 10 in the third, which ended with the Kings on top, 79-71.
The Pistons close out their six-game road trip at Oklahoma City and Houston this weekend ... Sacramento finishes its three-game homestand Friday versus San Antonio ... The Kings ended a five-game losing streak in the series ... The last time the Kings defeated the Pistons in Sacramento was on Nov. 18, 2007 ... Thornton and Aaron Brooks each scored 11 points for the Kings, who held a 42-33 advantage on the glass.