Stuckey fires Pistons to victory over Kings
Auburn Hills, MI – Rodney Stuckey scored a season-high 36 108, at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Friday.
"The thing is, he's playing major minutes. And he's playing both ends and he's not playing spurt basketball," said Detroit head coach Lawrence Frank about Stuckey. "He's been very, very consistent, putting in tremendous effort, energy, passion, his focus. He's really, really engaged. He's done an outstanding job."
Brandon Knight and Tayshaun Prince each added double-doubles, as Knight scored 23 to go with a career-high 10 assists and Prince netted 22 while pulling down 10 rebounds. The Pistons have now won two straight since dropping two in a row.
DeMarcus Cousins paced the Kings with his 19th double-double this year, scoring 26 points and grabbing 15 boards. Marcus Thornton added 24 points and Tyreke Evans chipped in 16 and nine assists for the Kings, who have lost their last four games.
The Kings led by as many as 11 in the third, but Stuckey and Prince combined to score all 13 points in a 13-4 Pistons run to pull Detroit within one, 81-80, with 2:13 to play.
After a back-and-forth third, the Kings took a slim 88-86 lead into the final frame.
Trailing 104-102 late in the fourth, the Pistons got back-to-back triples from Knight and then Stuckey to take a 108-104 advantage with 1:35 remaining in the contest.
Tyreke Evans' layup with 27.3 seconds to go made it 110-108 and the Kings were forced to foul, putting Stuckey on the line with 15.2 seconds remaining.
Stuckey drained both and after the Kings came up empty on the ensuing possession, Prince knocked down two as well to close out the victory for the Pistons.
"This is a tough loss for me because we did everything we needed to do, played the game the way we need to play it, fast break, got out, ran, and defended," said Kings head coach Keith Smart. "And then to come back and give this game away like this, but I tip my hat to coach Frank and his guys."
Stuckey finished a hot first quarter with 16 points but his Pistons still trailed, 31-24 after one.
The Pistons clawed back into it after Ben Gordon's layup tied the game at 37, but Sacramento scored the next 10 to take a 47-37 lead with 6:33 to play.
The see-saw battle continued, however, as Detroit scored 13 of the last 19 points of the quarter to cut the deficit to 60-56 heading into the locker room.
The Kings will visit Cleveland on Sunday, while the Pistons host the Celtics...Sacramento dropped to 3-15 on the road this season...Detroit's Prince's 10 rebounds is a season-high...The Kings shot 50 percent from the field, while the Pistons managed to shot 46.2 percent.