The Sacramento Kings will be home for the last two weeks of December.
They just have one piece of unfinished business before that stretch of games.
The Kings will finish a six-game trip with a visit to Detroit on Friday night. Sacramento has gone 2-3 on the road swing, including a 124-123 victory over Toronto on Wednesday.
Kings coach Mike Brown finished the game in the locker room. He was ejected early in the third quarter because he thought guard De’Aaron Fox wasn’t getting enough calls.
In the players’ minds, the ejection was a good thing.
“It just gave us energy. It boosted us,” guard Malik Monk said. “And I think that’s why we got the win.”
A few players also felt ill.
“We came east, and whether it’s flu-related stuff or whatever’s going on, it got us a little bit,” forward Harrison Barnes said. “But I’m just proud. I think everyone, coming off a back-to-back, be able to get to this point, that’s a huge win for us.”
Shooting guard Kevin Huerter missed the game due to ankle soreness. Terence Davis started in his place and scored 19 points.
“I found out (I was starting) about 30 minutes before the game. … Any time you can help your team by spacing the floor, knocking down shots, your teammates finding you, man, it’s great,” Davis said.
Fox finished with 27 points and 10 assists, Monk had 24 points, and Domantas Sabonis posted a double-double with 21 points and 20 rebounds along with seven assists. Sacramento attempted a season-high 46 3-pointers and made 17.
Toronto’s Fred VanVleet missed a 3-pointer that could have tied the score in the closing seconds.
The Kings will open a six-game homestand on Monday against Charlotte. The Pistons are coming off an overtime road victory against the Hornets on Wednesday.
Alec Burks scored a season-high 27 points off the bench in the 141-134 win, including five in overtime.
“We didn’t play perfect basketball,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “They got 21 more shots than we did. Turnovers were biting us a little bit, but we found a way. For our group right now, finding a way is a step for us in the right direction.”
Killian Hayes supplied 25 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in one of the best outings of the third-year guard’s career.
“When you get an overtime win like that, it shows our character,” Hayes said. “It feels good when you’re just having fun on the court and guys are hitting shots. It was a high-scoring game, not what we want defensively, but offensively we had fun. Everybody was smiling. Everybody was excited for one another. Definitely a fun vibe.”
The Pistons snapped a three-game losing streak and at least temporarily shed the status of worst record in the league. Charlotte now holds that distinction.
Detroit, which will open a three-game homestand on Friday, will seek back-to-back victories for just the second time this season.
The Pistons could be without power forward Marvin Bagley III when they face his former team. Bagley sat out the second half in Charlotte on Wednesday with knee soreness.
Sacramento won the first meeting with Detroit this season, 137-129 last month behind Fox’s 33 points.
–Field Level Media