Detroit Pistons cruise to road win against Sacramento Kings, 113-101
The Detroit Pistons were understaffed on the streets on Thursday. Jerami Grant missed the game with knee pain and Mason Plumlee suffered a concussion.
It didn’t brake the pistons at all as they took care of the Sacramento Kings with ease, 113-101. Detroit led by up to 22 points and fended off a late Kings run. Sacramento cut the deficit to seven in two minutes, but the Pistons scored eight of the last eleven points to end the win.
Cory Joseph scored 24 points and distributed seven assists against his previous team, making 10 of his 14 attempts. Isaiah Stewart added 16 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, and Killian Hayes finished the race with 11 points and two assists off the bench.
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In his third second leg, Killian Hayes feels more comfortable
With every game, Hayes looks more comfortable. And while he probably would have preferred not to have injured his hip – which cost him nearly 30 games during his rookie season – the free time clearly helped him get used to the NBA.
Thursday was his best scorer performance so far. He played with poise and patience and seems to have adapted to the faster pace of the NBA. He didn’t look good as he hit the rim earlier in the season, relying on a stepback 3 rather than an attack. He showed more of his full repertoire against the Kings, hitting floaters and driving the trail when the defense gave it to him.
Before the buzzer of the third quarter, he shot to the edge, finishing an arched lineup over the defense. He added a stepback 3 in the fourth quarter – his first since his return. He finished with two assists, but like his two previous games, he should have had more. He has established himself as the best all-round guard of the pistons. Dwane Casey said his defense was ahead of his offensive; the distance between them is shrinking.
Jahlil Okafor returns after a long absence
Thursday was Okafors first game since January 30, about eight weeks after he underwent knee surgery on February 10. He entered the game in the first quarter.
It was a solid night with 11 points and three rebounds in 15 minutes. If Plumlee is down for an extended period of time, it could mean more minutes for Okafor.
Cory Joseph has the best outing as a piston
Joseph has quickly become a key player since moving to Detroit from Sacramento before trading closed in March. He saved his best performance for his first return to his former town.
He was aggressive early on, attacked the lane and finished the first half with 14 points. Thursday was his first start and he gave the Pistons an early offensive lift that helped them drive to an easy win.
Contact Omari Sankofa II at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more about the Detroit Pistons and subscribe to our Pistons newsletter.