SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rodney Stuckey scored 35 points and Greg Monroe had 32 for the Detroit Pistons, who used a huge third-quarter effort to pull away from the Sacramento Kings for a 124-112 victory Wednesday night.
Stuckey led the Pistons’ 40-23 effort in the third quarter, connecting on four 3-pointers and scoring 19 points as the Pistons built their lead to 97-81 entering the fourth. Detroit made 15 of 20 shots for their highest points total in a quarter this season, and the Pistons never let the lead get below eight points in the fourth.
Tyreke Evans scored 23 points for the Kings, but left the game and didn’t return after hard fall in the fourth quarter. Jason Thompson had 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Kings, losers of three straight games. Isaiah Thomas also had 21 points, and the foul-plagued Cousins added 14.
It was a rare road win for the Pistons, who are just 4-16 away from home. Detroit won for the fifth time in seven games and defeated the Kings for the second straight time this season.
In a battle of second-year centers, Monroe got the best of Cousins. Monroe made 15 of 20 shots, grabbed 11 rebounds and had three assists. Brandon Knight contributed 10 points and 11 assists.
In an earlier meeting against the Kings, Stuckey scored a season-high 36 points in a 114-108 win by Detroit at home Feb. 17.
Despite a poor record, the Pistons (16-27) are only three games out of the eighth and last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons had a dismal 4-20 record on Feb. 1 when they lost their seventh straight. Since that loss to New Jersey, Pistons have a 12-7 record.
Stuckey almost singlehandedly gave the Pistons a double-digit lead in the third quarter when he scored 12 points in a span of 2:28. After converting on a three-point play, Stuckey hit three straight 3s, the final one giving Detroit an 86-71 lead with 3:58 left in the third.
Evans scored 14 points in the first half when the Kings went into the break with a 58-57 lead. Prince scored 16 points, while both Monroe and Stuckey had 14 for the Pistons, who used a 13-2 run to in the second to get back in the game.
Garcia made a 3-pointer and the next time down the court connected on a jumper, putting the Kings ahead 48-32 at the 6:57 mark in the second quarter.
Notes: The Kings are 2-3 in the midst of their franchise-record nine-game homestand. ... Evans scored 10 points in the first quarter for the Kings, who shot 59 percent and led 32-25. ... Thompson made his first six shots and had nine rebounds in the opening quarter. ... Cousins picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter and was quickly replaced.