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SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 11: Head coach Luke Walton of the Sacramento Kings looks on in the first half against the Houston Rockets at Golden 1 Center on March 11, 2021 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
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Kings Suffer Embarrassing Loss To Pistons

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The losing streak continues.

It seemed almost inevitable that Cory Joseph was going to play a prominent role for Detroit Pistons in this game.

The former Kings guard led all scorers at the half, scoring 14 points to help lead Detroit to a 62-44 advantage at the break. With Joseph’s aggressive play and Sacramento playing like a team that is simply over this season, the Eastern Conference’s worst team embarrassed the Kings in the first half.

That embarrassment would carry over into the second half, with Sacramento suffering its fifth-straight loss to the Pistons by a final of 113-101 on Thursday night at Golden 1 Center.

With the loss, the Kings (22-30) drop to 2.5 games out of the 10th spot in the Western Conference with 20 games left in the season.

Before action tipped off on Thursday night, Kings head coach Luke Walton decided to shake things up.

Walton inserted Maurice Harkless into the starting lineup in place of Tyrese Haliburton–much to the disdain of many fans among social media circles.

The change to the starting lineup would become a footnote on Thursday, with seemingly each and every member of the Kings roster struggling to get things going against a Pistons team that is currently at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Cory Joseph would be the difference maker for the Pistons, showing out against his former team and finishing with a season-high (and game-high) 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field to go along with seven assists.

For reference, De’Aaron Fox finished with 23 points on eight-of-19 shooting to go along with nine boards and seven assists.

Joseph outplayed his former teammate and gave the Sacramento defense fits, including a basket with just over a minute remaining that would put the game away for good.

The Sacramento offense could not seem to get it going during the loss, finishing the night 44-percent from the field and 23-percent from the three-point line.

Thursday’s loss pushes the Kings’ losing streak to five games, completely erasing any ground made up in the Play-In race during the recent five-game winning streak.

One step forward. Two steps back.

The misery continues for the Sacramento Kings. Something needs to change.

Rounding out the box score

Richaun Holmes added 15 points and nine rebounds in the loss, while Buddy Hield also scored 15 points on five-of-12 shooting from the three-point line.

Tyrese Haliburton scored nine points and dished out seven assists in the loss.

Harrison Barnes added 13 points while Hassan Whiteside added 10 points off of the bench.

Coming Up

Sacramento will travel to Salt Lake City on Saturday night for a matchup with Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz, who currently own the best record in the NBA.

Last season, Utah took two of the three meetings between the teams, with the most recent coming in the form of a blowout win on January 18, 2020 at Vivint Arena.

Be sure to catch all of the action right here on Sports 1140 KHTK, with pregame coverage starting at 5:30pm PST prior to a 6:00pm tip-off from Salt Lake City.