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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 21: Cory Joseph #18 of the Detroit Pistons in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on December 21, 2021 in New York City. 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. New York Knicks defeated the Detroit Pistons 105-91. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Oh No, CoJo: Pistons Use Late Run To Stun Kings

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Cory Joseph got his revenge against the Sacramento Kings–again.

Where to begin.

For the starters, the Sacramento Kings faced a Detroit Pistons team that ranks 29th in the NBA in points per game. Second, the Kings held a nine-point lead with just over two minutes to go. Third, you know what’s coming next.

The Pistons mounted a devastating 11-0 run over the final two minutes while Sacramento floundered on both ends of the floor as Detroit handed the Kings a 133-131 loss on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center–a game that was quite possibly the team’s worst loss of the season.

Former Kings guard Cory Joseph delivered the go-ahead jumper with less than 30 seconds to go as a cherry-on-top of sorts to send Sacramento (18-29) on their five-game road-trip in the very worst way.

The first 12 minutes of action on Wednesday added to Sacramento’s lengthy list of rough first quarters as the Kings opened things up shooting seven-for-23 (30%) from the field. Aside from De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes (combined for 17 points), the rest of the Kings offense contributed just nine points combined in the first period.

While Detroit is nearly dead-last in points per game this season, they were able to take a 33-26 lead heading into the second after capitalizing on Sacramento’s uninspired defense and sluggish offense.

The Kings offense decided to join the party in a big way during the second quarter as Fox and Terence Davis helped pace a 26-13 run to help Sacramento regain the lead.

Fox ended the half with 18 points, while Davis exploded for 15 points in the period as the Kings scored a season-high for points in a quarter (45) to take a 71-66 lead into the break.

Sacramento tallied a new season-high for both attempted and made free-throws in a single half this season with 22 makes on 29 attempts from the line over the first 24 minutes of play.

The Kings built a double-digit lead early in the second half as Fox, Harrison Barnes and Marvin Bagley III got their licks in on the offensive end to take a 91-80 lead with less than seven minutes remaining in the third.

In classic “Kangz” fashion, Sacramento surrendered a 14-2 run to the Pistons as a game that once seemed as if it was heading towards comfortability turned back into anybody’s contest. Detroit topped their season-average for points scored per game (101.1) by the end of the third quarter as they took a 105-103 lead into the fourth period.

Just one quarter after the Kings scored a season-high 45 points, they gave it right back by allowing Detroit to tally 39 points in the third. The defense continues to be…well, just the Sacramento Kings defense.

Davis knocked down back-to-back triples early in the fourth to put the Kings out in front before eventually establishing a new career-high with his 32nd point on another made long-ball to give Sacramento a five-point lead with inside seven minutes to go.

It was Fox’s turn to get his shots in once the game moved under the five-minute mark as the 24-year-old scored back-to-back buckets to give the Kings some breathing room at 127-120 with 3:39 remaining.

Sacramento’s 131-122 lead with 2:34 seemed to put a bow on things for the Kings, but as we know, no lead is safe for this team. Like clockwork, the Pistons capped off an 11-0 run with a gross exclamation point–a go ahead jumper from former Kings guard Cory Joseph to give Detroit a 133-131 lead with less 26.5 seconds on the clock.

De’Aaron Fox got off a game-tying attempt at the horn but to no avail as Sacramento once again suffered a devastating meltdown in front of their home fans at Golden 1 Center.

Joseph, who returned to Sacramento last April and torched the Kings for a season-high 24 points, got his revenge for the second time over the span of a nine-month period.

A Kings offense that scored 131 points on 52-percent shooting from the field, 44-percent from the three-point line and shot a season-high 44 free-throws couldn’t buy a bucket over the final 2:34. The poise wasn’t there. The execution wasn’t there. Everything that had taken place over the prior 45-plus minutes, it was like it never happened.

What more can you really say about this team that hasn’t already been said? Sadly, tonight was nothing new.

The defense is atrocious. The effort comes and goes. Moves need to be made, and it looks like moves will be made very soon. Wednesday was full of Kings-related rumors, with several sources around the league indicating that Sacramento will be among the more aggressive teams this upcoming trade deadline.

We are less than three weeks away from the February 10th trade deadline. If there’s anything to look forward to regarding this team, that date should be it.

Kings of the Night

Terence Davis looked every part of his ‘Microwave’ nickname on Wednesday night as the guard established a new career-high of 35 points on 11-of-23 shooting from the field and seven-of-13 from three-point land to go along with six rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block over 38 minutes.

“It don’t mean anything. It means nothing without the win,” Davis said postgame of his performance.

De’Aaron Fox finished his night with 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting from the field, six rebounds and eight assists over 37 minutes while Harrison Barnes added 20 points in the loss.

Injury Updates

Tyrese Haliburton became the 12th member of the Kings to enter COVID-19 Health & Safety protocols this season after entering protocols on Sunday afternoon. Haliburton can return to game action after registering successive negative COVID-19 tests 24 hours apart.

Coming Up

For the first time since early December, the Sacramento Kings will travel outside of the Pacific/Mountain time zones as they embark on a five-game road-trip that will begin on Saturday night against the reigning NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks.

Sacramento has not defeated the Bucks since February 1, 2016. They have lost 10-straight games to the Bucks dating back to the 2016-17 season and hold a 2-12 record against Milwaukee since the start of the 2012-13 season.

The Kings will look to snap the elongated losing-streak when they face the Bucks at Fiserv Forum on Saturday. Be sure to get all of your game coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK beginning at 1:30pm PST on Game Night with Scott Marsh and Henry ‘The High Flyer’ Turner prior to a 3:00pm PST tip-off from downtown Milwaukee.