Pistons stage furious comeback to down Kings with season-high 133 points

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Sacramento — With about three minutes left, the Pistons looked to be out of it.

Not so much.

They staged a furious comeback in the final stretch and snatched a 133-131 victory over the Sacramento Kings in the final seconds on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center.

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) is fouled by Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5).

The Pistons set a season high for points, boosted by 30 points and seven rebounds from Saddiq Bey and 19 points and nine assists from Cory Joseph.

Joseph hit the go-ahead jumper with 25.9 seconds left, and the Pistons (11-33) held on with a couple of defensive stops to preserve the victory, splitting the first two games on their four-game western road trip.

“It is great for us mentally to know that we are getting better at closing out games,” Bey said. “I think that is a great step in the right direction.”

The Pistons trailed, 71-66, at halftime, but after a 39-point third quarter, they erased a 12-point lead and grabbed the lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Kings (18-29) answered with some impeccable shooting in the fourth quarter, rolling to a 130-120 lead at the 3:04 mark, after a 10-1 run, with a 3-pointer by Terence Davis, who had 35 points, including seven 3-pointers in the game.

BOX SCORE: Pistons 133, Kings 131

The Pistons answered with a drive from Kelly Olynyk, who returned from a knee injury and played in his first game since Nov. 10. Bey added a 3-pointer and Olynyk (22 points, nine rebounds and five assists) another 3-pointer and the Pistons were within 131-128 at the 1:37 mark.

Bey added a three-point play to tie it with 1:01 left, and the Kings missed on their chance, with De’Aaron Fox (27 points, six rebounds and eight assists) coming up short on a jumper.

"They showed the resilience that we have to have down the stretch and growing up,” coach Dwane Casey said. “Our young guys — Cade (Cunningham), in particular — still have to get used to the back-to-backs.”

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The veterans helped lift the Pistons in the third quarter, with Olynyk and Rodney McGruder combining for 12 straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers. Olynyk’s putback at the 3:07 mark of the third quarter gave the Pistons a 94-93 lead, their first since the first quarter.

The Pistons maintained the lead until early in the fourth quarter, when Davis hit back-to-back 3-pointers, and Cunningham picked up his fifth foul with 7:03 left. Davis hit another 3-pointer for a 120-115 lead with 6:29 remaining, but the Pistons weren’t done.

Joseph scored on a lay-in and Cunningham (13 points) hit a step-back to pull within one. From there, the Kings had their big run, with consecutive baskets from Fox and another 3-pointer from Davis to get their 10-point lead at the 3:04 mark.

“We had some big-time defensive breakdowns down the stretch. Mix-ups on switches, and we weren't disciplined on switches,” Casey said. “We found a way.”

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard

Pistons center Isaiah Stewart, left, greets guard Cory Joseph, who had hit the go-ahead shot in the final minute of Wednesday's 133-131 victory game against the Kings in Sacramento, Calif.