National Basketball Association
Preview
Detroit at Sacramento
When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 13, 2014
Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is looking doubtful to return for Sunday’s game against the visiting Detroit Pistons. Cousins has missed the last eight games with viral meningitis and the Kings have won two games in that span, leaving them on the verge of falling two games under .500 for the first time this season. His absence will be especially noticeable against the big front line of Detroit, which helped the Pistons end a 13-game losing streak Friday against the host Phoenix Suns.

Sacramento looked better while losing in overtime to the Rockets on Thursday, but the two previous losses were tough to swallow. The Kings lost last weekend to the Orlando Magic, who came in 8-14, and three days later fell to the Lakers, who had been 5-16. The Pistons arrive with an even worse record at 4-19, but carry momentum coming off the victory in Phoenix.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, CSNCA (Sacramento), FS Detroit

ABOUT THE PISTONS (4-19): Jodie Meeks made his season debut Friday after sitting out the first 22 games with a back injury, and he might have been the difference in the win. He scored 12 points off the bench, but more importantly replaced starter Brandon Jennings with about two minutes left and made the free throws and all the right decisions down the stretch of the two-point victory. Jennings’ days as a starter could be limited as he’s shooting 11-for-57 this month and has missed his last 14 shots from 3-point distance.

ABOUT THE KINGS (11-12): Whether the team is showcasing him for a trade or Derrick Williams is giving Sacramento its best chance to win while Omri Casspi recovers from a knee contusion, he’s getting increased playing time lately. The No. 2 overall pick in 2011 made the most of his opportunity against the Rockets, scoring 17 points in 34 minutes of reserve action. Rudy Gay scored 20 points against the Pistons when these teams last met and is averaging 21.3 points in six games this month.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Pistons will be trying for road wins in back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 16-18 last season (at Indiana, Boston).

2. With the Pistons ending a 13-game losing streak and the Knicks snapping a 10-game skid on the same day, the Indiana Pacers now have the league’s longest losing streak at seven games.

3. Detroit has won three straight against the Kings.

PREDICTION: Pistons 93, Kings 91
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Detroit 4-19 W1 2-11 2-8 1-1 3-18 1-3 2-9
Sacramento 11-12 L2 6-6 5-6 1-2 10-10 2-2 9-10
Last Meeting
Detroit Sacramento
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/11/14 SAC 89 DET 99 99 47 43.7 89 50 40.5
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Detroit J. Smith 24 58.8 2
Sacramento R. Gay 20 38.1 4
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Detroit G. Monroe 12 1 11
Sacramento D. Cousins 14 3 11
Assists Player  
Detroit W. Bynum 7
Sacramento I. Thomas 8
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Detroit G. Monroe 404 49.5 98
Sacramento R. Gay 519 43.9 141
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Detroit A. Drummond 351 126 225
Sacramento D. Cousins 223 51 172
Assists Player  
Detroit B. Jennings 166
Sacramento D. Collison 155
Quickchart Matchup
Detroit Off vs  Sacramento Defense
93.3 Points For
101.6 Points Against
40.7 FG%
43.9 FG%
44.8 Reb
38.0 Reb
Sacramento Off vs  Detroit Defense
101.4 Points For
99.7 Points Against
45.8 FG%
45.4 FG%
38.0 Reb
45.4 Reb