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NBA -- Kings travel to Detroit, look for three in a row


PhilBoxing.com


SACRAMENTO -- Torn by internal strife and hindered by erratic play, the 11-19 Sacramento Kings didn't have much to cheer for in 2012.

But the barge into 2013 on a mini roll and will travel to Detroit looking for a third straight victory when they tackle the Pistons Tuesday night at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan.


Unlike the past few weeks when the team morale sagged following a team-imposed suspension on leading scorer and top rebounder DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings have a little spring in their steps these days, thanks to impressive back-to-back triumphs at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.

On December 28, the Kings nipped the New York Knicks, 106-105. It was a thrilling skirmish that required a buzzer-beating triple from James Johnson to bail out the Kings after they gave up a 27-point lead.

Two nights later, there was no need for some late-game heroics as the Kings easily dismantled the Boston Celtics, 118-96. Cousins starred against Boston and chalked a rare triple-double -- 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

"We played a great game as a team," Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas told NBA.com on the heels of his team's recent conquest. With 27 points and five assists against the defense-oriented Boston, Thomas made a fantastic case as to why Sacramento should keep him as the top point guard.

Although the Pistons are a mere 11-22 for the season, they won't be easy pickings for the confident Kings.

The rugged Pistons also rang the New Year on a two-game winning streak. They turned back the defending champion Miami Heat, 109-99, on December 28 and edged the surprising Milwaukee Bucks, 96-94, on December 30 also at the Palace.

"We just got to keep taking advantage of these games at home while we have this week," veteran swignman Tayshaun Prince told NBA.com.

Prince, a 10-year veteran and member of the 2004 NBA champion Detroit Pistons, is still a useful fixture on a team going through some rebuilding. The wiry 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 12.4 points and 4.6 rebounds an outing and will be a tough cover for the visiting Kings. (AGM, JR)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Alberto G. Montefalcon, Jr..


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