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Pistons try to keep momentum in Saramento
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Latest Line: Detroit +3 O/U: 206
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Momentum is a fickle thing, and now that the Detroit Pistons finally have some, they'd like to keep it for a while.

They could be arriving in Sacramento at just the right time.

The Pistons (18-21) face the Kings at Golden 1 Center on Tuesday night, and they are riding consecutive victories for the first time in more than a month. They got there the hard way, grinding out a 124-118 double-overtime victory in Portland on Sunday to start at five-game Western Conference trip.

The final three games come against teams over .500, but first Detroit faces the Kings, who have been occasionally up but mostly down for a decade and show no signs of anything different.

For Detroit, a win would make a winning trip possible and secure a decent trek, no matter the result of the final three. The Pistons, with eyes on eighth place in the Eastern Conference, play only two more road games against the Western Conference when the journey is over.

"The schedule turns in our favor a little bit," coach Stan Van Gundy told Detroit reporters.

History also seems to be playing in their favor, too, at least Tuesday. The Pistons have won six of their past eight in Sacramento.

This time, they may have to accomplish that task without guard Jon Leuer, who left the win in Portland with fluid in his right knee and did not return. That could put even more of an onus on guard Reggie Jackson, who missed the season's first 21 games but has averaged 24 points and 7.6 assists over his past five.

"Yes, I guess I do have my wind back," Jackson told the Detroit Free-Press. "I'm feeling good, just happy to battle with my guys, the bench, the whole staff. We just kept believing in each other."

Guard Reggie Bullock also could be back on the floor Tuesday, the Free-Press reported. Bullock hasn't played since Nov. 23, when he tore the meniscus in his left knee, but has been practicing for a week.

The Kings are healthy -- they listed nobody on their injury report Monday -- but they aren't playing that way. Sacramento (15-22) has lost three straight to begin a seven-game homestand and also has dropped five of six, undoing the boost they received from a season-best four-game winning streak.

The struggles seem particularly heavy for forward DeMarcus Cousins. The team's leading scorer (28.1 points per game) has contributed only 55 points over the past three games while shooting just 38 percent (17-for-45). He also picked up his NBA-leading 12th technical foul Sunday in a 117-106 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

"He's exhausted," Kings coach Dave Joerger said. "He's been carrying the torch a long time, it seems perhaps longer than just this year."

Cousins scored 64 points and pulled 17 rebounds in two games against Detroit last season. Pistons center Andre Drummond totaled 28 points and 28 rebounds, including 13 on the offensive glass, while teammate Marcus Morris scored 40 points.


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