SACRAMENTO — DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 11 rebounds to help the Sacramento Kings hold off the winless Detroit Pistons for a 105-103 victory Wednesday night.
The Kings took the lead for good early in the second quarter and won their second consecutive game. Strong bench play and the inside game of Cousins proved pivotal in the fourth when the lead was cut to one basket several times.
Greg Monroe had his first triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists for the Pistons, who fell to 0-5. Brandon Knight made five 3-pointers and scored 21 points. Will Bynum had 14 points, and Kyle Singler added 12.
Knight took a pass from Monroe and made a 3-pointer, pulling Detroit to 102-100 with 23.3 seconds left. It was the 10th assist for Monroe, who became the first NBA player this season to record a triple-double.
Jimmer Fredette made two free throws and Cousins hit another to give Sacramento a 105-100 cushion with 10 seconds to go. Rodney Stuckey hit a 3-pointer as time expired.
Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas both had 15 points for the Kings (2-3), who had lost five straight to Detroit. Jason Thompson scored 13 points and Fredette had 12.
After Knight’s 3-pointer and a free throw by Singler cut the Kings’ lead to a basket, Marcus Thornton responded with a 3-pointer to put Sacramento ahead 100-95 with 1:134 left.
Leading by three, the Kings scored six straight to build a 90-81 advantage. Cousins had the first three points and Fredette followed with a long 3-pointer.
Following a quiet first half, Evans got going in the third quarter, thanks to several twisting drives to the basket in traffic. He had 11 points in the period and the Kings took a 79-71 lead into the fourth.
The early struggles continued for Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, who last season averaged 35.5 points in two games against the Kings. Stuckey opened the season shooting 1 of 23 in the first three games. He had five points against Sacramento, going 2 for 6 in 34 minutes.
Thomas scored 12 points and Cousins had 10 to help the Kings take a 55-46 lead into halftime. Led by the strong play of its bench, Sacramento outscored the Pistons 29-19 in the second quarter. Monroe had 10 first-half points for Detroit.