Kings-Pistons Preview

Almost a year later, the Sacramento Kings are hoping to

following the same path that last led them to consecutive victories

on the road.

Coming off their first win away from home in more than two

months, the Kings look to continue their recent road success

against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.

Sacramento (9-28) snapped a 12-game road skid with a 93-83 win

at New York on Friday. The last time the Kings won two straight on

the road, they beat the Knicks 118-114 in overtime on Feb. 9, then

won 103-97 at Detroit the next night.

Though Sacramento has dropped four of five to the Pistons after

falling 100-94 on Nov. 14 at home, the Kings have won two of three

at Detroit.

Beno Udrih, who had 22 points at Detroit in February, finished

with 29 on 11-of-14 shooting Friday as Sacramento snapped a

three-game overall skid.

Rookie DeMarcus Cousins had 16 with 10 rebounds and Carl Landry

added 15 off the bench, but it was the Kings’ defense that helped

them improve to 3-13 on the road.

New York’s 83 points and 31.5 percent shooting were season lows

allowed by a Sacramento squad that’s giving up 106.8 points per

game on the road.

“I think (Friday) was the first game we played really good

defense,” said Udrih, averaging 24.0 points on 35-of-50 shooting

over the last four games. “It’s a good sign for us, but hopefully

we learn from this and keep playing defense like that,

together.”

Detroit’s Tracy McGrady has averaged 23.4 points during his

career versus Sacramento but had eight while coming off the bench

against the Kings in November. After starting two games during the

first two months of the season, McGrady has started in six of the

last eight.

He had a team-high 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting as the Pistons

(13-26) won for the third time in 10 games, 101-95 at Toronto on

Friday.

Though McGrady could be in the twilight of his career, he’s

averaged 13.6 points in his last eight games – nearly 7.0 more than

his season average – while still trying to regain his form after

knee surgery in 2009.

“I’m starting to feel a lot better physically,” McGrady

said.

Rodney Stuckey, who added 19 points against the Raptors, has

averaged 21.3 in his last four games against the Kings.

It’s uncertain if Detroit’s Richard Hamilton, the subject of the

same three-team trade rumor involving Denver star Carmelo Anthony,

will play after being held out the last two games.

“This is a very different situation for me,” said Hamilton, a

12-year veteran who’s averaging 19.4 points versus Sacramento.

“I’ve never been in this situation my whole career. I don’t know

where to look.

“Do I want to play? Yes. Do I want to be on the floor competing?

Yes. Am I doing that right now? No. I want to play, I want to get

on the floor, I want to get an opportunity to do something that I

love to do.”

Reigning NBA rookie of the year Tyreke Evans averaged 20.3

points for Sacramento in three games against the Pistons last

season, but was held to 13 at Detroit in February.

Evans looks to bounce back after scoring nine points on 4-of-15

shooting Friday in his return from a three-game absence due to a

sprained ankle.