Preview: Kings return home to face lowly Pistons as deadline looms

Feb 7, 2024, 9:49 AM | Updated: 11:09 am

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 09: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings reacts against the Det...

(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

At long last, the Sacramento Kings are back at Golden 1 Center.

Following a seven-game, two-week-long road trip, the Kings (29-20) will face the owner of the NBA’s worst record, the Detroit Pistons (6-43) on Wednesday night.

It was a successful road trip for Sacramento, as they posted a 5-2 record while improving to a season-high ten games over the .500 mark before suffering a loss to the red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.

As the Kings begin a brief two-game homestand, Thursday’s NBA trade deadline (12 PM PST) is looming on the horizon as questions surrounding the potential of this roster continue to mount.

Has Harrison Barnes’ recent hot stretch and Kevin Huerter’s improved play swayed the front office enough to stand pat at the deadline? We’ll have our answer within the next 24 hours, but trade or no trade, Sacramento will need to take care of business against the Pistons.

Following Wednesday’s game against Detroit, the Kings will enter a buzzsaw portion of their schedule as they face Denver (three times), Oklahoma City, Phoenix, the Los Angeles Clippers, and Minnesota Timberwolves over their next ten games.

Taking care of business against sub-.500 teams has been a strength for Sacramento this season (14-6), and it would be wise to secure another win against the Pistons before entering a tough stretch against teams above them in the standings.

Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons Game Info

When: 7:00 PM PST

Where: Golden 1 Center  – Sacramento, CA

TV: NBC Sports California

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Coverage starts at 5:30 PM on Game Night

Line: Kings -13.5, O/U 244.5

Tickets: Click here

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Pistons coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

Get Keegan Going

While Harrison Barnes has emerged as a scoring threat for the Kings over the past eight games (20.9 points on 43% shooting from deep), Keegan Murray has struggled to create consistent offense.

Over his past five games, Murray has scored more than ten points on just one occasion–a 33-point effort against the Miami Heat, at that–including 20 total points over his past three contests.

During Monday’s loss in Cleveland, Murray scored 10 points on four-of-six shooting during the first quarter, but didn’t score another point for the remainder of the game (0/3 FG during the final three periods).

Getting Murray going against Detroit would be a solid boost for an offense that is already benefiting from Barnes’ emergence and Kevin Huerter’s improved three-point shooting (45% over his past 11 games).

Murray scored 32 points on 13-of-17 shooting from the field and five-of-nine from three-point range during Sacramento’s win over the Pistons on January 9th.

Let’s see if the Iowa product can continue his success against the Pistons on Wednesday.

Men in the Middle

The matchup to watch in this one is easy: Domantas Sabonis vs. Jaren Duren.

Sabonis and Duren had a solid battle on January 9th, but Sabonis got the upper hand in what was one of the three-time All-Star’s best showings of the season:

37 PTS (Season-high) | 10 REB | 13 AST | 16/21 FG | 1/1 3PT | 3 STL

YouTube video

That wasn’t the first time that Sabonis has gotten the better of Duren, either.

Last season, Sabonis posted two double-doubles against Detroit–both during winning efforts. Following Sabonis’ 23-point, 13-rebound, seven-assist showing against the Pistons on December 16, 2022, Duren told the media that “it’s not that hard” to defend Sabonis without fouling.

The next time the two met, Sabonis dropped a season-high 37 points on January 9th.

Can the big man top his latest effort against Duren, who has been very solid this season (13.9 points, 11.6 rebounds)?

Kings vs. Pistons Injury Report


  • Sasha Vezenkov – QUESTIONABLE (right ankle sprain)
  • Jordan Ford – OUT (G-League)
  • Jalen Slawson – OUT (G-League)


  • Cade Cunningham – QUESTIONABLE (left knee injury management)
  • Bojan Bogdanovic – QUESTIONABLE (left calf soreness)
  • Isaiah Stewart – OUT (left ankle sprain)

Upcoming Schedule

  • Wednesday, February 7th – Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons – 7:00 PM PST
  • Friday, February 9th – Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets – 7:00 PM PST
  • Sunday, February 11th – Sacramento Kings @ Oklahoma City Thunder – 12:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, February 13th – Sacramento Kings @ Phoenix Suns – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, February 14th – Sacramento Kings @ Denver Nuggets – 6:00 PM PST
  • NBA All-Star break – February 15-21

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