Programming note: Thunder-Kings coverage starts Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California (territorial restrictions apply) and streaming live right here
After Sundays 114-97 loss to the Pistons, the Kings are 3-7 since Michael Malone was dismissed and it’s fair to say Sacramento is reeling.
"We're not the team we were,” DeMarcus Cousins told reporters. “It's clear: We're not the same team. We can't continue to make excuses for the team.”
“At the end of the day, we're the ones out there playing. Regardless who the man is on the bench, we're the ones out there playing. We have to win. We have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves. We're shaking our heads -- myself included. We have to man up. It's on us, period."
[RECAP: Kings stall in Motor City]
Defense continues to be a common conundrum for the Kings as Sacramento (14-20) has not held an opponent under 100 points in the post-Malone era.
The Kings allowed the most points in regulation to an opposing player in Brandon Jennings, who scored a game high 35-points.
"When (Jennings) is making shots like he was, you have to make sure you pay attention to the pick-and-roll with him and (Andre) Drummond,” Kings coach Tyrone Corbin told the media in Detroit. “He made some 3-point shots early. He felt good about his shots. He had a good game for them."
While Detroit (10-23) won their fifth straight game, the Kings finished up their four-game road trip going 1-3 with the sole win coming in Minnesota against a young Timberwolves team missing three starters due to injury.
Defending the pick-and-roll, the 3-point line and securing rebounds were all critical factors in the Kings’ demise.
The Kings blown pick-and-roll assignments were exploited by Jennings, who also had a game high seven assists, and Detroit found scoring opportunities from downtown and inside.
While Sacramento entered the game in the Top 5 in the NBA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, Detroit was 1-for-5 early from downtown but went 11-for-26 the rest of the night.
Jennings was 5-for-8 from beyond the arc and Anthony Tolliver was 2-for-4 which accounted for his six points in the victory.
Jodie Meeks, another Detroit perimeter threat, only made one 3-pointer, but was 5-for-12 overall from the floor and contributed 13 points.
The Kings, who entered the game leading the NBA in rebound margin, were outrebounded 49-41 by the Pistons.
On the interior for Detroit, Drummond went for 15 points and 14 rebounds and Greg Monroe contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds.
For the Kings, it was simply a forgettable night in Motown.
THE GOOD: It wasn’t DeMarcus Cousins’ best night, but purely from a production standpoint -- 18 points and 15 rebounds -- he secured his 18th double double of the season and his 14th in his last 16 games.
THE BAD: Allowing 114 points on the road and expecting to win.
THE TAKE: Beyond the numbers and execution, the Kings need to somehow get right mentally to get back to the level of play that delivered a 9-6 start to the season against the toughest early schedule in the NBA.