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Pistons quiet record crowd in Sacramento

The SportsXchange

 

SACRAMENTO -- The Detroit Pistons knew they were going to be hearing noise unlike any ever heard in an NBA arena on Friday night. But the two-man tandem of forward Josh Smith and center Andre Drummond made plenty of sound themselves and in so doing, they turned Sleep Train Arena quiet.

 

Smith scored 21 points, Drummond had 18 rebounds to go alone with 15 points, and the Pistons clamped down with their defense in the second half to pull away from the Sacramento Kings 97-90.

 

In so doing, they sent a crowd of 17,317 home in relative silence on a night when it set a Guiness World Record for the loudest crowd roar in an indoor stadium.

 

"That type of environment, it's tough to play in. Real tough," Drummond said. "We did a really good job keeping our composure, executing, moving our feet and getting a lot of hands on the ball."

 

That about summed up all the reasons why Detroit emerged with its first victory of the campaign. Detroit forced 17 Sacramento turnovers, blocked five shots, and held the Kings to 35.7 percent shooting after halftime.

 

The Kings were averaging a league-low 12.1 turnovers a game entering the contest.

 

Smith was the main force for Detroit, finishing with eight rebounds, seven assists, five steals and four blocked shots to go with team-high scoring output.

 

"This is the way he plays," Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said. "He scores, he grabs rebounds, he blocks shots. He's a spark for us. He was certainly the sparkplug tonight."

 

Drummond complemented him, grabbing 10 rebounds in the second half -- including six of his eight on the offensive end -- after receiving an earful from assistant coach for player development and former All-Star Rasheed Wallace after coming off the floor early in the third quarter. Wallace sat directly behind Drummond near the Pistons' bench.

 

"He sees what's happening, and what I'm doing, and he just tries to point me in the right direction," Drummond said. "It's not just me. He's in everybody's ear."

 

Center DeMarcus Cousins finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Kings (2-6), his fourth game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season. But fellow frontcourt mates John Salmons and Jason Thompson were a combined 3-for-12 shooting, and the Kings were outscored 46-34 in the paint.

 

"DeMarcus had a good stat line, but I don't really think any of our guys played too well tonight," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "It you're not making shots, turning the ball over, and they're getting points in the paint at the rim ... it's not good."

 

Guard Isaiah Thomas had 18 points and seven assists for the Kings, his eighth-straight double-digit scoring game coming off the bench. Thomas' streak tied guard Eddie Johnson's 1986-87 run for the second-longest such streak in Sacramento history, and he can tie Walt Williams' run of nine straight in 1992-93 against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

 

Guard Greivis Vasquez added 13 points and six assists for the Kings, but fellow guard Marcus Thornton made just 1 of 6 shots and finished with five points.

 

The Pistons never let the Kings get any footing, stealing the ball five times in the opening quarter and causing 17 turnovers. Detroit entered as the top ball-hawking team in the NBA, averaging 12.1 steals per contest.

 

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Greivis Vasquez helped Sacramento ease in front 66-64 with 4:35 left in the third quarter, but Drummond converted twice from down low, once after a rebound, to spark an 20-4 Detroit that made it 84-70 early in the fourth.

 

Sacramento didn't threaten after that.

 

NOTES: Detroit G Rodney Stuckey scored 16 points in 30 minutes off the bench after G Chauncey Billups sat out with tendinitis in his left knee. Billups is day-to-day, Cheeks said. Rookie G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made the first start of his career in Billups' place. ... Kings F Patrick Patterson didn't return after banging knees with teammate Travis Outlaw with 0.7 seconds left in the first quarter. ... Detroit G Brandon Jennings apologized for a Tweet about Knicks guard Chris Smith that Smith's older brother, New York G J.R. Smith, took umbrage with. J.R. Smith was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Friday for directing hostile and inappropriate language to Jennings via his Twitter account, a violation of league rules. ... The previous record for the loudest crowd roar was set by Milwaukee Bucks fans at Bradley Arena on Dec. 20, 2008.
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