SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- DeMarcus Cousins scored 21 points with 11 rebounds in winning his personal duel with fellow 2010 draft class pick Greg Monroe, who recorded his first triple double, as the Sacramento Kings beat the Detroit Pistons 105-103 on Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena.
The Kings (2-3) won their second consecutive home game after an 0-3 road trip to open the season and dropped the Pistons to 0-5 for the second time in three seasons.
All told, Detroit has lost 21 of its last 22 road games against Western Conference opponents. The lone victory was a 124-112 effort over the Kings last March to snap a 17-game road skid against the West. The Pistons' previous win against the West was against Sacramento in November, 2010.
Cousins was able to attack Monroe with drives and up-and-under moves, including one for a 102-97 lead with 30 seconds remaining. Monroe had 21 points, 12 rebound and 11 assists, including one to Brandon Knight for a 25-foot three-pointer with 23 seconds to go to pull the Pistons within 102-100.
Isaiah Thomas scored 12 of his 15 points in the first quarter for Sacramento and fellow guards Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans had 15 and 11 points, respectively, for the Kings. Knight had 21 for the Pistons, making five 3-pointers. Brandon Stuckey had five points in making 2 of 5 shots. He has made 8 of 46 shots this season.
Kings rookie forward Thomas Robinson was assessed a flagrant foul and ejected for throwing elbow to the neck of Jonas Jerebko, which floored him with 10 minutes left in the game and the Kings nursing a 79-74 lead. Robinson and Jerebko were positioning for a rebound.
Moments earlier, Jerebko was poked in the eye by Tyreke Evans, dropping him to the floor in pain. With his right eye nearly swollen shut, he was called for a delay of game while trying to find his senses on the free-throw line.
Physical play set the tone in the second quarter when Jason Maxiell dropped Cousins with a hard fouled to the head and
shoulder when Cousins went up for a shot. Maxiell was called for a flagrant foul. Cousins was fitted with a shoulder harness but ditched it after missing a free throw in the third quarter.
Cousins faked Greg Monroe with jump shot, got him in the air, and then raced in for a dunk in sparking a 55-46 halftime lead. Cousins had 10 points and five rebounds in the half. Monroe had 10 points, five rebounds and five assists in the first half. The Pistons had one turnover in the first quarter and eight in the second.
Evans, who was 1 of 9 shooting against Golden State on Monday, made his first shot in the opening moment against Detroit then missed his next four.
NOTES: The Pistons are in the midst of a six-game, nine-day trip, having logged 4,835 miles already. ... Kings swingman John Salmons, a starter last season, has yet to be activated. He missed the bulk of the preseason because of the birth of his third child, rejoining the club last Thursday and working his way into playing shape. ... Terrence Williams had a productive season in his lone season in Sacramento last season, then signed with Detroit but did not make the roster. He has since signed with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association.