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Pistons-Kings Preview

Feb 22, 2010 - 6:32 PM By KATE HEDLIN STATS Writer

Detroit (20-35) at Sacramento (18-38), 10:00 p.m. EDT

Ben Gordon's last game against the Sacramento Kings is probably one he'd like to forget. His most recent performance, however, is one he's hoping to repeat.

Gordon and the Pistons begin a four-game road trip against teams from the Western Conference when they take on the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

The oft-injured Gordon had one of his better games of the last two months Sunday, scoring 21 points while shooting 57.1 percent in Detroit's 109-101 overtime win over San Antonio. The victory was the Pistons' second in the last five games.

Gordon, who has missed 19 games this season because of ankle and groin issues, had been held to single digits in scoring the four previous games, during which he shot 24.2 percent (8 for 33). Included in that stretch was an 0-for-8 performance in a 103-97 home loss to Sacramento on Feb. 10.

Gordon scored 10 points between the fourth quarter and overtime Sunday, hitting four free throws in the final 20 seconds.

"I was able to come and get a rhythm," Gordon said. "I think everything looks much better when you're playing well. I just came out and was efficient. ... I just have to keep doing the right things."

Gordon, who averaged 24.3 points in four previous games against Sacramento, will try to put up back-to-back games of 10 points or more for the first time since early January when he and the Pistons begin their trip Tuesday. Detroit is 6-19 on the road this season, including 1-9 against teams from the West.

While the Pistons (20-35) are coming off a victory, they hope to avoid blowing another late lead like they did against the Spurs. Detroit led by 11 with five minutes remaining in regulation before San Antonio began intentionally fouling Ben Wallace, who missed six of 10 free throws to allow the Spurs back in.

"Very easily, the game could have slipped away, but we were focused," coach John Kuester said. "I watched our guys continually have the edge that I want them to have and that is important."

The Pistons have just two wins in their last 12 trips to Sacramento, but one of those victories came in their last visit on Nov. 11, 2008, when they won 100-92.

Detroit will be looking to hand the Kings their fifth straight loss. Sacramento (18-38) returns home after losing all three games on their trip by double digits. The Kings fell 104-88 to Phoenix on Sunday - the second straight game in which they failed to reach 90 points.

After getting off to a hot start, Sacramento scored only 34 points in the second half. It was outrebounded 49-36.

"We weren't good enough to play 48 minutes of the kind of basketball you need to beat Phoenix in Phoenix," coach Paul Westphal said. "We couldn't keep them off the offensive boards which hasn't been a problem for us all year but has been the last two games."

Newly acquired Carl Landry scored 18 points and Tyreke Evans added 16.

After a rough trip the Kings are returning home, where they've lost a season-high four straight. Three of those losses have been by seven or fewer points.

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