Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/1/13
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Austin Daye endured a miserable shooting slump throughout last season and a 21-game benching this season. Given a chance to play regularly again, Daye has looked like a different player. Daye had a season-high 13 points, including a clinching 3-pointer with 11.5 seconds remaining, as the Detroit Pistons won their third straight game 103-97 over the Sacramento Kings at The Palace on Tuesday night. The fourth-year forward shot 32 percent from the field and 21 percent on 3-point tries last season but he's become a threat since replacing Corey Maggette in the rotation. Daye is shooting 45.5 percent overall and 65 percent from long range. "The basket still seems regular-sized but my confidence is just higher," he said. "I feel that a lot of the shots I take are going in and I'm not scared to take them." Coach Lawrence Frank said Daye had difficulty handling adversity last season but when he began this season at the end of the bench, he didn't sulk. "The biggest thing that stands out to me is professionalism," Frank said. "Not that he wasn't professional last year but this year when he and Charlie (Villanueva) weren't playing, they always stayed prepared, both on-court and in film preparation. He never hung his head, he was a great teammate and he stayed engaged during games. I thought he showed great maturity and it's amazing how far that can take you." Brandon Knight had a team-high 20 points and Greg Monroe, who recorded his first career triple-double at Sacramento in November, supplied 18 points and 11 rebounds. Will Bynum added 15 points as the Pistons (12-22) survived a late Kings rally to win for the fifth time in six games. DeMarcus Cousins, coming off his first career triple-double against Boston on Sunday, led the Kings with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Sacramento (11-20), which began a stretch of four road games in five nights, fell to 1-13 on the road. Villanueva was ejected for knocking Kings guard Isaiah Thomas to the floor with four seconds remaining in the first half. Thomas, who was struck in the head while driving to the basket, jumped up and attempted to go after Villanueva but was not penalized. The officials determined Villanueva, who was not initially called for a foul on the play, committed a Flagrant Two infraction after reviewing the replay. Villanueva wasn't available for comment afterward but Frank was skeptical of the severity of the foul. "They were saying because there was a forearm to it (an ejection was warranted)," he said. "Obviously, they had the benefit of video review. They said under the guidelines of the rule, it was a Flagrant Two. There's a process we'll follow to see if there's another interpretation of it." Sacramento played without two of its top three scorers. Marcus Thornton sat out with a sprained left ankle, suffered against Boston, while Tyreke Evans missed his 13th game this season with a sore left knee. "We were a little slow," coach Keith Smart said. "We have been playing at a nice, fast pace and we were a little heavy-legged. But sometimes that happens when you get out here on the first one of a road trip." Trailing 89-73 with just over eight minutes left, the Kings scored nine unanswered points and continued to chip away after Bynum ended the run with a 3-pointer. Jimmer Fredette's 3-pointer with 3:04 remaining pulled Sacramento within one, 94-93. Despite four missed free throws by Detroit in the late going, the Kings never caught up. Bynum pushed the lead back to five, 100-95, on two free throws with 42.7 seconds left. Daye's 3-pointer made it a six-point advantage. "We came back, played hard getting back in the game and Austin Daye made a huge shot at the end against good defense," Fredette said. "I thought we did a good job coming back into the game. Ultimately we came up short, so it hurts, but we'll move on to tomorrow." Prior to Villanueva's ejection, the Pistons controlled the second quarter after starting it with a 23-7 run. Andre Drummond finished it with a steal and dunk for a 50-35 Detroit lead. The Pistons were still up 10 at halftime, 58-48, with Knight and Bynum combining for 25 points. Cousins had 10 third-quarter points but Detroit maintained a double-digit advantage, carrying an 80-67 lead into the fourth. NOTES: Pistons sixth man Rodney Stuckey missed third consecutive game with a left ankle sprain. Stuckey and Corey Maggette, who had a calf strain at the start of the season, are the only Pistons to miss games because of injuries this season. ... Villanueva was suspended five games in April 2011 after a scuffle with Cleveland's Ryan Hollins. Both players were ejected from that game and Villanueva tried unsuccessfully to enter the visitors locker room to confront Hollins. The suspension was later reduced to four games. ... Ten players have led the Kings at least once in assists this season. ... Sacramento is 6-7 with Evans out of action. ... Forwards Jason Thompson and Chuck Hayes are the only Kings to appear in every game. ... Detroit has won eight of the last 10 meetings but lost 105-103 at Sacramento on Nov. 7.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why winning Rookie of the Year isn't everything

Paul George is second-best Eastern Conference player again

Five unsung heroes Patriots fans should be thankful for

Auburn legend Bo Jackson using Heisman vote for Alabama star

Gronk: Tom Brady doesn't age, seems like he's in his 20s

Cam Newton says Greg Hardy was a 'great teammate'


Ohio State plans to end Mirror Lake jump tradition after death

WATCH: Jason Kidd ejected for swiping ball out of ref's hands

Brad Stevens: Celtics had 'real conversations' after loss to Hawks

Les Miles unsure about his future at LSU

Saban will not rule out Kenyan Drake for Iron Bowl

Andre Drummond responds to Khris Middleton saying he doesn’t like contact

Four potentially dangerous NFL Wild Card teams

What we are thankful for in the NHL

Big Ten Football: What every team is thankful for… and not

Lion cub at San Antonio Zoo takes swipe at Tony Parker

LeBron James, James Jones lead players-only meeting after loss

Brady: Few have more respect for Peyton Manning than me

WATCH: Marcus Foligno flips Carter Hutton

Blaine Gabbert was only person at his press conference

Report: Alabama DC Kirby Smart a front-runner for South Carolina job

Kristaps Porzingis really wants to meet Turtle from ‘Entourage’

Top storyline for each Week 12 NFL game

WATCH: Ref injures Yakupov's leg by pulling him down

Ryan Fitzpatrick shaves beard to ‘switch up the mojo’

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top storyline for each Week 12 NFL game

Top 10 matchups for Week 12 of the NFL season

The 10 most disappointed fan bases of the 2015 CFB season

Gronk: Takes mental toughness not to overeat on Thanksgiving

Blue Jays fans create website in effort to keep David Price

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker