Updated at: 01/01/2013 11:07 PM
By NOAH TRISTER
(AP) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Greg Monroe had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons held off the Sacramento Kings 103-97 on Tuesday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Sacramento cut a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit to one, and Detroit led 100-97 when Austin Daye made a 3-pointer with the shot clock running down with 11.5 seconds left.
Detroit has won five of six, in large part because of terrific play from its reserves. The group scored 44 points Tuesday despite losing Charlie Villanueva to a second-quarter ejection.
DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Kings.
The Pistons led 89-73 before Sacramento’s late rally. The Kings had a chance to take the lead with Detroit in front 96-95, but the Pistons forced a shot clock violation when Tayshaun Prince blocked a shot.
Monroe made one of two free throws with 1:26 remaining, and Aaron Brooks turned the ball over at the other end. After Brandon Knight made a free throw, Jimmer Fredette’s driving attempt was short. Detroit’s Will Bynum made it a five-point game with two free throws.
The Kings would have had one more chance to tie, but just when it looked as if they were going to get a crucial defensive stop, Daye took a pass on the right wing and connected for his second 3-pointer of the game.
Fredette scored 13 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter for Sacramento.
Knight finished with 20 points despite briefly hurting his right ankle in the second half. Bynum and Daye, two backups, had 15 and 13 points.
Villanueva scored nine points before being thrown out for a flagrant foul late in the second quarter. Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas drove the lane and was knocked hard to the floor by Villanueva. Thomas then got up appeared to swing his right arm quickly at Villanueva.
Officials reviewed the play on video and ejected Villanueva. Thomas was not penalized.
Detroit led by as many as 15 in the second, and it was 58-48 at halftime.
NOTES: Official Leroy Richardson appeared to trip along the sideline opposite the scorer’s table in the third quarter. After staying down for a while with what looked like a right leg injury, he was able to continue. ... Cousins and Monroe were taken with the fifth and seventh picks of the 2010 draft.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)