Stuckey scores 38 to help short-handed Pistons win sixth straight

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Rodney Stuckey knew he wasn't going to get much help.

He didn't need it.

Stuckey scored 13 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter, and the undermanned Detroit Pistons won their sixth straight game with a 98-92 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

"I knew going in that I was going to have to play a lot of minutes and score a lot of points," Stuckey said. "We had an advantage at the point guard spot tonight, and I was going to try to take advantage of it."

The Pistons were missing Richard Hamilton (groin), Rasheed Wallace (foot) and Antonio McDyess (ribs), forcing them to start Kwame Brown and Amir Johnson together for the first time, but they were still able to keep their winning streak going.

Allen Iverson and Tayshaun Prince added 23 points each for the Pistons, while Johnson had 10 points and 14 rebounds. Those four players combined for 94 of Detroit's 98 points, and the Detroit bench was outscored 35-2.

"This was a unique situation," Pistons coach Michael Curry said. "When we did bring guys off the bench, it was for defensive purposes. We knew that Stuck, A.I. and Tay were going to have to carry us, and look what they did."

The Kings have lost seven of eight, and haven't won on the road since beating New Orleans on Nov. 19. Brad Miller led Sacramento with 25 points and 16 rebounds, while John Salmons scored 21 and Kevin Martin added 20.

"We had opportunities to win that game, but we didn't execute on either end of the floor," Sacramento coach Kenny Natt said. "Stuckey had a monster game, and we weren't able to contain him."

Detroit outshot the Kings 63 percent to 27 percent in the third quarter to take a 73-66 lead, and Stuckey's steal and layup moved the margin to nine early in the fourth.

Prince made it an 11-point game on the next possession, but the Pistons struggled to put the hapless Kings away.

"We've been in a lot of close games this year, and we haven't been able to pull them out," Salmons said. "We need to play hard and play smart and hopefully get a win."

Bobby Jackson's 3-pointer pulled Sacramento within 89-86 with 2:43 left, but Stuckey answered with a layup and a three-point play on Detroit's next two possessions, drawing a chant of "Rod-ney! Rod-ney!" from the Palace crowd.

"That felt good," Stuckey said. "It's great to get the home fans excited like that."

Iverson iced the game with a baseline jumper with 15 seconds left, then skipped off the floor holding his hand up to his ear.

"We knew this one was going to be rough, because we were missing three guys that are so important every night," he said. "I knew last year what Rodney could do, just from the times I saw him. He just needed an opportunity to show everyone."

Game notes
The Kings have lost nine straight on the road since the win over the Hornets, and are 2-14 away from home this season. ... McDyess dressed for the game, but would have only played in an emergency. With Walter Sharpe and Alex Acker sent to Fort Wayne of the D-League earlier Friday, Detroit only had 10 healthy players. ... Stuckey's only other 30-point game was his career-high 40 on Dec. 23. ... The Pistons went 0-for-5 on 3-pointers -- the first time they hadn't made a 3-pointer since April 10, 2005.