(AP) -- While the Detroit Pistons have played well enough to move back into the Eastern Conference playoff mix in the Eastern Conference, struggles on the road against the West threaten to derail their momentum.Those woes have yet to extend to Sacramento.The Pistons continue a five-game trip Wednesday night when they visit the Kings.Detroit (15-27) has slowly turned things around after a miserable start, recording 11 of its 15 wins since the start of February.With four wins in six games, the Pistons have climbed back into the fringe of playoff contention. They are currently 11th in the East, three games behind New York and Milwaukee, which are tied for the final spot.However, the next few weeks could be difficult for Detroit, which lost 105-90 at Utah on Monday to open a five-game road tip against Western Conference opponents. The Pistons have lost 17 straight road games - five this season by an average of 15.4 points - versus teams from the West.Detroit, which has also dropped four straight on the road overall, plays eight of its next nine away from home.If there's a silver lining for the Pistons, it's that their last road victory versus the West came at Sacramento, a 100-94 win Nov. 14, 2010. They've won their last three road games against the Kings, and the last four overall meetings in the series.The Pistons let the Jazz connect on 7 of 11 3-point attempts and shoot 54.2 percent overall during Monday's loss. Detroit managed to close within two points of the Jazz in the fourth quarter despite those numbers, but Utah ended the game on an 18-3 run.Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons with 29 points while Greg Monroe added 14 in the defeat."We just weren't executing on the offensive end coming down the stretch," Monroe told the Pistons' official website. "Tonight definitely didn't turn out how we wanted it to. We have to go watch some tape, see what we did wrong, but we have a lot more games left on this road trip."After Wednesday, Detroit will visit Phoenix, the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver to close its trip. The best opportunity to win on the swing may come versus Sacramento (14-28), which has the second-worst record in the West.The Kings have lost six of eight and two straight, including a 115-89 home loss Tuesday to a Golden State team playing short-handed after trading Monta Ellis."We thought because they didn't have Monta Ellis and stuff, we thought it was going to be easy on ourselves," said Sacramento's Tyreke Evans, who had 16 points. "I thought we just stopped playing. They just got whatever they wanted."Tuesday's loss dropped the Kings to 2-2 on a franchise-record nine-game homestand, which had opened in promising fashion with wins over New Orleans and Dallas. They've been outrebounded in all four games while allowing opposing teams to shoot 50.3 percent.The Pistons defeated the Kings 114-108 at home Feb. 17, when Stuckey scored 36 points and Tayshaun Prince added 22 and 10 rebounds.
The short-handed Sacramento Kings got off to a quick start Friday night at Oracle Arena, but in the end, the high-powered Golden State Warriors were just too much to handle. Golden State jumped all over the Kings in the third quarter and coasted down the stretch for the 114-110 victory.
Draymond Green torched the Kings. The versatile forward stuffed the stat sheet, finishing the night with 23 points, eight assists, four steals and two boards.
Reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry went nuts in the fourth quarter. The sharpshooting guard managed to post 27 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and six steals on the night.
JaVale McGee scored nine points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Ian Clark added 10 on 5-of-9 shooting and Andre Iguodala chipped in nine off the bench.
Starting for the resting Darren Collison, Ty Lawson went off for Sacramento. The 8-year NBA vet scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half. He shot an impressive 8-for-9 from the field and handed out two assists in the loss.
Buddy Hield held his own against Klay Thompson. The rookie shooting guard set new career-highs across the board, finishing 22 points, seven assists and eight rebounds.
The bench unit played well against the best the Western Conference has to offer. Ben McLemore led the reserves with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Skal Labissiere added 10 points, 10 rebounds and a career-best eight assists, while Georgios Papagiannis dropped in seven points and four rebounds in 26 minutes of action.
Willie Cauley-Stein added 12 points and four rebounds as the Kings dropped their fourth straight contest.
After missing the previous game, Lawson put on a show. The pint-sized point guard singlehandedly kept the Kings in the game in the first half and finished the night with a season-high 20 points.
The Kings got sloppy in the third quarter and the Warriors dropped the hammer. After trailing by just seven at the half, Sacramento fell behind 92-72 going to the fourth.
Darren Collison, Tyreke Evans and Anthony Tolliver all sat as scheduled rest. Rookie Malachi Richardson is out with a right hamstring thickness tear, but is expected back soon. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.
The Kings travel to Los Angeles following the game where they will take on the Clippers Sunday afternoon.
The Sacramento Kings make the 90 mile commute to Oakland for a match up against the first place Golden State Warriors Friday evening. The Kings have lost three straight and are just 2-11 over their previous 13 games as they transition to a youth movement.
Buddy Hield tied his career-high with 21 points versus the Milwaukee Bucks last time out. He’ll face a different beast against the Warriors. Klay Thompson is one of the best two-way shooting guards in the league. He can light you up from long range and shut you down with physical play on the other side of the ball.
Matt Barnes joined the W’s after being waived by the Kings during the All-Star break. The 37-year-old forward has played nearly 20 minutes per night for Golden State, averaging 5.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 11 games.
Warriors by 17.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Buddy Hield vs. Klay Thompson -- Hield is averaging 14.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 27.6 minutes over 14 games with the Kings. The rookie shooting guard is shooting 50 percent from the field, 44.9 percent from 3-point range and posted double-figure scoring in all but two games since coming over via trade during the All-Star break. Thompson is one of the premiere player at his position, posting 22.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. The Kings have been on the receiving end of plenty of his scoring outbursts over the years.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 27-44 third place in Pacific
Warriors: 57-14, first place in Pacific
Kings: SG Malachi Richardson (torn hamstring) status unknown at this time, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season. Darren Collison, Tyreke Evans and Anthony Tolliver are all out for planned rest.
Warriors: SF Kevin Durant (tibial bruise, knee) out.
The Warriors lead the season series at 2-1 with a 109-86 victory at Oracle Arena. Golden State holds a 199-186 lead over the Kings all-time and a 71-65 advantage during the Sacramento-era.
“I’m trying to kill ‘em, plain and simple. Things didn’t go well there. They’re the enemy now, so we’re trying to kill ‘em - beat them by 50.” -Matt Barnes on his approach against his former team