After a rough road trip following the All-Star break, the Detroit Pistons are hoping to find some comfort at home.
Grant Hill had 28 points and 13 rebounds in just 31 minutes as the Pistons routed the Sacramento Kings 111-85 Monday night.
It was the opener of a three-game homestand for Detroit, which plays Charlotte and Cleveland later this week.
"This is a chance to finally put five or six wins together and make a run," said Jerry Stackhouse, who scored 15 points for the Pistons. "Charlotte's struggling a bit, and Cleveland's not playing that well, so those are both games we can win."
When the Pistons acquired Stackhouse from Philadelphia on Dec. 18, they thought he would help turn around their disappointing season. But Detroit went 1-4 on its recent road trip and is mired in next-to-last place in the Central Division with a 25-29 record.
"It's not even fair to say this season has been like a treadmill," said Hill, who also had five assists. "You can always get off a treadmill."
Brian Williams added 19 points and Joe Dumars had 14 for Detroit, which led by as many as 31 points in the fourth quarter.
"When you are coaching, no game seems like a blowout," said Pistons coach Alvin Gentry, who is 4-5 since replacing Doug Collins. "Every time I thought about getting Grant and the guys out of there, I would start to wonder if we had enough of a lead. But this was a great win after the killer trip. It should boost our confidence a bit."
Mitch Richmond and Terry Dehere led the Kings with 14 apiece. Former Piston Otis Thorpe added 12 points off the bench.
"We didn't have answers for them at all," said coach Eddie Jordan. "It wasn't just our defense. We didn't play smart or tough enough. When you come on the road, you have to give a better effort."
HILL KNOWS THE PISTONS CAN'T COUNT ON holding Richmond to 3-for-12 shooting again when the teams meet again in 10 days.
"I just hope this doesn't turn out to be like last year," Hill said. "We did a good job against Mitch here, and got a pretty easy win. Then we went out there, and he had a great game -- he had a triple-double, I think -- and they beat us."
The Pistons led 59-40 at halftime and 83-62 at the end of three periods. Detroit's most impressive stretch was an 8-0 run that featured two 3-pointers by Dumars and a spectacular alley-oop dunk by Hill.
The Pistons led 15-9 midway through the first period, then went on a 12-4 run to go ahead 27-13. Hill had six points in the surge, and 12 in the quarter.
Sacramento's 15-point first quarter was their fifth straight period under 20 points. They finally broke the streak with a 25-point second.
Sacramento's Tariq Abdul-Wahad returned to the Palace for the first time since he played there as Olivier Saint-Jean with Michigan.
Malik Sealy is the only Piston to play in very game this season.
Sacramento guard Anthony Johnson missed the game with a sprained left ankle.
© 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved