John Salmons a reserve in Kings' defeat

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – John Salmons was asked to assess how his first game as a reserve this season went.

"It wasn't the best, it wasn't great," Salmons said. "It wasn't great."

Salmons was benched as the Kings started rookie guard Isaiah Thomas along with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton on the perimeter.

Salmons was in the game late for defense as the Kings lost 114-108 to the Detroit Pistons Friday night at The Place of Auburn Hills.

Salmons was acquired from Milwaukee in a three-team trade last June that sent guard Beno Udrih to the Kings. Salmons was touted as an upgrade defensively and a player that would be solve the Kings' lack of consistent scoring at small forward.

Kings coach Keith Smart said he wanted another ballhandler and someone who could run the offense which is why Thomas is now starting.
Smart has praised Salmons' defense. Salmons, however, has been in a season-long slump on offense.

"I don't think it was an issue on the defensive end," Salmons said. "It was more of an offensive thing. It's just something I've got to adjust to and keep it moving."

Salmons is averaging 7.1 points, his lowest since averaging 4.1 points in his third season with Philadelphia.

Salmons field goal percentage (35.9 percent) and three-point shooting (28.2 percent) are all on pace to be career lows for the 10-year veteran.

"(Smart is) just trying, I guess, to get me going in a different way,"

Salmons said. "He's just trying to use me in a different way. He told me before the game that he was just going to try to use me in a different way off the bench, try to get some pop off the bench."

Good shooting, still losing – The Kings shot 50 percent, just the second time the Kings have made at least half their shots in a game.

The Kings have lost both of those games.

The Kings shot 52.1 percent in a loss to Orlando Jan. 8 at Power Balance Pavilion.

Get back to work – The Kings will practice today in Cleveland for the first time during their season-long six-game trip.

The Kings played back-to-back games to start the trip and had Thursday off.

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