SACRAMENTO, Calif. Gus Williams Jersey . - After going nearly a month without a victory, the Detroit Pistons now proudly own a two-game winning streak.Greg Monroe scored 24 points, Josh Smith had 21 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots, and the Pistons beat the Sacramento Kings 95-90 on Saturday night.The Pistons used a 24-14 advantage in the third quarter and never relinquished the lead in registering back-to-back wins for only the second time all season.Detroit, 5-19 this season, had lost 13 straight and was one loss shy of tying the franchise record before beating Phoenix on Friday.When youre 3-19 there is no pressure to win with that kind of record. You can play carefree, and just try to play your game, said Smith, who shot 6 of 9 from the field.Smiths game, which included seven turnovers, was far from perfect, and his teammates werent, either. Detroit missed 14 of 20 3-pointers, was outrebounded 55-43 and its 15 turnovers resulted in 20 points.But it helped that the Kings were again without leading scorer and rebounder DeMarcus Cousins, who missed his ninth straight game with viral meningitis. The Kings have gone 2-7 without Cousins, who has no timetable for a return.Rudy Gay made four 3-pointers and scored 20, and also added eight rebounds and eight assists for the Kings, who shot 35 per cent. But Gay also struggled overall, hitting just 6-of-22 attempts. Usually productive point guard Darren Collison missed nine of 10 shots and had three points.Definitely holding them to 35-per cent shooting was good, Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said. We made it tough on Rudy Gay — a great player — and Collison. We did what we wanted to do defensively.Carl Landry had 15 points and Ben McLemore 14 for Sacramento, which has dropped three straight and eight of 10.Andre Drummond had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Kyle Singler added 11 points for Detroit, which had a season-high nine blocks.With the Pistons clinging to a four-point lead, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a 3-pointer and DJ Augustin made two free throws to make it 88-79 with 34 seconds remaining. Consecutive 3-pointers by McLemore cut the lead to three points, but Monroe had a breakaway dunk to help seal the victory.The Pistons spread the ball around offensively in the second half and played effectively on defence against the cold-shooting Kings, who opened the season with a 9-5 record but have struggled since losing Cousins.I dont think we are waiting for DeMarcus to come back. We just are not playing the right basketball right now, Collison said.Regardless when he comes back or not, we are not playing the right basketball. DeMarcus does a lot of things that are good for us and he also builds us up because he is so talented. But you never want to rely on just one guy to build you up.Detroit trailed by three points before scoring 11 unanswered to start the third quarter. The Kings missed their first nine shots and went scoreless for more than 4 1/2 minutes. Despite a 13-0 run later in the period, Detroit only led 67-60 entering the fourth.I thought we missed a lot of great looks. That third quarter really hurt us, Kings coach Michael Malone said. We shot 18 per cent in that quarter. So that makes it hard to build a lead and win games when you struggle to make shots.___TIP-INSPistons: Point guard Brandon Jennings had another rough evening offensively, finishing with three points. He is averaging 5.3 points in the past seven games.Kings: Sacramento entered the game averaging less than five 3s a game. The Kings made 7 of 14 in the opening half and finished with a season-high 11. ... Reserve forward Omri Casspi missed his second straight game with a left knee bone contusion.FATHER VS. SONBrendan Malone, the father of Kings coach, is an assistant coach with the Pistons. The two spoke for about 10 minutes outside the Kings locker room after the game, with father providing some consoling words. My son is a very good coach, hes done a nice job with this team, Brendan said. But I understand what hes up against right now, hes doesnt have his best player. Thats difficult.UP NEXTPistons: Visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.Kings: Host Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Oklahoma City Thunder Store . Adding playoff teams. Monitoring instant replay from league headquarters. Possibly creating a set of guidelines to prevent locker-room bullying. Gary Payton Jersey . An offseason trade acquisition from Kansas City, Greinkes National League debut was delayed by a non-baseball injury in the spring, and he was 0-1 after dropping an 8-0 decision at Atlanta in his initial appearance with the Brewers on May 4. MARANA, Ariz. -- Its rare to hear Ernie Els describe his week at the Match Play Championship as "wonderful." Hes usually not around long enough to say anything at all. This time, the wacky world of match play is working in his favour. Even though Els has made more bogeys than birdies, even though he didnt break par at Dove Mountain until his quarterfinal match Saturday, the 44-year-old South African is two matches away from claiming another World Golf Championship. Els made birdie from the desert on the par-5 eighth hole to take the lead for good against 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, and then pulled away for a 4-and-2 victory to reach the semifinals for the first time in 13 years. "At times I havent played my best, as you guys have well-documented and know," Els said with a laugh. "But its match play. Ive just done enough to get through." Graeme McDowell was the only other player who felt lucky to still be around, only for his luck to run out against Victor Dubuisson of France. McDowell had reached the quarterfinals even though he never led a single hole while any of his previous three matches were in progress. He finally took a lead -- 60 holes into this tournament -- and wound up losing. Typical of his week, it went down to the wire. Dubuisson hit a beautiful chip from the rough in front of a corporate suite behind the 16th green to save par, while McDowell missed a 6-foot putt to lose the hole. Dubuisson saved par with another superb chip behind the 17th green, and had one more in his bag from below the 18th green to save yet another par. McDowell narrowly missed a 25-foot birdie putt that would have extended the match. "Lucky, lucky to even be here today," McDowell said. "But actually played quite nicely most of the day. It all boiled down to my putter actually let me down. I had a chance on 14 for the hole, chance on 15 for the hole, missed a short one on 16. My luck is going to run out sooner than later." Els plays Dubuisson, a rising star in the European ranks who won the Turkish Open, where Tiger Woods finished five shots behind. In other quarterfinal matches: -- Jason Day reached the semifinals for the second straight year with a 2-and-1 win over Louis Oosthuizen, who played with a nagging back injury. -- Rickie Fowler lost a 3-up lead to Arizona grad Jim Furyk, only to win the last two holes for a 1-up victory for a shot at Day. Furyk was in the same spot as Dubuisson on the 18th hole, but his first chip rolled back down the hill toward his feet. Fowwler is the No. John Johnson Jersey. 53 seed, the highest to reach the semifinals since Zach Johnson was No. 59 in 2006 when it was held at La Costa. Els long held a reputation as a wizard in match play, having captured the World Match Play Championship seven times when it was at Wentworth and featured smaller fields and 36-hole matches. This version hasnt been kind to him. He reached the semifinals in 2001 at Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne, only to lose to Pierre Fulke. Els didnt imagine it would take this long to get back, though he understands that anything can happen -- and usually does -- over 18 holes of match play. "I really had a love-hate relationship with this event, as you guys well know," he said. "I was lucky enough to get in the field a couple of years ago and beat Luke Donald in the first round. But most of the time, I lost in the first round here either on the 18th or 19th hole. Its been a frustrating time in this event." The semifinals will be Sunday morning, following by the championship match. "Im just very glad to be here on Sunday," Els said. "Hopefully, it goes good tomorrow. I still feel Ive got a really good one in me." Fowler never looked like he would need to go 18th holes the way his match against Furyk started. And then he was happy to get there. Furyk was 3 down with only six holes remaining when he made three straight birdies and won a fourth straight hole at No. 16 with a par when Fowler flubbed a chip. Furyk missed the fairway on the 17th, however, allowing Fowler to square the match. On the 18th, Furyk came up just a fraction short of perfect and saw the ball roll back down the false front of the green. His chip was heavy, and that one rolled back toward his feet and led to bogey. Fowler navigated a quick birdie putt down the slope to a concession range and escaped. "Disappointed," said Furyk, in the quarterfinals for the first time in 14 appearances in this World Golf Championship. "I fought all way back from 3 down. I had all the momentum and I didnt put the ball on the fairway on 17 and didnt put the ball in the fairway on 18. I dont feel I handed the match away, but I definitely made it too easy on him the last two holes." It was the third straight round in which Fowler was trailing with three holes to play, and he pulled out wins against Jimmy Walker, Sergio Garcia and Furyk. The only easy time Fowler had was against Ian Poulter. "Its nice to get a win no matter how it happens," Fowler said. ' ' '