"We came back, played hard getting back into the game, and Austin Daye made a huge shot at the end against good defense," Fredette said. "Ultimately came short, so it hurts, but we'll move on to tomorrow."
Knight finished with 20 points despite briefly hurting his right ankle in the second half. Bynum and Daye, two backups, had 15 and 13 points, respectively.
"Everybody chipping in and there is a lot of balance," Knight said. "I have to congratulate my teammates for the way we've been playing together and how guys have been stepping it up and really doing their part."
Villanueva scored nine points before being thrown out for a flagrant foul late in the second quarter. Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas drove the lane and was knocked hard to the floor by Villanueva. Thomas then got up and appeared to swing his right arm quickly at Villanueva. Officials reviewed the play and ejected Villanueva. Thomas was not penalized.
Detroit led by as many as 15 in the second, and it was 58-48 at halftime.
"We were a little slow," Sacramento coach Keith Smart said. "We have been playing at a nice fast pace and we were a little heavy legged but sometimes that happens when you get out here on the first one of a road trip."
NOTES: Official Leroy Richardson appeared to trip along the sideline opposite the scorer's table in the third quarter. After staying down for a while with what looked like a right leg injury, he was able to continue. ... Cousins and Monroe were taken with the fifth and seventh picks of the 2010 draft.