Pistons rebound for a back-to-back win as Josh Jackson breaks out with 31 points
Chris Schwegler (NBAE/Getty)
Three quick observations from Thursday night’s 120-91 win over the Washington Wizards at Little Caesars Arena
BOUNCING BACK – Saddiq Bey and Josh Jackson combined for 20 more points in the first quarter of Thursday’s rout of Washington than they did in the entire game in Wednesday’s loss to Portland, when they combined for … zero. Bey went 0 for 8 and Jackson 0 of 5 against Portland, but they turned it around as the Pistons won going away. The Pistons are now 3-7 in back to backs this season. Jackson, who’d scored in double figures in 14 of 15 games heading into the All-Star break a month ago, had scored in double figures only four times in 10 games since before busting loose for 19 points in the first half alone when he hit 8 of 12 shots and 3 of 4 from the 3-point line. Jackson hit the floor hard after a late second-quarter collision with Russell Westbrook, exited the court and went immediately to the locker room. But he was back in the lineup to start the second half and finished with a season-high 31 points, hitting 13 of 21 shots and 4 of 7 from the 3-point arc. Bey, who went 0 of 7 from the 3-point arc in Wednesday’s loss, missed his first four triples before hitting one late in the first half. He finished with 11 points. The Pistons got a strong all-around game again from Mason Plumlee, who contributed 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
DIALLO HELD OUT – After back-to-back dynamic outings, newly acquired Hamidou Diallo sat out Thursday as a carryover from the injury that caused him to miss more than a month before making his Pistons debut last Friday. Diallo sat out the next night, too, before playing on Monday and Wednesday and averaging 19 points and 8.5 rebounds. The Pistons have six more back to backs, including two next week on a five-game road trip through the Western Conference. Diallo should be good to go on Monday when the Pistons play at Oklahoma City, which traded him to the Pistons in March for Svi Mykhailiuk, who is averaging 10.9 points and shooting 37.8 percent from the 3-point line in seven games with the Thunder, including two starts in their most recent games and in which he’s averaged 19.0 points. Wayne Ellington returned after missing the Portland game with calf soreness and chipped in 11 points, hitting 3 of 6 triples. The Pistons also had Dennis Smith Jr., who’s missed the past four games with back soreness, active for the game but he didn’t play. With Diallo inactive, Frank Jackson had another night in the rotation and took full advantage, scoring 13 points and hitting 4 of 6 shots, 2 of 3 from the 3-point line. The Pistons had seven players in double figures and got 45 points from a bench that leads the NBA in scoring.
FREE THROWS, FREE POINTS – Dwane Casey lamented excessive fouling and frustration in general with Portland’s torrid 3-point shooting a night earlier when the Trail Blazers hit 24 of 26 free throws and the message apparently was received. Washington only got to the line 19 times after going 0 of 5 in the first half when Russell Westbrook went 0 of 4. The Pistons only accumulated four fouls in the first half, three of them assessed to Josh Jackson – one an intentional foul late in the first quarter when the Pistons had a foul to give. Fouls were 11-4 in the first half and, after reaching 15-5 at one point, finished at 21-18 for the game. The Pistons came into the game 18th in the NBA in free throws allowed per game at 22.5 per game. Washington missed its first seven free throws, finally breaking the ice with 3:31 left in the third quarter when Robin Lopez made one. The Wizards didn’t get into the penalty until 2:53 remained in the third quarter, not that it did that a ton of good. Washington finished the quarter 2 of 11 at the line and 6 of 19 for the game.