Behind a bounce-back — and season-best — performance from Josh Jackson, the Detroit Pistons got off to a strong start Thursday and picked up their second win in three games.
The Pistons (14-34) defeated the Washington Wizards at Little Caesars Arena, 120-91.
Jackson finished with a season-high 31 points (on 13-for-21 shooting and 4-for-7 shooting from 3) and four assists. It was certainly his best offensive game of the year, and he helped the Pistons cruise to an easy win less than a week after the Pistons suffered a blowout against the Wizards.
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Mason Plumlee added 24 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and Frank Jackson added 13 off of the bench. The Pistons were without Hamidou Diallo, who rested during the second half of a back-to-back.
Detroit had a strong night at the free throw line (18-for-22) and from 3 (12-for-29), while Washington struggled in both areas (6-for-19 and 5-for-19, respectively).
After cold stretch, Josh Jackson bounces back
Jackson had been in a month-long slump coming into Thursday’s game. Since Feb. 25, he averaged 10 points per game on 36.4% overall shooting and 18.2% shooting from 3. He hadn’t scored 20 points in a game since Feb. 24; he was a healthy scratch Monday against the Toronto Raptors.
Dwane Casey inserted him into the starting lineup on Wednesday, with Wayne Ellington on the bench due to an injury. It was Jackson’s first start since Jan. 10. He missed all five of his shot attempts and finished the night with zero points, but Casey stuck with him as a starter on Thursday.
Jackson looked like a completely different player against the Wizards. He scored 14 in the first quarter, and it became clear he had a strong night ahead of him when he hit step-back jumpers — one from behind the arc and one inside of it — on consecutive possessions during the quarter. He was also active as a playmaker, pushing the pace and finding Saddiq Bey in transition for a layup, and setting up Plumlee and Isaiah Stewart near the rim.
He rolled his right ankle with about two minutes to play before halftime, and was in so much pain that he requested to come out of the game. He appeared to be fine after halftime, though, as the coaching staff let him start the third quarter.
Jackson’s ankle didn’t appear to ail him at all during the second half. He hit his fourth 3-pointer with 7:31 to play in the third quarter and drove-and-kicked out to Jerami Grant for a corner 3-pointer two minutes after to maintain Detroit’s blowout margin.