The Detroit Pistons defeated the Washington Wizards 120-91 on Thursday, with Josh Jackson scoring 19 of his season-high 31 points in the first half.
Jackson was kept scoreless in 19 minutes of Wednesday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers after missing Monday’s victory over the Toronto Raptors.
“We’re a young team and we don’t have a set rotation,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “We need guys who will be ready to play every night, no matter how many minutes they are getting. Josh has been great with that — he’s a pro when it comes to preparation.”
Russell Westbrook’s 18th triple-double of the season did not deter the Pistons. Westbrook had 16 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds in the game. In addition, he had nine turnovers.
“Russell has been carrying us on offense, especially with (Bradley Beal) out, and this is the first time he has looked tired,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “A lot of our offensive firepower is in street clothes on the bench, but we need people to give us more help.”
The Pistons, who had seven players in double figures, were led by Mason Plumlee, who had 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Pistons were pumped after the Wizards laughed their way to a 68-41 halftime lead and a 106-92 home victory on March 27.
“I thought we came out with the right mindset this time, especially after what happened to us in D.C.” said Wayne Ellington. “We showed up.”
On his 33rd birthday, Washington’s Robin Lopez scored 16 points, while Alex Len added 14.
“They didn’t fear us,” Lopez said. “They got their confidence early on and when a team gets rolling like that, they aren’t going to worry about taking shots with hands in their faces.”
The Wizards shot 31.6 percent (6 for 19) from the free-throw line, shattering the team record of 32 percent (8 for 25) set by the Chicago Packers against the New York Knicks in a 131-94 loss on Jan. 22, 1962.
“I’ve never been a part of a game where a team basically had the same shooting numbers on free throws and on threes,” Brooks said. “We were 6 for 19 from the line and 5 for 19 on threes. You’ve got to step up and make free throws.”
To take a 63-44 halftime lead, the Pistons shot 49 percent in the first half and held the Wizards to 20 percent on 3-pointers. Detroit also went 10 for 10 from the free-throw line, while Washington failed to make any of their five attempts.
“We let a hungry player take shootaround shots all night,” Brooks said. “Josh Jackson’s a really talented guy trying to prove he can play in this league, and we let him do it.”
Midway through the third quarter, Len missed two free throws, dropping Washington to 0 for 7 from the line, before Lopez made one with 3:13 left in the game.
Washington attempted fewer 3-pointers in the third quarter, missing all three attempts, and ended the quarter trailing 87-68. –ESPN