Pistons guard talks after a 24-point performance, which included hitting 12 points in the fourth quarter and OT of 113-106 victory over Mavericks. Rod Beard
Detroit — Even though the chase for the playoffs is over, the Pistons are still playing for something. There’s a chance to get to .500 this season, if they win the rest of their games remaining in the regular season.
It’s a goal coach Stan Van Gundy and the players acknowledged in practice in the past couple days — and it’s showing on the court.
The Pistons scrapped their way through a sluggish second half and held on for a 113-106 win over the Dallas Mavericks in overtime on Friday night at Little Caesars Arena. It’s the eighth win in the last 10 games for the Pistons (38-41), who play their home finale on Monday against the Toronto Raptors.
Reggie Jackson had 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, Andre Drummond added 19 points, 16 rebounds and five assists and Anthony Tolliver 16 points for the Pistons, who improved to 25-15 at home this season.
The Mavs tied it with 10.1 seconds left in regulation on a 3-pointer by Jonathan Motley, who set new career highs with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Jackson had a chance to win it in the final seconds but missed on a drive to the basket.
Pistons coach talks about team's 113-106 overtime win, which included a 24-point performance by guard Reggie Jackson. Rod Beard
Jackson played 35 minutes, the most since he returned from injury last month, and seemed to have more bounce and spring in his step.
“He made good plays on the pick-and-roll; I was upset every time we tried to do anything other than run pick-and-roll with him,” Van Gundy said. “He was really effective down the stretch and did a great job.”
The Pistons were short-handed without the injured Reggie Bullock (left knee swelling), who will miss the remainder of the regular season. That pushed Luke Kennard into the starting lineup and Langston Galloway into the reserve role.
In overtime, Galloway (15 points) hit a 3-pointer with 2:15 left and Jackson added a floater and then a jumper with 52.5 seconds left to push the margin to seven. Galloway followed with a pair of free throws, capping a 9-0 spurt, before the Mavericks added a final free throw in the closing seconds.
“(Galloway) did a good job and his threes were important to us down the stretch. I wouldn’t have like to have gone with Luke but Luke didn’t try to do anything tonight,” Van Gundy said. “Every time he got the ball, he took one dribble and passed it; he wasn’t trying to get involved offensively. If you’re going down the stretch into overtime, not only can Langston shoot it, but he will shoot it.
“Luke, for whatever reason, didn’t want to get involved in the game tonight.”
Late in the third quarter, the Pistons took a 78-75 lead after a 3-pointer by Galloway with 18.5 seconds left. The Mavericks (24-56) started the fourth period on a 10-2 run, with a dunk and 3-pointer by Dorian Finney-Smith (15 points, 10 rebounds).
The Pistons answered with an 11-3 spurt, including a 3-pointer by Galloway, a jumper by Henry Ellenson (11 points) and two free throws by James Ennis III to move ahead, 87-85. Drummond finished the run with a hook and Jackson added a jumper.
Finney-Smith answered with a 3-pointer and the teams traded baskets, until Jackson hit a floater and Tolliver followed with a putback, for a 97-93 lead at the 2:39 mark.
The Mavs stayed close, with a 3-pointer by Jalen Jones and Drummond scored the next four Pistons points, while Motley hit a layin and then the 3-pointer to tie it at 101.
Van Gundy was frustrated with the Pistons’ lack of attention to detail on defense and it didn’t help that Motley was able to find easy shots inside and outside.
“The biggest thing was our lack of disciple down the stretch, trying to run through passing lanes for steals and we gave up seven points in the fourth quarter doing that,” Van Gundy said, “and then we foul on a drive in the OT where all you have to do is not give up free throws and threes. It was some of that too.”
Jackson was the saving grace, though, with his ability to penetrate the lane and get floaters, jumpers and inside shots to the rim. He was 11-of-18 from the field and distributed well, with seven assists.
“My impression was that it was a pretty low-intensity game both ways and we just played,” Van Gundy said. “Reggie made plays down the stretch to win it but there wasn’t any sense of urgency to get stops and lock things down.”