Miami — It was almost déjà vu all over again.
In the fourth quarter of the Pistons’ 108-74 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday, Reggie Jackson suffered another ankle injury and was writhing on the court. He tried to get up and get to the bench but crumpled over on the court.
After backing up on defense and stepping on teammate Zaza Pachulia’s foot, it appeared Jackson had sprained his right ankle.
He went to the locker room and was examined by the training staff. He later had the taped right ankle in a bucket of ice but had a positive outlook about the injury this time.
“I stepped on Zaza’s foot. It just hurt,” Jackson said. “I’ll be good; I’m not worried about it.”
Jackson missed 37 games last season after a grade-3 sprain to his right ankle and 30 games in 2016-17 because of tendinitis in his left knee. In the midst of the Pistons’ push to the playoffs, another Jackson injury is the last thing they need.
With 5:51 remaining and the game already decided by the Heat’s lead of 32 points, the situation dictated that the starters normally would be out of the game. But coach Dwane Casey explained why Jackson remained in the game.
“It was six minutes to go and I was ready to get him out and he turned his ankle — that was the rationale,” Casey said. “It’s not like we’re going to give up. He hadn’t played very much and we wanted to get some run in. I think Reggie’s OK.”
Jackson finished with eight points and three assists but the Pistons’ starters struggled throughout the game. They were stung by a 21-0 Heat run to start the third quarter that decided the game. Jackson was 3-of-15 from the field, including 0-of-6 on 3-pointers.
“We have to start well and finish well — that’s the whole key to the game,” Jackson said. “If we’re not starting off well, we make it very difficult and put ourselves behind the 8-ball.”
The Pistons don’t play again until Friday against the Lakers, at Little Caesars Arena, and it’s unclear whether Jackson might be available.